Keyworth Core Store

The BGS operates the largest core facility in the UK at Keyworth, Nottingham. It has recently been extended and now has space for over 18 000 pallets of drillcore and 80 000 trays of samples, weighing up to 10 000 tons.

Drillcore is usually held as metre long sticks in boxes. Some of the older cores were broken up into individually registered specimens, frequently exhibiting the fossils used for dating the samples.

The collections contain over a million individual specimens. There are also extensive collections of 'cuttings' (rock fragments recovered from the drilling).

Pallets of drillcore are retrieved using a forklift, which ensures they remain horizontal at all times.

Visiting the core store

Core store extension

The majority of borehole cores and samples are available for study and sub-sampling by bona fide academics and commercial companies. Copies of the regulations and access forms are available from

Commercial companies are charged for access; academics will need to complete an academic waiver form.

Boreholes may be selected using our online GIS facility GeoIndex or our Borehole materials database.

The online database also provides information on available sample depths and types.

For all Core Store Materials Enquiries including visitor bookings and available dates etc. email:

Other facilities


In addition to the core examination laboratories, other facilities are available by arrangement:

  • Wi-Fi internet access
  • slide viewing, including microphotography
  • well logs on CD or microfiche — other well reports may be available
  • core photography in a specialist studio by professional photographer
  • restaurant
  • scanning electron microscope and analytical laboratories

Contact Materials Collections

For further information contact Materials collections