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Maggots End (Pinchpools) Puddingstone, MANUDEN, Uttlesford District, TL490276, General geological site

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Site category: Boulders - puddingstone

Site name: Maggots End (Pinchpools) Puddingstone

Grid reference: TL 490276

Brief description of site:

One kilometre north of the village of Manuden, at the junction of the road to Pinchpools, originally stood a one metre (3’3”) square boulder of Hertfordshire puddingstone in a publicly-accessible position by the roadside. The boulder has unfortunately now been moved by the farmer to the yard of Pinchpools Farm.

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Details

Hertfordshire Puddingstone was formed around 55 million years ago when the climate of Britain was hot and a layer of pebbles 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 in Hertfordshire, hence the name, and were probably carried to Essex by the River Thames when it flowed north of its present course. However, the distribution and abundance of Hertfordshire puddingstone in parts of Essex suggests that some occurrences may have a local Essex source.

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.



The Maggots End Puddingstone in its former position by the roadside. It has now been moved to the yard of Pinchpools Farm.

 

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Reference: Lucy 2003a

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