The Volcano at Middle Hope

On Thursday 19th April 2018 we went on a field trip to Middle Hope to investigate the volcano there.

We did this in two parts:

The first part was to look at the volcanics on the beach at Swallow Cliff Bay.
The second part was to investigate the volcanics at the Middle Hope Bay further to the East.

The first part has been very well written up by Charley Stamper who, at the time was a student at Bristol so there seems little point in rewriting it so the link to her article on ‘Outcrop’, is here:

A report on the second part follows on here:
For this part we relied on the directions given in the book, “Geological excursions in the Bristol District” Edited by R.J.G. Savage.
We followed the directions in the book to site 1.3 ‘The Eastern Exposure at ST 3390 6655 at the eastern end of a small bay. There are no pillow lavas here, which indicates that the vent was probably to the West. There is an excellent exposure of the Tuffs as a fault has offset them to the North by a fault that can clearly be seen in South-West corner of the bay.This fault separates the tuffs from the Black Rock Limestones to the West.
I won’t copy out the text from the book, it can be seen on pages 52/3.

Care is required clambering down into the bay to examine the exposures.

This is a very interesting site and, apart from the missing pillow lavas, demonstrates the  volcanic activity very well.


– Faulkner TJ (1989) The early Carboniferous (Courceyan) Middle Hope volcanics of Weston-super-Mare: development and demise of an offshore volcanic high. Proc. Geol. Ass., 100(1), 93-106.

– Volcanic rocks of the Bristol region, Speedyman DL. in Geological excursions in the Bristol District. Savage RJG (1977). University of Bristol.

– OS Sheet 153 Weston-super-Mare and Bleadon Hill © Crown Copyright 2011

– Sedimentary Petrology. Maurice E Tucker © Blackwell science Ltd 1981

– The Coast of the Bristol Region. Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology. David J. Case
Geologists’ Association Guide No. 71. © The Geologists’ Association 2013

– All photos © Charlotte Stamper. 2013

Richard Kefford 2020 Eorðdraca

My books are for sale here:  Richard

Trial post 1

Welcome to my rocky blog. Anybody know where this pic was taken?


This is Coire Lagan on the Isle of Skye. My favourite place.
Here you can see a classic glaciated corrie formation with these features and a wonderful view – on a clear day.
Roche Moutonee
Glacial striations
Glacial Tarn
The Great Stone Chute.

© Richard Kefford         2020         Eorðdraca.         

My books are for sale here:         Richard