Geology Site Account
Brick Kiln Hill Brickworks Pit, CASTLE HEDINGHAM , Braintree District, TL77263539, Potential Local Geological Site
Site name: Brick Kiln Hill Brickworks Pit
Grid reference: TL 7726 3539
Brief description of site:
One of the pits of the former Brick Kiln Hill Brickworks still exists as a area of woodland north of the lane leading west from Castle Hedingham. The pit has low vertical cliffs of iron-stained sand which is part of the Kesgrave Formation, laid down by an ancestor of the River Thames when it flowed through this area over 450,000 years ago.
The sections can just be seen from the lane but the pit is private property and permission to access is required from the land owner. The pit is used as a circuit for mountain bike users.
Whitaker (1878) described this pit when it was an active brickworks in the nineteenth century. He said that it revealed a section of 7 feet of “coarse, ferruginous sand with nodules and thin beds of ironstone here and there, and some flints and pebbles (crag or drift?)”. Below that was 6 feet of the “Basement Bed of the London Clay” consisting of “brown, sandy loam with layers of clay and a layer of fine white sand”.
Corder-Birch (2010) describes the history of the brickworks and provides extract from the 1876 Ordnance Survey map showing the pit when it was working. It closed in the early 20th century. The other pit on the south side of the lane has since been infilled.
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Reference: Corder-Birch 2010 (p. 83-86 & 117-118), Whitaker 1878 (p.30), Ryan 1999 (p. 77-78).
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