A GROUNDBREAKING 200-year-old map which changed the way geology was recorded has gone on display at Dudley Museum.

The exhibition, entitled ‘William Smith: Colours beneath your feet’, runs until September 19 and tells the tale of the map and the story of the man who created it.

William Smith was born in Churchill, Oxfordshire, in 1769, and it was his passion for geology which led to him creating a map which would have commercial use for engineers, farmers, foresters, builders and miners.

He created 410 copies in a variety of formats, including sheet maps, a mounted canvas version and a travelling version – which is on display at Dudley Museum.

Dudley Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, cabinet member responsible for museums, said: “With Dudley’s wonderful geological heritage it is entirely proper that this revolutionary map should begin its birthday celebrations in Dudley.

“Colours beneath your feet celebrates the life and achievements of a remarkable man who went from truly humble beginnings to become recognised as the ‘father of English geology’.

“The map he created is a truly beautiful piece of work in its own right, besides being a groundbreaking geological study.

“We are so lucky to have it on display at Dudley Museum and I hope that local people view it and are inspired to find out more about our own geological heritage.”

The museum, in St James’ Road, is open 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday and admission is free.