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Notebook No.260, 27 September 1871-7 May 1872

 Item — Box: Lyell-temp-box 9
Identifier: Coll-203/A1/260

Scope and Contents

Red leather Notebook starts at Penrith, as Lyell then travels south, via Appleby, Lancaster to Lichfield, to London then Folkestone and into France. He travels with Mary, Hughes, Beovill, and meets with many experts along the way. Most of the notebook is written by Buckley, who orders the narrative by date using the Itinerary – with sections added by Lyell in poor writing, and others – perhaps Mary, as well as local people noting down journey times. Whilst travelling in France, Lyell makes many geological observations – on the train, by the side of the road, at their accommodation, on excursions along rivers, visiting sites of significance and at Museums. Arriving in France, Lyell revisits the caves at Aurignac and visits local museums and collectors to see related specimens - almost like a reinvestigation - and concludes the evidence is proof of 'cave-men'. The notebook contains several hand drawn maps and sections, and concludes with measurements of Lake District lakes compiled by Harriet Martineau.

Notebook Index

There is no actual index for this Notebook, which documents activities by date and location according to the itinerary of their travel. Summaries of pages - places visited, subjects and names - have been noted.

Scope and Contents

1871 Itinerary cont. from p 123 N.B. 259
22nd – Mr. Goodchild writes to Mr. Hughes parallel straie at Ravenstonedale
25[th] Penrith, Messers Ramsay, Aveling and Hughes at the Crown
26[th] Penrith saw Prof. Harkness local specimens [grapholites from Skiddaw]
28[th] Penrith to Appleby, river Eden
29th Appleby Castle, flower garden and old moat, Dufton and Merton, Hilton red sandstone
p. 10 Oct 1[st] Lunched at Appleby Castle – Admiral and Mrs. Eliot. Portraits of Countess of Pembroke, stone hatchets from Pitcairns [sic Pitcairn] Islands, portion of a coconut tree under which Captain Cook was murdered, case from the tomb of the Incas
p. 11 Oct 3[rd] examined with Hughes Leonard’s specimens of boulders from Kinnordy – list follows.
p. 12 Oct 3 Penrith to Lancaster by rail, passing by Clifton, Shap, Oxenholme, Carnforth. Walk to Lancaster Castle.
p. 12 Oct 4 Lancaster by rail to Crewe passing Preston, Wigan and Warrington ‘dreadful smoky coal country’ went on to Lichfield and slept at the George. The Trent much flooded.
p. 13 Lichfield Cathedral
p. 16 books taken
p. 19. December 1871 London to Folkestone with Leonard and Mary. Quarries at Hythe, Greensand. Ostrea and other shells found at the Quarry [‘the men say that the shells occur in hollows in the Limestone’].
p. 21 December 30 Leonard found a collection of hibernating individuals of different ages of helix aspersa
December 31 Walked to Pavilion Hotel, saw Lord Warden steamer leave the harbour, walked cliffs at Folkstone
p. 23 January 1 1872 Geological Museum at Folkestone closed all week except Thursday evenings and Saturdays.
p. 25 January 2 visited Museum with Mr. Ullyett, schoolmaster and curator of the museum. Saw the teeth and tusk of Hippopotamus and Hippopola as named by Owen. Bones also of Elephas, deer and rhinoceros. Curator receives no pay for his curatorship.
p. 27 great section on local collections and use.
p. 29 Jan 3[rd] Fossils at Museum – whole skeleton of Elephas discovered digging loam for a brick kiln but disintegrated.
p. 31 Jan 4th walked with MEL to shingle beach and Martello Towers
p. 33 encroachment of the sea impacting on Martello Tower and fort. Mr. Macleson actictina acicula
p. 37 April 7 1872 Notebook 261 of MEL prepared for French Tour. Queries re letter to King date 12th Aug 1862. Talked to Dr Adams of British Museum fossil remains from Malta. Island of Gozo – difficulties getting there
p. 41 purchase by Dr Adams of hippopotamus tooth mentioned by Falconer and found in the Nile mud at the temple of Kalabshe in Nubia.
p. 42 simple line map showing Abbeville, Amiens, Paris, Orleans and Chateauroux – with degrees
p. 43 simple line map continues from Limoges, Perigeux Bordeaux, Toulouse Aurignac
April 15th London to Folkstone with MEL, TMcK Hughes and Beovill to Charing Cross – Mr & Mrs Murchison in same carriage. Back to Folkstone Museum with Mr. Ullyett.
April 16th Boulogne in 2 hours. Amiens.
p. 49 [April] 17[th] Amiens to Paris. No signs of the two sieges – German and Communist. Party include Mrs. T Fanny, Albert & Pierre, Hughes, MEL and ‘self’ [Lyell] and Madame Byrne. Hotel de Ville in ruins. Arrived Orleans. Walker with Hughes to Museum of Nat. Hist near the Cathedral - tertiary Mammalia.
p. 51 19th Orleans – Hughes found a valve of Littoralis thrown out in the deposit of the Loire. Resembles old Thames alludivilium. Levels of Thames. On to Chateau Roux. At Museum.
p. 54 April 20th Chateauxroux to Limoge. Shops full of China painted like Sevres, made from local Kaolin. Arrangements for accommodation, Tamarisk in flower in garden.
p. 58 Stone implements Amiens
p. 60, 61, 62 discovery of animal bones - events of 1863. Evidence confirmed ‘in France of the cave-men’.
April 23[rd] Les Eysies [sic Eyzies] to Agen. Grottos along the road. County white chalk very like ‘our chloritic chalk’ and Buckland’s valleys. Changes at Agen more travertine like, red ferringinous colour in gravel. Hughes opinions as to 2 or 3 platforms.
p. 64 [April] 22 [nd] Drive along bank of River Vierson [sic Vierzon] to Cave of la Moustiers
p, 67, 73 [April] 24[th] Agen to Toulouse. Met Museum Curators Cartailnac and Dr. N [initial only given]. Discuss sepulchre at Aurignac and relation to Ancient men of Dolman period. Grave artefacts. [?Garurnmien] shells
p. 75 Cirque de Gavarnie
p. 77 Reindeer period
p. 79 April 26 Toulouse to Aurignac. Walked to cave at Fajole
p. 81 Picked up flint hatchets and teeth of small rodents and badger at mouth of cave. Examined Lartet’s cave and dug into another higher up the cliff. Grotto Lyell.
p. 82 Hill of St Toulin, fossil shells. Travel by 2 one horse carriages to railway station en route to Montrejeau.
p. 87 April 28[th] Surrounding geological landscape and relation to Lartet’s Grotto. Travel from Bousseau by Toulouse to Montrejeau. Omnibus up a steep ascent. Mary and Lyell walk to a private house for the view.
p. 89 April 29[th] Hill of Colline des Anglais, on the face of which is Grotto Gourdan. Visited by Hughes who collected flint knives unpolished stone, bones – deer and rhinoceros- bodkins and arrowheads. Proprietor Mr. Piette had employed a Veterinary Surgeon – whom the Lyell’s meet at Montjeau. He ‘sold us’ some arrowheads and bodkins ‘by no means cheap’.
p. 91 Bought a harpoon coming from Gourdan cave. Tourcade [?] left their party to go on to Bagneres de luchon – it takes 7 hours to get there, some 15 miles away, no rail. Went West to the higher Pyrenees with much snow.
30th [April] p. 93 went with Mr. Vassenal to marble works. Visited Rev. Frossand, whose sister (an old lady) showed us his cabinet of fossils and prehistoric antiquities from local caves [not named]. Mary on expedition to Aurensan with Hughes and Vassenal. Lyell walked with Beovill round the town.
p. 100 travel times from Tarbes – Auch [in different hand].
p. 101 103 [1st] May Bagnères-de-Bigorre [Adour] limestone at. Walked in gardens. Bought photographs of Cirque de Gavassine. Rain melting the snow.
p. 105 2[nd] May Gers – upper platform Miocene. Climate. Proof of Reindeer. Train times from Auch to Agen to Bordeaux.
p. 107 109 115 3[rd May] Expedition to hill of Sanson, hummock near the Gers River. Ancient Miocene Delta. Fossils preserved in the marly deposits. Government opened quarry expressly for fossils. Striking large square blocks, shaped as for building. Calcaire grossier. Thunderstorm of yesterday had washed the surface, revealing bones and teeth Planorbis Linnea etc. Modern pits form ponds. Nothing peculiar here that can be seen in a hundred places in Tertiary strata Eocene and Lower Miocene in Auvergne and in the Isle of Wight. From the top of the hill at Sanson saw Lartet’s house, now belonging to his son.
p. 117 May 4[th] By rail from Agen to Bordeaux. Occasional white bluffs of horizontal Teriary strata a mile or less from the river. Went to Museum Mr. Gassies collection of recent shells, land shells from New Caledonia. Mr. Delfortrie collection of mammalia. Mr. Rochebrune at Angouleme fine collection of cretaceous greensand chalk and fossils. Gassies is forming .collection of Palaeolithic tools and worked flints – also in illustration, implements from New Caledonia. M Ch. des Moulins has presented his collection to the museum.
p. 121 [May] 6[th] Bordeaux to Angouleme by Libourne. Post Miocene denudiation. Offers fine view of the flat country, River Charente, fine terrace walks and ancient ramparts. Cathedral. Called on M. Rochebrune, father showed us his collection.
p. 124 125 map of region
p. 127 7th May Angouleme to Poitiers (Vienne)
p. 128 coloured section drawing Angouleme to Poitiers
P. 129 At Poitiers with Contejean, Prof. of Geology. Visit for all to see the Prefectures collection of rocks and fossils
p. 129 8th May with Longuemar to the museum made under the Consiel General to illustrate the geological map made for economical purposes mining, pottery etc.
p. 132 Table of the length, breadth and depths of the Lakes [Lake District] derived from Miss Martineau’s guide to Lakes.


  • Creation: 27 September 1871-7 May 1872


Language of Materials



133 folios

66 Leaves

1 volume

Processing Information

Indexed and catalogued by Pamela McIntyre, Strategic Projects Archivist, January 2023.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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