Cumbria Rocks provides a coffee table book-style presentation of sixty unique places in Cumbria with a short summary of the sites of geological interest. The format for each site comprises a large backdrop photograph, smaller detailed photographs, a small map with coordinates, and a paragraph of text. Despite this apparent brevity, the author has packed in a lot of useful information. As a side note, to the credit of modern technology, most of the photographs were taken with an iPhone and are of very high quality.
I spotted no errors in production; the photographs are well produced, and, despite their small size, the maps of the sites are very clear. In addition, the introduction to the book includes a larger map of Cumbria with each of the sixty sites labelled. There is also a useful one-page summary of Cumbria’s ‘geological journey’. Several specimen photographs, courtesy of the Natural History Museum, augment the site information.
The content is excellent and invoked numerous memories from my undergraduate studies at Manchester, when I frequently visited Cumbria for the course field trips and with the active Geological Society. Many of the best-known sites are featured: Carrock Fell, Shap, Helvellyn, and, possibly the most beautiful valley in the UK, Ennerdale. Sites of economic, historic (such as Nenthead), and contemporary interest (such as Sellafield) are also included.
In short, this book is a wonderful summary of a geologically important part of the UK. It is perhaps not the most comprehensive but certainly the most readable for all levels of geological knowledge. It covers the large number of tourist and geological sites that make Cumbria so unique. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Cumbrian geology or who wishes to revisit the places that shaped their geological education. A really good read and excellent value for £14.
Reviewed by Rob Bowell
BY: Ian Jackson (2022). Northern Heritage. 132 pp.
PRICE: £14.00 www.northern-heritage.co.uk