ⓘ Exmoor Group. The Exmoor Group is a late Devonian to early Carboniferous lithostratigraphic group in southwest England whose outcrop extends from Croyde in nort ..

Exmoor Group

ⓘ Exmoor Group

The Exmoor Group is a late Devonian to early Carboniferous lithostratigraphic group in southwest England whose outcrop extends from Croyde in north Devon east across Exmoor to Minehead in west Somerset. The group comprises the following formations the:

  • Pilton Mudstone Formation Pilton Beds, Pilton Shales
  • Baggy Sandstones Formation Baggy Beds, Marwood Beds
  • Lynton Formation Lynton Beds, Lynton Slates
  • Pickwell Down Sandstones Formation
  • Morte Slates Formation
  • Hangman Sandstone Formation Hangman Grits
  • Upcott Slates Formation
  • Ilfracombe Slates Formation

Each of these divisions has been given different names by different authors in the past including those shown in brackets above. Some that had been classed as formations or even in one case as a group are now members.


1. Lynton Formation

Extending east from Woody Bay, the Lynton Formation underlies the village from which the sequence is named and continues in a thin strip of country as far east as the hamlet of Oare. There is a small inlier of the Lynton Slates at the foot of the Quantock scarp at Triscombe. The formation is composed of slates and siltstones together with some sandstone. Though its base is not seen, it is believed to be between 3–400 m thick. There are fossils of brachiopods, bivalves and bryozoans present, consistent with a shallow marine depositional environment. One of Devon and Exmoors better known natural tourist attractions is Valley of the Rocks, a dry valley developed in this formation just to the west of Lynton.


2. Hangman Sandstone Formation

The Hangman Sandstone forms the coastal outcrop east from Hangman Point as far as Heddons Mouth and indeed the larger part of the cliffs eastwards again to Woody Bay. It again forms the coastal cliffs from Lynmouth Bay east to Porlock Weir, including Foreland Point and Culbone Hill and also from Hurlstone Point to Minehead. The Porlock Ridge and Saltmarsh Site of Special Scientific Interest has a shingle ridge deposited during the Holocene epoch. Inland it forms the high ground east to Dunkery Beacon and much of Croydon Hill. The larger part of the Quantock Hills are formed from the same strata. The Hangman Sandstone consist of several members which once enjoyed the status of formations. These are oldest base, youngest at top:

  • Rawns Member Rawns Shales and Sandstone, Rawns Formation
  • Trentishoe Member Trentishoe Grits, Trentishoe Formation
  • Sherrycombe Member Sherrycombe Beds, Sherrycombe Formation
  • Hollowbrook Member Hollowbrook Formation
  • Little Hangman Member

Names in brackets indicate earlier names for the current members. The Stringocephalus Beds and Sherrycombe Beds were formerly grouped as the Upper Hangman Grits.

The thickness of the strata is estimated at between 1660 m and 2500 m; intense faulting and folding precludes an exact measurement being made. Consisting largely of sandstones but with some alternating shales and slates and some conglomerates, most of the formation is non-marine in origin. Plant and shell remains have been found though fossils are generally scarce within the formation. The sequence east of Lynmouth used to be referred to as the "Foreland Grits", and was thought to be somewhat older, and hence lower in the sequence, than the Hangman Grits

The Trentishoe Member exhibits unusual deposition at the Glenthorne Site of Special Scientific Interest.


3. Ilfracombe Slates Formation

The formation comprises slates and limestones of marine origin and sandstones and slates with a shallow marine or deltaic origin. In the west, the Ilfracombe Slates are subdivided into oldest at base, youngest at top:

  • Wild Pear Slates Member
  • Kentisbury Slates Member
  • Combe Martin Slates Member
  • Lester Slates-and-Sandstones Member

The Wild Pear Slates are named from Wild Pear Beach at Combe Martin Bay where this sequence outcrops on the coast. The lower boundary of this sequence is a thrust fault which carries the slates up over the Hangman Grits. The overlying Lester Slates-and-Sandstones run from Widmouth Head, beneath the village of Combe Martin and on in a SSE direction to near Parracombe. The Combe Martin Slates in turn extend from Beacon Point at Hele in a narrowing outcrop to Pinkworthy Pond and beyond. The Kentisbury Slates form the coastal outcrop at Ilfracombe itself and extend inland via Kentisbury, Challacombe and Simonsbath towards Exford.

In the east, the following subdivisions are identified. Some earlier now formally obsolete names are given in brackets afterwards:

  • Avill Slates and Sandstones Member Avill Group
  • Cutcombe Slates Member
  • Leighland Slates Member Leighland Beds

In the Quantock Hills, the Avill Slates form the high ground of Lydeard Hill above West Bagborough, together with the lower northeastern slopes of the range between Aisholt and Holford. A tuff occurs within the Avill member on these eastern slopes at Keepers Combe. The Cutcombe Slates form the ground immediately east of the Avill outcrop in this area whilst the Leighland Slates make up a band of higher ground between Cothelstone and Enmore with scattered outcrops extending north to Nether Stowey. Several limestone beds are named within the two upper members; oldest/lowermost first - the Rodhuish, Roadwater, Aisholt, Holwell and Leigh Barton limestones.


4. Morte Slates Formation

The Morte Slates are a series of silvery-grey to green coloured slates with some subordinate sandstone and siltstone. A well-developed cleavage has removed what fossils may have earlier been present in these one-time submarine muds. These rocks extend from Morte Point, where they form the coast between Woolacombe and Flat Point, south-southeastwards through West Down and Arlington then east to Withypool. Further east the outcrop broadens to form the Brendon Hills and the rolling country around Clatworthy Reservoir. The eastern extent of the main outcrop reaches the villages of Stogumber and Tolland. An outlier forms the southeastern part of the Quantock Hills between Goathurst and West Monkton.

Over the centuries the Brendon Hills have been mined for minerals, notably ironstone from which iron is extracted for making steel. During the 19th century this activity reached a peak with the West Somerset Mineral Railway, including an 800 feet 244 m incline, being built to take the ore to Watchet from where it was sent to Ebbw Vale for smelting. The main mining operations ended when the mines were worked out towards the end of the 19th century.


5. Pickwell Down Sandstones Formation

The Pickwell Down Sandstones are red and brown sandstones with shales which extend from the hills of Pickwell Down and Woolacombe Down overlooking Morte Bay east-southeastwards to Muddiford and Bratton Fleming. The outcrop pattern is shaped by a major east-west aligned syncline/anticline pair between Brayford, where there is a stone quarry, and Dulverton. East of Dulverton the formation forms the prominent Haddon Hill and extends via Heydon Hill as far east as the village of Wiveliscombe. There are a number of former workings for iron, copper and manganese across the western part of its outcrop. A geomorphological survey at Ansteys Coombe showed that mining had taken place at the site during both the Romano-British period and the 16th to 17th century.


6. Upcott Slates Formation

The Upcott Slates provide the coastal cliffs on the south side of Morte Bay and their narrow faulted outcrop continues east-southeastwards beneath Georgeham and to Winsham and Marwood. The outcrop continues east via Shirwell to Little Bray, north of Brayford. Slightly offset by faulting to the south, it continues east to North Radworthy. A major east-west syncline in this area gives rise to an outcrop stretching southwest to East Buckland and then by virtue of a parallel anticline, stretching southeast then east to North Molton. Subject to numerous northwest-southeast aligned faults, the outcrop can be followed via Molland to east of Dulverton. The formation consists of slates varying in colour from buff through grey and green to purple. These rocks originated as muds laid down in swamps and freshwater lakes.


7. Baggy Sandstones Formation

The Baggy Sandstones form the headland of Baggy Point and the faulted outcrop stretches away to the east north of Croyde, through Knowle to Stoke Rivers and Brayford. Its outcrop wraps around a syncline/anticline fold pair in a reverse-S shape via East Buckland and parallels the outcrop of the Upcott Slates east to Dulverton. It is mapped as a distinguishable unit of the Exmoor Group as far as the Batherm valley, east of Skilgate. The formation consists of sandstones, siltstones and shales including some feldspar and mica rich units, variously of marine through brackish to freshwater origin. The outcrop forms a small yet prominent ridge along its outcrop.


8. Pilton Mudstone Formation

The Pilton Mudstones form the coast at Croyde Bay and form the headland at Saunton Down. The formation extends eastwards through Barnstaple to the Buckland area where due to a syncline/anticline pair, the surface outcrop divides. A thinner band of these strata continues east coincident with the valley of the River Yeo and the former railway to Brushford. The outcrop broadens once again forming the country around Clayhanger and Waterrow before reaching its furthest east at Kittisford and at Nunnington Park, south of Wiveliscombe. The formation consists of shales and siltstones along with bands of calcareous sandstone. Fossils include brachiopods and bivalves in the lower part of the formation, suggestive of a shallow marine depositional environment and, in its upper part, trilobites and goniatites indicating deeper water conditions. The sandstones thicken to the east and have been worked in quarries between Charles and Brayford. Limestones occurring towards the top of the formation have also been worked in places. Whilst most of it is Devonian, the uppermost part of the formation is Carboniferous in age though the precise location of the boundary is difficult to determine.

  • Exmoor is loosely defined as an area of hilly open moorland in west Somerset and north Devon in South West England. It is named after the River Exe, the
  • The Exmoor pony is a horse breed native to the British Isles, where some still roam as semi - feral livestock on Exmoor a large area of moorland in Devon
  • The Beast of Exmoor is a cryptozoological felid see phantom cat that is reported to roam the fields of Exmoor in Devon and Somerset in the United Kingdom
  • The Exmoor Singers of London Chamber Choir is a choir with a strong focus on music by living composers and in particular British composers. In 2007, the
  • The geology of Exmoor National Park in south - west England contributes significantly to the character of a landscape which was designated as a national
  • bæθ is a small village high on Exmoor in the English county of Somerset. It is the principal settlement in the Exmoor civil parish, which is the largest
  • Landacre Bridge carries Landacre Lane across the River Barle near Withypool on Exmoor in the English county of Somerset. It has been scheduled as an ancient monument
  • Oare is a village and civil parish on Oare Water on Exmoor in the Somerset West and Taunton district of Somerset, England. The parish includes the hamlet
  • Dunkery Beacon at the summit of Dunkery Hill is the highest point on Exmoor and in Somerset, England. It is also the highest point in southern England
  • with reviving the Exmoor pony population after World War II. She and her husband, James Grant Speed 1906 - 1980 co - founded the Exmoor Pony Trekking Society
  • south - west of Dunster in Somerset, England. It lies on the River Exe on Exmoor The parish includes the village of Bridgetown and covers 2, 017 ha, all
  • Blackdown and Quantock Hills rise out of the levels. The highest areas are on Exmoor The wide variety of landscapes has led to several areas being designated
  • in the Sydney suburb of Burwood, New South Wales Lynton Formation, part of the late Devonian Exmoor Group Lynton House, Ilford, Greater London, England
  • Exford is a rural village at the centre of Exmoor National Park, 7 miles 11 km north - west of Dulverton, and 10 miles 16 km south - west of Minehead
  • Doone: A Romance of Exmoor is a novel by English author Richard Doddridge Blackmore, published in 1869. It is a romance based on a group of historical characters
  • accommodation left by the Soviet Army. In January 2015, a group of 14 Exmoor ponies were moved from Exmoor National Park to Milovice Nature Reserve in an effort
  • The Dovecot At Blackford Farm in Selworthy on Exmoor within the English county of Somerset was probably built in the 11th century. It is a Grade II listed
  • geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in the parish of Oare within the Exmoor National Park, on the border of Somerset and Devon, notified in 1989. Glenthorne
  • Withypoole is a small village in Somerset, England, near the centre of Exmoor National Park and close to the border with Devon. The word Withy means willow

  • Pony from the Shetland Isles off the northern tip of Scotland. Exmoor Pony from Exmoor in Somerset and Devon in south - west England. Dartmoor Pony from
  • 5 miles 8 km north - west of Dulverton. It is within the borders of the Exmoor National Park and around 10 miles 16.1 km south - west of the coastal town
  • located in the National Trust s Holnicote Estate on the northern fringes of Exmoor The parish includes the hamlets of Bossington, Tivington, Lynch, Brandish
  • 14 km south of Minehead and north of Dulverton straddling the ridge between Exmoor and the Brendon Hills in Somerset. It has a population of 361. The parish
  • consisting of 12, 420 acres 5, 026 hectares of land, much situated within the Exmoor National Park. There have been several houses on the estate over the last
  • 033 ft Exmoor is a large upland area straddling Somerset and North Devon, close to the Bristol Channel. It is composed from the Exmoor Group of sedimentary
  • miles 11 km south of Dunster, lying amongst the Brendon Hills within the Exmoor National Park in the Somerset West and Taunton district of Somerset, England
  • Luccombe or Luckham is a village and civil parish in the Exmoor National Park in the English county of Somerset. It at the foot of the moor s highest hill
  • Dulverton is a popular tourist destination for exploring Exmoor and is home to the Exmoor National Park Authority headquarters. The town lies on the
  • an acclimatization pen, then in January 28, 2015, a group of 14 Exmoor ponies were moved from Exmoor National Park to Milovice in an effort to save the
  • Dulverton. It is situated on the River Pulham in the Brendon Hills within the Exmoor National Park, close to Wimbleball Lake, a water supply reservoir constructed

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