Geology Site Account
Lexden Gathering Grounds , LEXDEN , Colchester District, TL966253, General geological site
Site name: Lexden Gathering Grounds
Grid reference: TL 966253
Brief description of site:
In Cooks Lane, Lexden is a ‘gathering ground’ for water from the constantly flowing springs that were used as a water source for Lexden from about 1900 until the 1970s. The source for the springs is a large plateau of glacial sand and gravel to the south-west which falls chiefly towards the main valley of the River Colne. The water was originally thrown out at the junction of the gravel and the underlying London Clay but it is now intercepted before it reaches the surface.
In the early twentieth century the gathering grounds were described in a lengthy article in the Essex Naturalist, which included a fold-out plan of the grounds (Mackworth Wood 1912). The Essex Field Club visited the site around the same time and also described the springs in detail (Cole 1912).
The site is now owned by Anglian Water, who operate a covered reservoir and treatment works nearby, and is managed by Essex Wildlife Trust as a nature reserve. The entrance to the reserve is in Cooks Lane off Cymbeline Way and is accessible at all times.
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Reference: Mackworth Wood 1912, Cole 1912, Whitaker & Thresh 1916 (p.78-79).
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