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Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
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Essex Field Club

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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.

Geology Site Account

A-Z Geological Site Index

Gerpins Pit, Rainham, RAINHAM, London Borough of Havering, TQ555840, Historical site only

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Site category: Palaeolithic site


Former pit that has provided information about the underlying geology and Palaeolithic archaeology. Any further significant excavations in the area should be recorded.


Site description

The great spread of Corbets Tey Gravel between Upminster and Grays, part of the Lynch Hill/Corbets Tey terrace of the Thames, rests on London Clay bedrock and has been extensively worked in numerous gravel pits. Finds of Palaeolithic hand-axes indicate that early Neanderthal hunters were living here, on the banks of a much larger Thames, when the gravel was deposited about 300,000 years ago (Marine Isotope Stages 10-8). Gerpins Pit, for example, east of Gerpins Farm, has yielded at least eight flint hand-axes.

Of particular interest at Gerpins Pit is an old record of organic deposits containing wood. This information comes from a sketch, made in 1936-7 which shows eight metres of sand above ‘submerged trees’. This may be a channel within the Corbets Tey Gravel which was filled with plant material during a later interglacial stage.


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Reference: Wymer 1985 (p.289), Bridgland 1994 (p.227).

Geology Site Map
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