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Essex Rock: Geology Beneath the Landscape

25 March 2024

Coming to this book as someone who was ignorant of the geology of Essex, I have had one of the most enjoyable and enlightening experiences in reading this weighty tome. The detail and knowledge shared makes this one of my outstanding reads of the year. Covering in extraordinary detail the geology of the county, the authors have managed to produce a book that deserves a very wide audience. Although marketed for a “general readership”, I can see this book finding a place on the bookshelves of professional geologists, amateur geologists, and, indeed, anyone with an interest in natural history.

The detail that the book has gone into and the wonderful production makes it a fantastic tribute to the authors. Never assuming any prior knowledge, each geological concept and model is explained in a level of detail that keeps it a real geological page turner. The richness of the illustrations – whether it be the outstanding photographs of the rocks and fossils, or the block diagrams that help to explain the geology of the area under discussion – means that this book is a model that would be well suited for the other counties of the United Kingdom.

Covering the geomorphology and underlying geology of Essex, this will also be an invaluable book for those studying the geography of the area. Certainly, it will make me look afresh at the landscape when I travel to the county. It perhaps says something about me that I was not aware of the richness of Essex’s geology; I have learnt so much and would recommend this book to anyone who holds an interest in not only the subject, but also this area of England. Indeed, I shall take advantage of this book and carry out some exploration of the area, with the confidence that I have access to an outstanding guide, that (sorry for the pun) has left no stone unturned!

This book deserves the very widest readership, and I would love for a copy of this book to exist in every school in the county, to make sure that the geology of this outstanding area is known by students and encourage them to explore an exciting and vibrant area. This is an outstanding book and one that has been a pleasure to review.

Reviewed by Gordon Neighbour



BY: Ian Mercer and Ros Mercer. Pelagic Publishing. 416pp. (pbk).

ISBN: 9781784272791

PRICE: £29.99 https://pelagicpublishing.com