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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.

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Catmere End Sarsen Stone , CATMERE END, Uttlesford District, TL49733886, Potential Local Geological Site

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Site name: Catmere End Sarsen Stone

Grid reference: TL 4973 3886

Brief description of site:

Very large sarsen stone by the roadside at Catmere End.

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Details

A very large sarsen stone 2.1 x 1.2 x 0.55 metres (7 feet x 4 feet x 2 feet) in size sits in the long grass by the crossroads at Catmere End.

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.



Measuring the sarsen stone at Catmere End. Photo: R.Lucy

 

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Reference: Salter 1914, Lucy 2003a

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