Geology Site Account
St. Mary's Church, Steeple Bumpstead, STEEPLE BUMPSTEAD, Uttlesford District, TL67894105, Historical site only
Site name: St. Mary's Church, Steeple Bumpstead
Grid reference: TL 6789 4105
Brief description of site:
A nineteenth century tomb-chest in St. Mary's Church has cut and polished stone panels made from a septarian nodule thought to have been found locally. Very few examples of cut and polished septarian nodules are known in Essex buildings.
An early nineteenth century tomb-chest in the south isle of St. Mary's Church exhibits cut and polished panels made from a local rock type, namely a septarian nodule. It is thought that the original nodule was found locally in the boulder clay, either from a pit or a nearby field.
Septarian nodules such as these are from the Kimmeridge Clay of Cambridgeshire and were brought south to Essex by ice during the Anglian glacial stage, about 450,000 years ago. Similar panels can be seen surrounding a fire place in Saffron Walden Museum which was built in 1834.
The tomb was erected in 1834 by George William Gent in memory of his father, George Gent. The archives of Saffron Walden Natural History Society, which founded the Museum, lists a G.W. Gent as a member in 1845.
The main material used to face the monument is a grey, streaked marble, which is probably Italian.
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Reference: Howgate 2015
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