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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 open today

In January we are only open to the public at our centre at Wat Tyler Country Park 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

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St. Michaels Viewpoint, PITSEA, Basildon District, TQ73858777, General geological site

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St. Michael's Viewpoint


Prominent London Clay hill with landslips.


Site description

Landslips are common between here and One Tree Hill (TQ 705 865) due to the steep slopes that represent an abandoned River Thames cliff line. The geology is London Clay, which is prone to landslipping on slopes exceeding 8 degrees. St. Michael’s Hill consists of London Clay with slopes of 9 to 10 degrees, which is too steep to ensure stability. All around the hill are cracked paths as the ground continues to move. It may take thousands of years for the hill to achieve a stable profile.

On the summit of the hill was St. Michael’s Church. The original church was rebuilt in 1871, retaining the 15th Century tower, and was still in use for services in the early 1970s, but it was later abandoned and became vandalised. The nave and chancel were finally demolished in 1998. The tower was spared and is now a prominent landmark.

The hill is an example of landslipped ground, with fine views over the modern Thames Valley including Wat Tyler Country Park and the creeks of Vange Marshes. It is a reminder of one of the processes that have shaped, and continue to shape, the surface of the Earth.


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Reference: Hutchinson 1965 (p.9), Lake et al. 1986 (p.53).

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