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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

Hazel End Sarsen Stone, FARNHAM, Uttlesford District, TL49502441, Potential Local Geological Site

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Site category: Boulders - sarsen

Site name: Hazel End Sarsen Stone

Grid reference: TL 4950 2441

Brief description of site:

Large sarsen stone on the grass traffic island in the centre of the village of Hazel End. Part of the stone is Hertfordshire puddingstone. A few yards away, by the pond, is another sarsen stone.



On the grass in the centre of Hazel End is a large sarsen stone 1.30 x 1.1 x 0.5 metres in size with a thick band of pebbles running through the centre. This stone was originally positioned by the roadside closer to Farnham, having been recovered from a farmer's field in the 1990s. It was moved to this position at Hazel End around 2017. It now stands upright with about 30 centimetres of the stone beneath the ground.

A few yards away, by the pond, is another sarsen stone (1 x 0.74 x 0.25 metres in size) lying flat on the grass and containing a root hole.

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.

Hazel End sarsen stone (Photo: Mike Howgate)


Hazel End Sarsen stone (smaller) with root hole
Hazel End Sarsen stone (smaller) with root hole
Hazel End Sarsen Stone (detail)
Hazel End Sarsen Stone (detail)

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Reference: Lucy 2003a

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