From the West, the lower slope is mainly sandstone. This is then crossed by a band of quartz conglomerate which forms the rocky outcrop that runs along the hill until it dips down below the Wye below Huntsham Hill. This band of rock, which reaches a maximum thickness of 100ft at Symonds Yat, can be traced along the Wye Valley right down to Chepstow. It can be seen close up from the steps above the Triangle.
Above these rocks, along the crest of the Hill, there is Tintern Sandstone and lying on top of this there should be Limestone Shale. However, Limestone has been eroded and occurs only at the tip of Coppett Hill below Symonds Yat and on the East along the border with the Courtfield Estate. There are Limekilns in the latter area and both limestone areas are identified by a significant change in flora with several orchid species and autumn crocus occurring.
The rock strata on the Hill all dip towards the East, causing occasional landslips, and drop below the Forest of Dean Coal Field to reappear – in the same sequence – between Soudley and the River Severn on the East of the Forest of Dean
On the east of the Hill there is a limekiln in the Limestone Shale area, with several others in the neighbouring Courtfield Estate. The area around the limekiln is maintained as open grassland and is rich in orchids. These are on top of the spoil heaps from the kiln and there is a quarry to the left of the path leading up to the kiln.
Conglomerate or Pudding Stone has been laid down by rapidly running rivers, hence the pieces of grit in the rock. It is used as a building stone in local houses, cider mills etc
In the late 1700’s a wall was built to mark the boundary between the Parishes of Goodrich and Welsh Bicknor. This starts above the lime kiln and runs alongside the Ridge path. This is mainly constructed of local limestone
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NB - we regularly run Geology Walks conducted by local residents who are sponsored by H&W Earth Heritage Trust