A brief history of research into the unusual laminated and spherulitic East Kirkton Limestone (Brigantian, Viséan) is given. It documents the paucity of fossil finds until 1984, when S. P. Wood discovered a previously unsuspected terrestrial biota. Some early finds, such as stromatolites, have since been overlooked, while others were misinterpreted, e.g. a ‘fish-bone’ collected before 1870 proves to be amphibian. A formal lithostratigraphic description is given of the three beds that comprise the c. 15 m sequence in East Kirkton Quarry: the East Kirkton Limestone, overlain by Little Cliff Shale and Geikie Tuff, the latter two being here formally named. Lithological descriptions and a unit-by-unit distribution of major elements of the biota are provided for a measured section comprising 88 units. This is based on bed-by-bed excavations carried out 1985-92, supplemented by nine boreholes. Two 3 m-thick massive limestones lenses are recorded from the quarry and a probable third was proved in a borehole. Brief reports are given on the ‘stromatolites’ (by M. R. Walter), bivalve molluscs (R. M. C. Eagar and R. B. Wilson), ostracods (J. Pollard) and gypsum pseudomorphs.