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Geology at the Heights

A long time ago, 330 million years in fact, Matlock Bath would have been deep underwater. If you imagine a tropical island with coral reefs and deep blue waters full of fish, this is what Matlock Bath would have looked like. There were big clam-like species living in the water and sea lilies decorated the rocks. Find out how the Derbyshire Dales evolved from this ocean paradise during the carboniferous period into the hilly paradise it is today by watching our film presentation on your visit.

Small fossils can be found all over Derbyshire, most commonly brachiopods and crinoids, as these creatures were commonly found in the reefs that now form the famous limestone cliffs around the area. Eventually the tropical seas became overwhelmed by muds and sands from the north, big river deltas spread sands and silts across the area and the creatures became buried.

Not only is there a wealth of information to be discovered, the Heights also provides visitors with a chance to get up close and personal with our collection of fossilised remains, including a giant Ichthyosaur which is around three metres long- touching is encouraged! The Rockshop is located next door to the Film Theatre with a wide range of precious gems and minerals, including the famous Derbyshire Blue John. 

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