Vale of York Field Naturalists Club

Fossils in the Quarries

1871  The Yorkshire Herald reported the first meeting of the Vale of York Field Naturalists Club.

On that day, the weather was very poor. Still, almost fifty ladies and gentlemen left the Society's Rooms in Micklegate to travel in three four-horsed carriages to go to Rivaulx ("ree-VOH") Abbey.

Once they arrived at the Abbey, the group then broke into small parties made up of geologists, botanists, and entomologists and then they went out and explored the valley by the Abbey.

"The geologists were interested in the sections laid bare in the quarries, and many interesting and beautiful fossils were found.
[Meanwhile], the botanists collected:
- Saxiraga tridaclylitet (nailwort)
- Helianthemum vulgare (rock rose)
- Cuscuta Epithymum (clover dodder)
- Aquilegia vulgaris (columbine)
- Atropa Belladonna (belladonna or deadly nightshade)
- Polypodium Phegopterit (northern beech fern)
- P. Dryoplerit (oak fern)
- Scolopendrium vulgare (hart's-tongue fern)

At six o'clock the party sat down to dinner at the Crown Hotel, Helmsley, which was served in Mr. and Mrs. Cowen's usual substantial style… the Rev. Vice-President Rowe addressed those assembled on the advantages of natural history and the beauties and history of the Abbey.(Rowe was also the hon. secretary of the Architectural Society).
It was arranged that the next monthly field day should be held at Bolton Abbey and Woods.

They then left for home, after a most agreeable day, which left everyone with the feeling that this the first excursion of the club was a great success."

This post was featured on
The Daily Gardener podcast:

helping gardeners find their roots,
one story at a time
Vale of York Field Naturalists Club
Vale of York Field Naturalists Club

Leave a Comment