Location and Access Information
Grid Reference: SO 952187
This site is located 3km to the south of Cheltenham town centre. Minor roads via Leckhampton run along the western and southern sides of the hill. Easy access can be gained from the three car parks situated at SO 951178, SO 946177 and SO 950179. A number of public rights of way, including the Cotswold Way, provide access to the geological exposures and the Devil’s Chimney.
View the site map on Nature on the Map.
The disused quarries at Leckhampton provide the thickest single cross-section through the Middle Jurassic, Inferior Oolite strata of the Cotswolds. These limestone were deposited approximately 170 million years ago in a shallow sea, somewhat similar to the modern-day Bahamas Banks. The limestones vary laterally in thickness, nature and occurrence through the Cotswolds and a number of distinctive rock types can be distinguished; for example, the Pea Grit which takes its name from the presence of rounded algae growths [pisoliths] set in a matrix of shell debris. At Leckhampton a number of these units are exposed in the series of old quarries, including the Lower Freestone which was extensively used in the area as a building stone and which forms the prominent Devil’s Chimney.