Essex Field Club on Facebook

Video about the Club

Cucullia umbratica
find out more... Shark 3 Copyright: Ben Sale

Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
registered charity
no 1113963
HLF Logo A-Z Page Index

Visit Our Centre

EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are open today

We are normally open to the public at our centre at Wat Tyler Country Park every Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday 11am-4pm. We are also open on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.
Autumn recording Record Grey Squirrel Record Fly Agaric
Record Ivy Bee
Record Wild Teasel
Record Sloe, Blackthorn
Record Garden Spider Record Nigma walckenaeri spider

Geology Site Account


Bordeaux Pit, LITTLE CHESTERFORD , Uttlesford District, TL513413, Potential Local Geological Site

 
 
hide/show OS map  

Site name: Bordeaux Pit

Grid reference: TL 513 413

Brief description of site:

The former Bordeaux Pit, just south of Little Chesterford, is now a fishing lake but when it was working it yielded flint tools in association with the bones of mammoth and woolly rhinoceros. Any further excavations on this site could yield further fossils and artefacts.

----------------------------------------

Details

In Bordeaux Pit, a flooded gravel pit just south of Little Chesterford, flint tools have been found in association with the bones of mammoth and woolly rhinoceros. The bones and flints were found in the early years of the twentieth century in an iron-stained gravel at the base of the pit. They cannot be accurately dated but there is no doubt that the tools were made by Neanderthal hunters at least 80,000 years ago. A worn flint hand axe, which is probably much older, was also found in the pit and this can now be seen in Saffron Walden Museum. The presence of mammoth and woolly rhinoceros, and certain species of freshwater shells in the gravel, indicate a cold climate.

A note in the Essex Naturalist in 1921 states that “in the last two years” a pelvis of an adult mammoth was obtained from the Bordeaux Pit but it was in too fragile a state to be preserved. It states that a photograph was taken of the specimen in situ. The note also states that in the Spring of 1921 several mammoth teeth and fragments of a tusk were also found (Morris 1921).

In 1909 an account was published of the far-travelled glacial erratic boulders of the Cambridge district and it lists 22 specimens from the Chesterford area, including three rock types of Scandinavian origin. This includes the classic rhomb-porphyry which only occurs in the Oslo district of Norway. The specimens were collected from surface field walking and from gravel pits operating at the time, including Bordeaux Pit (Rastall and Romanes 1909).

Sparks (1955) provides a good description of the site and includes a plan of the pit as it was in 1952 showing the spot where the mammoth remains were found.

The pit is now a fishing lake.



Bordeaux Pit in 1930. The boulders in the foreground are glacial erratics from the lower part of the Gravel Bed and are of quartzite, igneous and other rocks derived from as far away as Scandinavia. Photo © British Geological Survey (P205249).

 

if you have an image please upload it


Reference: Rastall and Romanes 1909, Osborne White 1932 (p.90-92), McKenny Hughes 1916 (p.6), Morris 1921, Sparks 1955, Wymer 1985 (p.188), Whitaker et al. 1878 (p.71).

Geology Site Map
A-Z Geological Site Index