The rocks of the Belfast Hills are literally the foundation of this special area. Not only do they form the solid ground that makes up the hills, they have influenced the flow of water, the types of settlement, the plants that grow there, the industry of each particular site, the place names and ultimately the people that live here.

Often concealed by the hustle and bustle of the city, the true story of the beginnings of the Belfast Hills is surprisingly easy to find once you know where to look. Telling the story of searing hot deserts and tropical seas, lands of fire and ice wastelands, the geology of the Belfast Hills is intense and dramatic, so come and discover the hidden landscapes that lie beneath your feet.

The stratigraphic column (below) represents geological time with the oldest rocks at the bottom and the youngest rocks at the top. Rocks found on the Belfast Hills are marked with an asterisk (*).

Geology Timeline

Geological Code of Conduct

Please help us to look after the geological heritage of the Belfast Hills and NEVER damage or remove any rocks or fossils from the outcrops. All of the rocks have been here for millions of years so please leave them for future generations to enjoy.

Geology Timeline:

Go FORWARD to the Triassic Period
Triassic Period Thumbnail