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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

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Highwood Gravel Quarry, GREAT EASTON, Uttlesford District, TL597226, General geological site

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Site category: Thames (pre-diversion)

Site name: Highwood Gravel Quarry, Great Easton, near Dunmow

Grid reference: TL 597 226

Brief description of site:

Highwood Quarry is a working gravel quarry with exposures of Kesgrave (Thames) Sands and Gravels overlain by a thickness of boulder clay (till).

The quarry is private and access is only available with the permission of the quarry operators.



Highwood Quarry is working the Kesgrave Sands and Gravels (Kesgrave Formation) which were laid down during the early Ice Age by the River Thames when it flowed through north Essex and Suffolk and out across what is now the southern North Sea to become a tributary of the Rhine.

Interesting erratic cobbles and boulders occur in the gravels, including 'exotic' rocks from Cornwall and North Wales (see Lucy 1999).

Above the Kesgrave Formation is a thickness of boulder clay, or till, which was laid down on top of these gravels about 450,000 years ago by an ice sheet during the Anglian glaciation, the most severe cold period of the whole of the Ice Age (Allen 1999).

Highwood Quarry in 2016 (Photo: Ros Smith)


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Reference: Lucy 1999

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