Geology Site Account
Great Clacton sarsen stone (unlocated), GREAT CLACTON , Tendring District, General information
The geologist A.E. Salter, in his landmark paper 'Sarsen, basalt and other boulders in Essex', published in the Essex Naturalist in 1914, referred to a large erratic boulder at Great Clacton but its precise location is not known. He described it as a sarsen stone 4’x3’x1’ in size and so it should be possible to establish its whereabouts. Apart from the sarsen stone at Ramsey, this is the only other natural erratic boulder known from the Tendring district.
Sarsens are boulders of extremely hard sandstone that were formed in the Reading Beds, 60 million year old sandy deposits from the Palaeocene period that occur on top of the Chalk. The sarsens in north Essex were carried from the Chilterns by ice and by the Thames during the Ice Age but is difficult to imagine that a boulder this size could have been carried this far east by the Thames. It is equally difficult to believe that it could have been transported north from the North Downs of Kent by the River Medway. This boulder is therefore of scientific interest in the context of reconstructing the history of the evolution of the landscape of north-east Essex.
Searching for the stone would make an interesting project for a local school or society.
if you have an image please upload it
Reference: Salter 1914 (p. 195)
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