London's Geology: Fieldwork
- Hampstead Heath
- St Pancras Gardens
- University College London
- City of London Cemetery
Geology on Hampstead Heath
These pages provide an introduction to some of the interesting geological features of Hampstead Heath. Both the underlying geology of the Heath and that of some of the landmarks within the Kenwood Estate (primarily Kenwood House and its surrounding statues) make excellent resources for teaching.
The material is aimed at GCSE Geography and Chemistry, or A level Geography and Geology syllabuses.
Much of the necessary information for this has been gleaned from notes by Dr Eric Robinson, formerly of the Dept of Earth Sciences at UCL, and is provided as a teacher’s resource rather than as structured exercises.
This information can be either relayed to pupils at an appropriate
level, or be given directly to pupils either online or as visual aids
such as overheads.
We would be delighted to see any worksheets you create based on these pages, which you might like to be included on the site.
What can Hampstead Heath offer geologists?
- Introductions to a number of basic rock types, including limestone, sandstone and slate
- Opportunities for basic fossil identifications
- Effects of weathering on different rock types
- Subsurface geology related to surface features — springs and vegetation
- Geology related to the local history and economy — brick making and sand extraction
- A glimpse into geological history – The Great Bagshot River
The information contained on this website is believed to be correct at the time of posting. However, please bear in mind that alterations may be made to signposts, paths etc. on the Heath.
If you find that anything has changed in such a way as to affect the exercises provided here, please let us know.
Access to the exterior of Kenwood House is freely available to the general public. Please bear in mind, however, that the house is sometimes used for functions, and care must be taken to keep noise and disturbance to a minimum.
Please take great care to ensure that no damage is caused to the fabric
of Kenwood House or any of its surrounding statues. It should not be
necessary to handle any of the rocks when, for example, examining the
fossils – LOOK BUT DO NOT TOUCH!
We have constructed these exercises so that possible hazards are minimized. However, please note that the Heath contains several large areas of open water, and at least one high level viaduct. Students should, therefore, be closely supervised; particular care should be taken to allow sufficient time to finish the exercises in daylight hours as the Heath may not be safe after dusk.