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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

Lion Gorge (previously known as Lion Pit), CHAFFORD HUNDRED, Thurrock District, TQ599785, Notified Local Geological Site

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Site name: Lion Gorge (previously known as Lion Pit) (part of Chafford Gorges Nature Park)

Grid reference: TQ 599785

Brief description of site:

Former chalk quarry with impressive exposures of chalk. Site of geological interest with potential for promoting geology. Part of Chafford Gorges Nature Park.

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Site description

The large flooded chalk quarry to the south of Warren Lane, South Stifford, was formerly the Lion Cement Works. The works opened in 1874 and in 1900 became part of the adjacent Wouldham Works (see above) when the two quarries were linked together by a gap in the chalk cliff. Lion Pit is also linked to the adjacent Warren Pit to the north by a tunnel (now gated) under Warren Lane. Clay, the other essential ingredient of Portland cement, was originally brought to the works by river but from 1930 London Clay was piped here as a slurry from South Ockendon. By 1976 all quarrying had ceased at Wouldham and the works were closed.

The quarry now contains a fishing lake and is much overgrown with vegetation but the original benches where chalk was worked by hand and with steam shovels can still be seen. The quarry is now part of the Chafford Gorges Nature Park which is managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust. A path runs through the quarry from the old Wouldham pit south to Philip Sydney Road. At the southern end of quarry is the Lion Pit Tramway Cutting (see separate site record) which is an important geological site in its own right.

Lion Pit has now been renamed Lion Gorge. It is part of Chafford Gorges Nature Park and is managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust.



View of Lion Gorge from the embankment on Philip Sydney Road. Photo: G.Lucy

 

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Reference: Christy 1907 (p.492 & 493), Powell 1983 (p. 66), Lucy 2009.

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