Geology Site Account
White Notley Puddingstone, WHITE NOTLEY , Braintree District, TL78801772, Potential Local Geological Site
Site name: White Notley Puddingstone
Grid reference: TL78801772
Brief description of site:
By a cottage gate is a splendid, colourful boulder of Hertfordshire puddingstone (110cm x 65cm x45cm). This boulder has been referred to in articles and books more often than any other puddingstone in Essex.
Hertfordshire Puddingstone was formed around 55 million years ago when the climate of Britain was hot and a layer of pebbles 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 in Hertfordshire, hence the name, and were probably carried to Essex by the River Thames when it flowed north of its present course. However, the distribution and abundance of Hertfordshire puddingstone in parts of Essex suggests that some occurrences may have a local Essex source.
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.
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Reference: Kenworthy 1887; Smith 1887, Lucy 2003a
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