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Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
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Hill House Sarsen Stone , RAMSEY, Tendring District, TM20142964, Potential Local Geological Site

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Single sarsen stone adjacent to a roadside wall. Sarsen stones are extremely rare in the Tendring District.


Site description

Against the boundary wall of Hill House is a sarsen stone about 1 metre high, 90 centimetres wide and just over 20 centimetres thick.

Sarsens are boulders of extremely hard sandstone that were formed about 55 million years ago during the Palaeocene period in sandy strata called the Reading Beds that occur on top of the Chalk. The stones were carried to Essex by the Anglian ice sheet which covered most of Britain during the coldest period of the Ice Age, some 450,000 years ago. Sarsens are therefore usually found in North Essex and Suffolk and it is very unusual to find one this far east.

It is obvious that this stone has been moved by humans to its present position but when and why this was done is not known. The stone was probably ploughed up from a local field. A local resident apparently claimed that it was placed against the wall so that the wheel of a cart could be wedged against it to stop the cart from rolling down the hill.

Hill House Sarsen Stone, Ramsey. Photo © Jerry Bowdrey


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Reference: Jerry Bowdrey (personal communication).

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