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Bryotropha terrella
find out more... Bryotropha terrella Copyright: Ben Sale

Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
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EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkIn January we are only open to the public at our centre at Wat Tyler Country Park on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.
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Geology Site Account

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Harlow Common M11 motorway cutting, HARLOW COMMON, Harlow District, TL483087, Historical site only

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Temporary exposure of fossiliferous deposits. Further excavations in the vicinity could yield further fossils.


Site description

At Harlow Common, at the eastern end of the Harlow district, construction of the M11 motorway required the excavation of a deep cutting, which was crossed by a bridge carrying the road to Foster Street. The work was carried out between September 1973 and June 1974 and the sides of the cutting and the drainage trenches revealed an excellent exposure of London Clay containing many fossils.

Numerous marine shells were found, such as gastropods and bivalves, together with other fossils such as the teeth of fish. Fruits from rainforest trees that grew along the shores of the sub-tropical London Clay Sea were also found which included the palm tree Nipa burtini. Fossils from the London Clay are some 50 million years old and are from a time when the climate of Essex was considerably warmer than the present day.

The fossils from this site are in the collections of the Essex Field Club (originally in the former Passmore Edwards Museum, Stratford).


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Reference: Ward 1978.

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