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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

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Knighton Wood, WOODFORD WELLS, London Borough of Redbridge, TQ409930, General geological site

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Site category: Thames (pre-diversion)


Site of geological interest with potential for promotion of geology. The boundary between the London Borough of Redbridge and the Essex district of Epping Forest passes through this site dividing it into Lords Bushes (in Essex) and Knighton Wood (in London). The geology revealed by any significant excavations in the wood should be recorded.


Site description

Lord's Bushes and Knighton wood are areas of adjoining oak and hornbeam woodland partly in Essex and partly in The London Borough of Redbridge. The woodland sits on an extensive patch of what is known as Woodford Gravel, the origin of which is not entirely clear. The proportion of angular and rounded flint, and in particular of other rock types such as Lower Greensand chert from The Weald, indicate that it was deposited by a northward¬flowing river. This theory is supported by the fact that there are other patches of Woodford Gravel in the vicinity and they decline in elevation northwards. It therefore appears that the Woodford Gravel was deposited by a river flowing from what is now the Weald of Surrey northwards across East London to join the Thames which at that time flowed across north Essex and Suffolk. When this river was in existence is very difficult to determine but it was probably over 700,000 years ago.

Lord’s Bushes and Knighton Wood are owned by the management of Epping Forest and are accessible at all times.

A bank of gravel on the side of the lake in Knighton Wood. The gravel was probably deposited over 700,000 years ago by a northward-flowing tributary of the ancient pre-diversion Thames. Photo: G. Lucy


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Reference: Gibbard 1995 (p.12), Ellison 2004 (p.54-57).

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