Geology Site Account
Brentwood Brickworks, BRENTWOOD, Brentwood District, TQ586932, Potential Local Geological Site
Brentwood Brickworks Pit (disused)
Former brickworks pit that has revealed a remarkable number of fossils over a period of over 80 years. The walls of the pit are now completely obscured by vegetation, the floor of the quarry being occupied by numerous industrial units. However, there is still the potential for new finds to be made if any further excavations are carried out. The pit is a former geological SSSI.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the Brentwood Brick and Tile Company operated a large clay pit exposing London Clay (Division 5), Claygate Beds and Bagshot Sand. The sections exposed were very fossiliferous and historically important and as such were the subject of numerous geological excursions by the Geologists’ Association and the Tertiary Research Group between 1890 and 1973. Berdinner (1925) gives a geological section visible while the pit was working.
Kirby (1975) and Bristow et al (1980) provides a list of the fossils that have been found. They include 46 species of mollusc, three species of shark, a crab, lobster and bird bone. The bird bone was found by B.E. Brett and is now in the Natural History Museum.
The brickworks dates back to at least 1878 when it was advertised in the Kelly's Directory or that year.
Brentwood Brickworks Pit was a geological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) until it was denotified under Natural England's Geological Conservation Review in the late 1980s.
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Reference: Berdinner 1925, Boswell 1915 (p.225-226), Bristow et al. 1980, Collinson 1983 (p.10), Ellison 2004 (p.48), Kirby 1975, Middlemiss 1955.
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