Essex Field Club on Facebook

Video about the Club Essex Field Club video

Noctua pronuba
find out more... Large Yellow Underwing 5 Copyright: Ben Sale

Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
registered charity
no 1113963
HLF Logo A-Z Page Index


Essex Field Club

When you shop at Amazon DonatesAmazon Donates

Visit Our Centre

EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are closed due to the Covid-19 situation, but we are otherwise normally open to the public at our centre at Wat Tyler Country Park every Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday 11am-4pm, check. We are also normally open on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.

Geology Site Account

A-Z Geological Site Index

Billericay Railway Cutting, BILLERICAY, Basildon District, TQ67659495, Historical site only

show OS map  show polygon    

Site category: London Clay, Claygate or Bagshot Beds

Site name: Billericay Railway Cutting

Grid reference: TQ 6765 9495

Brief description of site:

Disused railway cutting. Formerly with magnificent exposures of Claygate Beds and Bagshot Sand. Historical site only.



The town of Billericay sits on a ridge of Bagshot Sand, underlain by Claygate Beds. This pattern is typical of many of the hill tops in south Essex, most notably the Langdon Hills, but Billericay is a good example with the High Street running along the ridge. This ridge was cut through for the construction of the railway in 1887 and the resulting cutting, nearly 20 metres (60 feet) deep, produced one of the finest sections through the Bagshot Sand ever encountered in Essex; the entire excavation being dug by hand.

In August 1887, during the excavations, the cutting was visited by the well-known geologist William Whitaker who observed that despite a long period of drought, the junction between the Bagshot Sand and the underlying Claygate Beds was wet and the quantity of water thrown out had given much trouble, necessitating drainage work. Whitaker also noted that the junction was not a sharp line but a passage between the clayey sand of the Claygate Beds below and the fine, soft, buff sand of the Bagshot Sand above.

The deep railway cutting at Billericay in the early twentieth century. The photograph was taken from the Stock Road bridge looking east. There is considerably more vegetation in the cutting today. Photo © Essex Record Office: Spalding Collection.


if you have an image please upload it

Reference: Whitaker 1889 (p.277).

Geology Site Map
A-Z Geological Site Index