Comparing the Smith and Greenough maps – behind the scenes at the National Museum of Wales


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFriday 15 November 2013

Location – Oriel Suite, National Museum of Wales, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP

During the first half of the 20th century, the first Keeper of Geology at the National Museum of Wales, Frederick John North, built up a remarkable collection of maps and papers, most notably multiple copies of William Smith’s 1815 map and G.B. Greenough’s 1820 map, as well as some of William Buckland’s correspondence relating to the discovery of the Red Lady of Paviland and the diaries and letters of H.T. De la Beche. The collection continued to grow under North’s successors, Douglas Bassett and Michael Bassett. This meeting will focus on some of the highlights of the collection such as De la Beche’s original watercolour of Duria Antiquior, and will include an opportunity to view several issues of Smith’s 1815 map side by side, and to compare them with Greenough’s map. Also on display will be the (much-faded) and recently rediscovered annotated Greenough map which hung in the Geological Society’s apartments until 1932.


Meet from 10.00 at the Reception Desk in the Main Hall of the Museum opposite the main doors. The museum opens and 1000 and closes at 1700.

10.30   Tea, coffee and Welsh cakes available in the museum restaurant
11.00   Welcome and introduction
11.15   The Smith and Greenough collection
12.30   HOGG Annual General Meeting
13.00   Sandwich lunch in the museum restaurant
14.00   The De la Beche and Buckland papers
16.00   Finish

Registration fee: £15.00 which includes tea/coffee in the morning and a sandwich lunch with fruit, soft drinks, and tea/coffee.

To register online, please use the button below.



Duria AntiquiorSaturday 16 November – optional field trip

For any participants staying overnight, there will be a free field programme to include a visit to the monument to William Daniel Conybeare at Llandaf Cathedral where he was Dean from 1845 to 1857, and to Sully, where Conybeare was rector from 1822 until 1835, to look at the local geology he encountered daily and shared with visiting geologists such as Sedgwick and Murchison.

If you would be interested in this option, please email the convenor, Dr Tom Sharpe.

Location and travel

The National Museum of Wales is situated in Cathays Park in the centre of Cardiff adjacent to Cardiff University and Cardiff City Hall. It is about 20 minutes walk north from Cardiff Central Station. Taxis are available at the station. Buses number 53 and 85 leave Cardiff Central Bus Station (adjacent to the railway station) and stop at the museum.

By car, Cardiff can be reached from the M4 (there is an entrance charge into Wales of £6.20 for a car crossing either of the Severn Bridges; return entry into England is free). Should delays be signposted on the M4 Second Severn Crossing, take the M48 at Junction 21 and cross the old Severn Bridge. The M48 rejoins the M4 a short distance into Wales at Junction 23. Stay on the M4 until Junction 32 and take the first exit and follow that road into the city centre.

A Visitor Car Park, including dedicated spaces for disabled visitors, is situated behind the museum, off Museum Avenue. An exit token costing £5.00 must be purchased from the Museum Shop. Parking is free to disabled badge holders. Please take your blue badge to the Museum shop when purchasing your token. On-road disabled parking bays are also available at the front of Museum on Gorsedd Gardens Road. Pay and display parking is available on the roads around the Civic Centre, but this can be busy and spaces hard to find. Parking for the whole day will cost £5.00; the machines accept credit cards. There is an NCP car park on the west side of North Road to the west of City Hall and another on Dumfries Place about five minutes walk to the east of the museum.

More information and a map of the museum’s location can be found at

Meeting convenor: Tom Sharpe, Department of Geology, National Museum of Wales, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP




telephone 029 20 573 265 (office) or 07968 800 228 (mobile)