Dudley Museums Service holds one of the world's finest collections of fossils from this time. The displays in the Museum provide a glimpse of the natural wonders of the local rocks collected and cared for by local people since 1841.
Rocks tells us about Earth's vast history. There is no single place in existence where the complete picture of life and our past is preserved in the rock layers. However, by looking at rocks in different places we are able to piece together the full story.
The first object you will see as you enter the Museum is a large slab of exquisite fossils from Wren's Nest. This is part of a seabed that has been preserved by volcanic ash that rained down from the skies 428 million year ago. A volcano that erupted at that time, roughly where Cheltenham is today, buried the seabed in minutes. Such special geological features are called 'Lagerstatte' and are exceptionally rare and internationally important.
This Lagerstatte records a community of crinoids (sea-lilies) that was alive on the ancient seabed just as it was millions of years ago.
The slab you see in the Museum was uncovered in the 1970's by the Museum Team and Volunteers.
In no part of England are so many geological features brought together in a small compass than in the environs of Dudley or in which their characters have been more successfully developed by the labours of practical men.
Sir Roderick Murchinson, 1841