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Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
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Geology Site Account

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Terriers Farm Well (site of), THAXTED, Uttlesford District, TL620325, Historical site only

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Site name: Terrier’s Farm Well (site of)

Grid reference: TL 620 325

Brief description of site:

Site of a borehole that revealed an extraordinary thickness of Boulder clay (also called till) that was laid down by the Anglian ice sheet.


Site details

Drilled in 1938, the Terrier's Farm Well is notable for encountering the greatest thickness of boulder clay in Essex. The well record reveals that a thickness of 48 metres (156 feet) of boulder clay is present beneath the Thaxted area.

Boulder clay, or till, was laid down by the Anglian Ice Sheet about 450,000 years ago. This ice sheet covered most of Britain as far south as Essex and was responsible for diverting the Thames to its present course.

As the ice moved it ground up and carried along pieces of the rocks over which it passed, just as glaciers and ice sheets do today, and when the ice melted this unsorted clayey residue called boulder clay was left behind. Most boulder clay was probably laid down or ‘lodged’ at the base of the moving ice sheet as the immense pressure caused the ice to melt; it is therefore sometimes referred to as ‘lodgement till’.


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Reference: Sayer and Harvey 1965 (p.38)

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