Date: 18 - 20 July 2014

Location: Brecon, Powys, Wales

Leader: Duncan Hawley

Location: Brecon, Powys, Wales

Leader: Duncan Hawley

Sir Roderick Impey Murchison was one of the most important figures in 19th century geology and exploration.  He was Director-General of the Geological Survey, President of the Royal Geographical Society and publicly known as the ‘King of Siluria’.  In July 1831, on his first field season as a solo geologist, Murchison explored the Wye Valley.  Retrospectively, over his diary entry for one of the locations we shall visit, he wrote “This was the first true Silurian”.

Our leader Duncan Hawley, who lives in the area, knows its geology intimately.  The trip will explore Murchison’s field visits to the region in the early 1830s to gain a perspective on Murchison the man, his methods and geological thinking, how he modified the standard geological map of the time and how his visits to this area contributed to the publication of The Silurian System.

The field trip will be centred in the town of Brecon, where Murchison and his wife stayed in the Brecon Castle Hotel.  There are several hotels and B&Bs in Brecon itself for field trippers to book independently.  (The Brecon Castle Hotel is almost fully booked on this weekend).  Transport to Brecon will also be independent, and by car on the field trip.  We will arrange sharing to reduce the number of cars in the field.

We intend to meet for on the evening of Friday 18th for a briefing and then spend Saturday and Sunday following in Murchison’s footsteps.  We plan to have evening meals together at the Brecon Castle Hotel on the Friday and Saturday nights.  The price will cover these meals, full field notes and organising expenses.

If a longer visit appeals while you are in Brecon, major attractions in the vicinity include the Fforest Fawr Geopark Visitor Centre at Pontneddfechan to the south-south-west and Hay on Wye ‘book-town’ to the east, with Kington and Stanner Rocks (which has associations with the history of geology) not much further across the border in Herefordshire.

Register below for this meeting.


Brecon Castle Hotel, Castle Square, Brecon, LD3 9DB
01874 624611,

The George Hotel, George Street, Brecon, LD3 7LD
01874 623421,

 map for brecon field trip


Bed and Breakfasts

A. Grange Guest House, 22 Watton, Brecon LD3 7ED
01874 624038,

B. The Beacons Guest House, 16 Bridge Street, Llanfaes, Brecon, LD3 8AH ‎
01874 623339,

C. Bridge Cafe, 7 Bridge St, Brecon, LD3 8AH ‎
01874 622024,

D. Cantre Selyf, 5 Lion St, Brecon LD3 7AU
01874 622904,

E. Borderers, 47 Watton Street, Brecon, LD3 7
01874 623559,

F. The Lansdowne Hotel & Restaurant, 39 Watton, Brecon, LD3 7EG ‎
01874 623321,

G. Watergate Mill, Watergate, Brecon, LD3 9AN ‎
01874 623074 (no email)


Not indicated on map

The Clarence Inn, 25 Watton, Brecon LD3 7ED‎
01874 622810

Self-catering: Canal Bridge Holiday Accommodation, 1 Gas Lane, Brecon LD3 7HA
07964 410584