Essex Field Club on Facebook

Video about the Club Essex Field Club video

Chrysotoxum verralli
find out more... Chrysotoxum verralli Copyright: Su Reed

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

Copperas Bay and Copperas Wood, RAMSEY , Tendring District, TM199312, Historical site only

show OS map  show polygon    

Site category: Building or wall

Site name: Copperas Bay and Copperas Wood

Grid reference: TM 199312 (entrance to the reserve)

Summary of geological interest

Site of historical interest only. The copperas industry is commemorated in the name of Copperas Wood and Copperas Bay. Copperas Wood is an Essex Wildlife Trust reserve and also a biological SSSI. Grid reference is the entrance to the reserve.


Site description

The copperas industry was an important industry in eighteenth century Essex. It involved gathering of pyrite nodules (known as ‘copperas stones’) from beaches, where they had been washed out of the London Clay, and then allowing them to oxidise for several months in open vats. This lengthy and hazardous industrial process converted the nodules to ferrous sulphate (green vitriol), which was an essential chemical for making dyes, ink, and several industrial chemicals such as sulphuric acid. Women and children were employed to gather the nodules from the beaches and were paid in ‘copperas tokens’.

A copperas works is marked as ‘Copperas House’ on the 1882 geological map (based on an 1838 original plate) and the exact site may have been where Copperas Wood Farm now is (TM 204 318).


if you have an image please upload it

Reference: George 1991, Leach 1999, Allen et al. 2004, Page 1907 (p.411-412).

Geology Site Map
A-Z Geological Site Index