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Geology Site Account

A-Z Geological Site Index

One Tree Hill Brick Pit, , Thurrock District, TQ69598610, Potential Local Geological Site

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Site name: One Tree Hill Brick Pit, Langdon Hills

Grid reference: TQ 6959 8610

Brief description of site:

One Tree Hill is one of the high points of the Langdon Hills, an area of high ground that straddles the boundary between the districts of Thurrock and Basildon. This hill is capped with Claygate Beds and an isolated patch (an outlier) of Bagshot Sand on the very highest ground. The pit was worked by the former Corringham Brick and Tile Company. The pit still exists in a fenced off area although it is much overgrown. The Bagshot Sand is sometimes visible in heaps thrown out from animal burrows. It would be possible to create a section in one of the steep banks.

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Site details:

The geology is straightforward and consists of London Clay overlain by Claygate Beds which in turn is overlain by Bagshot Sand. These rocks were laid down in a warm, subtropical sea that covered much of south-east England during the Eocene period some 50 million years ago. The Bagshot Sand is a very fine-grained yellow sand although in this pit it contains a certain amount of clay.

The geological succession of London Clay, Claygate Beds and Bagshot Sand is similar to Westley Heights nearby, and that of other high points in south Essex such as Rayleigh. The succession tells a story spanning several million years. As the sea became shallower, the clay became mixed with sand and London Clay was replaced with the sandy clay of the Claygate Beds. Sea level continued to fall and, as the coastline approached, Bagshot Sand was laid down across the county.

The brick and tile works were operating in the late 19th century and there were two tile kilns where the present toilets stand, and a light railway to take the brick earth down to the brickworks at the foot of One Tree Hill. The industry is last mentioned in 1906 and all that remains today is the large enclosed sand pit together with ponds and spoil heaps.

Langdon Hills Country Park is run by Thurrock Council’s Ranger Service. It consists of two areas: Westley Heights and One Tree Hill (see separate site record - Thurrock).



The pit on One Tree Hill showing a fine section through the Bagshot Sand. The photograph was taken in 1907. Photo © British Geological Survey (P252671).

 

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Reference: Cole 1888, Cole 1908, Wooldridge and Berdinner 1922, Ryan 1999 (page 88).

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