Murchison Cross Section

Contributed by Ludlow Museum

Geological cross section drawn by the Victorian geologist Roderick Impey Murchison for a lecture in Ludlow during 1852

The Murchison Cross Section was drawn up by Roderick Murchison in 1852 and shows the geological strata of the area around Ludlow as he understood it at the time.

Murchison, who published a great work called the Silurian System in 1838, had spent many years travelling through Shropshire and the Welsh Borderlands to study the rocks. His book established the term Silurian as a geological era as well as its subdivisions of Ludlow and Wenlock; named after Shropshire places where he had studied the rocks. These terms are still used by geologists.

Originally drawn as a number of sections, they were mounted on the walls of the Society's museum in the 1850s. They passed to the Council's Museum Service when the Society disbanded in the 1940s and underwent conservation in the 1990s and are now on permanent display in the John Norton geology gallery at Ludlow. They are a reminder of Shropshire's importance to the development of modern geology.

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