Geology Site Account
Wickham Hall Farm Sarsen Stones, Wickham St. Paul, WICKHAM ST. PAUL , Braintree District, TL82693723, Potential Local Geological Site
Site name: Wickham Hall Farm sarsen stones
Grid reference: TL 8269 3723
Brief description of site:
By the road, at the entrance to Wickham Hall Farm near All Saints Church, are several sarsen stones (the largest 180cm x 140cm x 60cm in size).
Sarsens are extremely hard boulders of sandstone formed around 55 million years ago when the climate of Britain was hot and a layer of sand 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 on the chalk downland north and west of Essex and were carried here by rivers and glaciers. After retreat of the ice they became concentrated in river valleys.
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: Lucy 2003a
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