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Opilio canestrinii
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Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
registered charity
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.
Autumn recording Record Grey Squirrel Record Fly Agaric
Record Ivy Bee
Record Wild Teasel
Record Sloe, Blackthorn
Record Garden Spider Record Nigma walckenaeri spider

Geology Site Account

Roots Hall Gravel Pit (site of), PRITTLEWELL, Southend District, TQ874868, Historical site only

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Former gravel pit that yielded Palaeolithic artifacts.


Site description

Southend United’s football ground was built in the 1950s on the site of a former gravel pit known as Roots Hall Pit. It was an ideal location as the long period of gravel extraction had led to a bowl shaped site. The gravel, known as Southchurch Gravel, was originally deposited as a terrace of the northward- flowing Thames-Medway River during the middle of the Ice Age. In Southend Central Museum are two flint hand-axes and some flint flakes that came from this pit. The hand-axes were found in 1914 and 1935.

The position of the pit on the gravel terrace indicates that this spot was originally on the left bank of the Thames-Medway River 380,000 years ago (the approximate age of the gravel), and the flint tools may have been lost or discarded by Neanderthal hunters while pursuing the local wildlife which then would have consisted of large mammals such as elephant and early mammoth.


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Reference: Wymer 1985 (p. 326)

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