'Geology is a noble instrument of inquiry and conviction…. In the hands of Ted Nield it edges its way towards art' – Jan Morris, Literary Review

288 pages/2014 – World English Language (Granta)

288 pages/2014 – World English Language (Granta)


A Journey Through Britain’s Lost Landscape
Ted Nield

An acclaimed geology writer reflects on the man-made holes, scars and spoil-heaps that litter our environment while seeking to restore our respect for the planet’s past and its accumulated wealth. 

Journeying across the British Isles, the geologist and science writer Ted Nield unearths the myriad ways in which the rocks beneath our feet shape our lives.

At one time, our roads, our buildings, our gravestones and our monuments were all built from rock mined locally, our cities powered by coal from Welsh mines, and our lamps lit with paraffin from Scottish shale. Today our mines are gone, our buildings are no longer local, and the flow of stone now travels from East to West.

Nield journeys across Britain’s buried landscape – from the small Welsh village of his ancestors to Swansea, Aberdeen, Surrey and Dorset – unearthing the ties between stone and place and what their loss might mean for us today.