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Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
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no 1113963
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EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are normally open to the public at our centre at Wat Tyler Country Park every Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday 11am-4pm, check. We are also open on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.
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Geology Site Account

Kingley Wood road cutting (A127), THUNDERSLEY, Castle Point District, TQ794898, Historical site only

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Kingley Wood road cutting (A127)

Temporary exposure of fossiliferous deposits during road excavations. Further excavations in the vicinity could yield further fossils and should be reported.


Site description

Construction of the A127 Southend Arterial road in the 1920s entailed digging a deep cutting through the high ground of the Rayleigh Hills. The cutting, just west of the Rayleigh Weir underpass, was dug through the sandy clay of the Claygate Beds and during the course of the work a layer of clay was found that was particularly rich in fossils.

The Claygate Beds occur above the London Clay and their sandy nature indicates a shallowing of the London Clay Sea some 50 million years ago. The engineer on site at the time is reported to have said that the thin, fossiliferous layer was at the base of the cutting, at the highest point of the road. Among the several species of fossil mollusc found was a pearly nautilus, a creature that lives today in the Indian Ocean. Shark teeth were also found including Otodus obliquus, an ancestor of the great white shark.

Fossils from the Kingley Wood cutting form part of the Essex Field Club's geological collection.


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Reference: Wooldridge & Berdinner 1925 (p. 113 & 118), Bristow et al 1980 (p.275).

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