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SSSI, River Avon, Kellaways

River Avon SSSI is a 4.1 hectare geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Wiltshire, notified in 1998.

From Natural England SSSI site designation

Located 3 miles (4.8 km) north east of Chippenham, this SSSI is of geological interest as the banks of the River Avon expose Callovian highly-fossiliferous sandstone which contains well-preserved bivalves, Gastropoda, Branchiopoda, belemnites and ammonites.

Description and Reasons for Notification:

Kellaways-West Tytherton is a river bank section along the River Avon in Wiltshire situated 1 km south east of Langley Burrell. The site is the historical type locality for the Callovian Stage; the stage name being derived from a Latinisation of 'Kellaways'.

The locality includes a number of highly-fossiliferous exposures of the famous 'Kellaways Rock', a calcareous sandstone yielding abundant well-preserved bivalves, gastropods, brachiopods, belemnites and ammonites. The site includes the designated type localities of the Kellaways Sand Member, which includes the 'Kellaways Rock' itself and also the underlying Kellaways Clay Member of the Kellaways Formation (in a borehole section). The Kellaways district is also the type locality of many important invertebrate species, especially ammonites; the latter include the internationally important stratigraphic index species Sigaloceras calloviense (Sowerby), and Sigaloceras micans (Buckman) and around 17 other nominal species.

The Kellaways exposures are of great international and historical significance and constitute the most important single Callovian locality in Britain.

 

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