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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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Park Farm Road Interglacial Site, CORBETS TEY, London Borough of Havering, TQ54978504, Historical site only

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Site category: Interglacial deposit

Temporary exposure of fossiliferous deposits during sewer excavations. Further excavations in the vicinity could yield further fossils.


Site description

In July 1974 an excavation for a sewer on the north side of Park Farm Road, Corbets Tey produced a heap of sandy clay containing fossil shells. Fortunately the employee of the company carrying out the work was also an amateur geologist and he noticed that the material, which came out of an adjacent 8.5 metre (25 foot) deep shaft, was of considerable interest as it also contained bones of fish and the remains of beetles and plants. This discovery was therefore quickly notified to the Passmore Edwards Museum in Stratford and a suite of fossils was collected and other information quickly recorded by the Museum before the site was lost.

Corbets Tey is situated on the Lynch Hill/Corbets Tey terrace of the Thames which consists of mostly flint gravel. What had been discovered was the contents of a channel that had been cut by the Thames through this gravel. The species present indicate that they were living during a warm interglacial period, the fossils providing a tiny snapshot of the wildlife in Havering during this part of the Ice Age.

The exact age of the interglacial period represented here is not entirely clear but it is thought to be at least 300,000 years old (Marine Isotope Stages 10-8) . This channel may have some connection with others also found by chance at Upminster (see separate site record).


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Reference: Ward 1984, Bridgland 1995 (p.227).

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