From 1798 until 1810 Tucking Mill was the home of English geologist William Smith (1769 – 1839), who posthumously became known as the “Father of English Geology” after being credited with creating the first nationwide geological map and collating the geological history of England and Wales into a single record. There is a plaque on Tucking Mill Cottage, just a stone’s throw from Tucking Mill View, saying that it was Smith’s home, which was erected in 1888. However it is now believed Smith lived just up the road at Tucking Mill House instead.
The best-selling author Simon Winchester wrote of William Smith in his book The Map that Changed the World. He says:
“In the summer of 1815 an extraordinary hand-painted map was published in London. Some eight feet tall and six feet wide, brightly coloured – in sea-blue, green, brght yellow, orange, umber – it presented England and Wales in a beguiling and unfamiliar mixture of lines and patches and stippled shapes. It was the product of one man’s obsession with rocks, a passion that sustained him whilst the rest of his life slid into ruin.”
This fascinating man couldn’t have picked a finer place to begin his geological legacy. The surroundings of Tucking Mill, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty, is full of rolling hills, countryside walks and fine English pubs. Anyone with an affection for nature will love it in William Smith’s historic home. Whether you’re staying in Brooks’ View, Fishermen’s Retreat or Tucking Mill View, each property is just seconds from where Smith once lived in a truly inspiring landscape.
William Smith’s famous geological map of Great Britain
HOGG – The History of Geology Group
Visitors who come to our cottages for William Smith are welcome from all walks of life but we’re particularly pleased to regularly welcome visitors from the History of Geology Group, which is affiliated with the Geological Society of London.
The HOGG exists to encourage interest in the lives and works of those scientists and philosophers who influenced both the study and the practice of geology. It was set up in 1994 and is open to anyone with an interest in the subject.
The chairman is currently Tom Sharpe, assisted by vice chair Geoffrey Walton and secretary Chris Duffin.