William Smith

"The Father of English Geology"


William Smith was born in 1769 in Churchill, where his father was a blacksmith. 
This year is the bicentenary of his geological map, published in 1815, which first established the chronological order of rock layers in the United Kingdom.
The Heritage Centre, in partnership with the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, will display a commemorative exhibition about Smith's life and work.
 Overlooked by the scientific community and his work plagiarised,
Smith was financially ruined and he spent some time in a debtors' prison. 
It was only later in his life that William Smith received the recognition that he deserved. 
Full details of William Smith's life and achievements can be found here
The Rotunda Museum in Scarborough was partly designed and established by William Smith in 1829 and has a wonderful collection of his fossils.
In March 2014, the Natural History Museum in Oxford launched William Smith Online with digital images from their William Smith Collection, his biography, a William Smith blog and more.
There are several sites in Churchill village that are connected to his life and a William Smith village map and trail is available by post (2.00 +p&p). Please email churchillheritage@gmail.com
Geological societies are always particularly interested to visit the village of Churchill and see where William Smith's love of landscape and fossils began.
Links to local societies can be found here.