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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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Nether House Farm Sarsen Stones, WICKHAM ST. PAUL , Braintree District, TL83923654, Potential Local Geological Site

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Site category: Boulders - sarsen

Site name: Nether House Farm Sarsen Stones, Wickham St. Paul

Grid reference: TL 8392 3654

Brief description of site:

Two fine sarsen stones either side of the entrance to Nether House Farm.

Summary of geological interest

At either side of the entrance to Nether House Farm are two fine sarsen stones. The largest (150cm x 120cm x 30cm) stands in an upright position. The smaller stone (120cm x 60cm x 40cm) has a fine mammillated surface on both sides. It is the best example known from north Essex.

Sarsens are extremely hard boulders of sandstone formed around 55 million years ago when the climate of Britain was hot and a layer of sand 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 probably originated on the chalk downland of south Cambridgeshire and after retreat of the ice they became concentrated in river valleys such as The Stour.

The remarkable 'mammilated' surfaces are called ‘growth structures’ which were formed as the quartz slowly crystallised between the sand grains.

The farm is private property and the stones can only be viewed from the road.


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