Electron microprobe analyses of 128 detrital rutile grains from two Jurassic sandstone samples (Hettangian and Bajocian–Bathonian in age) from hydrocarbon exploration wells on the Norwegian margin confirm that more than 85 % of the rutiles were derived from metapelitic rocks. Zr-in-rutile geothermometry confirms that about 83 % of the rutile was formed under high-grade metamorphism (>750 °C). Sixty-two rutile grains, including 60 of the identified high-temperature rutile population, were also analysed for U–Pb geochronology using SHRIMP. The 206Pb–238U rutile ages range from approximately 485–292 Ma, with a major cluster between 450 and 380 Ma. These data suggest that the detrital rutile was predominantly derived from a felsic source that experienced granulite-facies metamorphism about 450–380 Ma ago. This conclusion is consistent with derivation from high-grade Caledonian metasedimentary rocks, probably the Krummedal sequence in central East Greenland, as previously suggested by an earlier provenance study using conventional heavy mineral analysis, garnet geochemistry and detrital zircon age dating. The present study underscores the importance of rutile geochemistry and geochronology in quantitative single-mineral provenance analysis of clastic sedimentary rocks.