Northfield landmark available to public on Saturday

Ice Age relic to be focus of attention thanks to work of local geologist.

A glacial boulder more than 400 million years old, tucked away down a side street in Northfield, will take centre stage this weekend thanks to the recent efforts of amateur geologist and Northfield resident, Roland Kedge. A plaque is to be unveiled acknowledging the significance of an erratic glacial boulder, known locally as the Great Stone, which travelled from Snowdon to Northfield on an ice sheet during the ice age. The gate, which is normally closed, will be open on the day and local residents will be able to see the Great Stone, up close.

Mr Kedge has been on a mission to share the fascinating geology of the Stone with a wider audience. He has published a pamphlet and developed a glacial boulder walking trail , and Saturday 8th October marks another milestone in the Stone’s history.

Roland Kedge said: “As a local resident and geology fan, I wanted to raise the profile of all the many glacial boulders in the area by highlighting the one in the Pound at Northfield. Hopefully passers-by will be more likely to give them a second glance and stop and think.”

For generations the Great Stone lay at the corner of Church Road and Church Hill and it protected the wall of the Great Stone Inn from traffic. The feet of generations of school children going to and from the church school around the corner have polished the top surface. Then in 1954, for safety reasons, the rock was moved by Birmingham City Council a few yards along to its resting place, the 17th century former animal pound, within the grounds of the Great Stone Inn.

Northfield residents and geology enthusiasts are invited to join the ceremony. There will be speeches from 12 noon, from Roland Kedge, Dr Rob Ixer, geologist who has advised English Heritage about the Blue Stones at Stonehenge; Councillors Andrew Cartwright (Heritage Officer) and Debbie Clancy. Also attending will be John Gale of the Birmingham Civic Society who has advised on the plaque.

Visitors will be able to view the Great Stone up close, since the gate to the former animal pound that is normally locked will be open. The Great Stone Inn will be serving free coffee and St Laurence Church over the road will be open and also serving coffee.

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