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Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
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no 1113963
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Geology Site Account

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Rams Farm sarsen stone , FORDHAM , Colchester District, TL93472889, Potential Local Geological Site

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Site name: Rams Farm sarsen stone, Fordham

Grid reference: TL 9347 2889

Brief description of site: At Rams Farm, Fordham is a fine sarsen stone standing upright by the roadside.



The Rams Farm sarsen stone is 130cm x 110cm x 50cm in size. The boulder was moved to its present position in the 1960s. This may be the stone at Fordham referred to by Salter in 1914 ‘in a roadside bank’.

Sarsens are extremely hard boulders of sandstone formed around 55 million years ago when the climate of Britain was hot and a layer of sand beneath the surface of the ground became cemented with quartz. They are thus very resistant to erosion and have survived the rigours of the Ice Age. They originated on the chalk downland north and west of Essex and were carried here by rivers and glaciers. After retreat of the ice they became concentrated in river valleys.

The formation of silcretes (which includes sarsens and puddingstones) has been the subject of recent scientific debate. Research has compared the conditions under which sarsens and puddingstones may have been formed with the present day climate in the Kalahari Desert and parts of Australia.

The sarsen stone outside Rams Farm, Fordham. Photo: G.Lucy


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Reference: Anon. 2000a, Salter 1914 (p. 196), Lucy 2003a.

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