Natural England - Magdalen Quarry (SSSI)

Magdalen Quarry (SSSI)

Location and Access Information
Grid Reference: SP 552070

Upper Jurassic nodular limestone.

Upper Jurassic nodular limestone.

This disused quarry is located in the district of Headington, north-east Oxford and is a Local Nature Reserve with open access. Entrance can be gained from the A420 into Gladstone Road. Vehicles can be parked on the roadside where there is a footpath leading to the site.

Geological Interest

This site exposes rocks of the Upper Jurassic, approximately 145 million years old. The quarry faces expose sands and limestones (the Beckley sand, Shell Pebble bed and Wheatley Limestone) that have enabled geologists to reconstruct the environment during deposition of the sediments that make up the rocks. At this time, a warm shallow sea similar to that found in the Bahamas today covered Oxfordshire. The exposed rocks indicate the presence of a coral reef structure in this area, the proximity of which is indicated by rapid changes in thickness and composition of some of the rock layers.