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Hill House Sarsen Stone , RAMSEY, Tendring District, TM20142964, Potential Local Geological Site

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Site category: Boulders - sarsen

Site name: Hill House Sarsen Stone

Grid reference: TM 2014 2964

Brief description of site:

Single sarsen stone adjacent to a roadside wall. Sarsen stones are extremely rare in the Tendring District.


Summary of geological interest

Against the boundary wall of Hill House is a sarsen stone about 1 metre high, 90 centimetres wide and just over 20 centimetres thick.

Sarsens are boulders of extremely hard sandstone that were formed about 55 million years ago during the Palaeocene period in sandy strata called the Reading Beds that occur on top of the Chalk.

Most sarsen stones in Essex were carried here by the Anglian ice sheet which covered most of Britain during the coldest period of the Ice Age, some 450,000 years ago. Sarsens are usually found in North Essex and Suffolk and it is unusual to find one this far east. It is possible that this stone was carried here from the North Downs of Kent by the River Medway.

It is obvious that this stone has been moved by humans to its present position but when and why this was done is not known. The stone was probably ploughed up from a local field. A local resident apparently claimed that it was placed against the wall so that the wheel of a cart could be wedged against it to stop the cart from rolling down the hill.

Hill House Sarsen Stone, Ramsey. Photo © Jerry Bowdrey


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Reference: Jerry Bowdrey (personal communication).

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