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Geology Site Account

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Roslings Stone, CHELMSFORD, Chelmsford District, TL68690832, General geological site

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Site category: Boulders - other types

Site name: Roslings Stone

Grid reference: TL 6869 0832

Brief description of site:

Glacial erratic boulder of pale grey quartzite (not thought to be a sarsen stone) lies beneath a fence on the east side of Chignall Road a few yards north of the junction with Melbourne Avenue. It is half exposed on the grass verge and half in the garden of a private house. It is approximately 140 cm x 120 cm in size. The stone is of geological and historical interest as the origin of the stone was recorded.

Details:

The Proceedings of the Geologists' Association (Holmes 1895) records a visit by the Association to Chelmsford on 8th June 1895 when the party inpects 'a sarsen stone of considerable size at the entrance to the grounds of Mr. Rosling's house, between 300 and 400 yards north of the pit in glacial gravel at Writtle Wick, from which it had been derived'. Mr. Rosling's house appears to have been next to Melbourne Farm and these properties, together with the Writtle Wick gravel pit, are shown on late 19th century OS maps.

Some years later, Salter, in his paper on Essex Boulders (Salter 1914), refers to this boulder as follows: 'Beside Rosling's gate at Melbourne is a large sarsen with an irregular quadrangular base, the sides being 23", 36", 42", and 42" respectively. It was obtained from the pit at Writtle Wick in which another can be seen in situ'.

All this land, and the site of the gravel pit, is now occupied by housing. The present boulder is in the correct position at the site of Rosling's gate, but it doesn't quite match Salter's description in terms of size. It is also not thought to be a sarsen stone although it does resemble one.

See 19th century map (right) for the position of Roslings boulder and the Writtle Wick gravel pit.

 

1898 OS Map showing the Writtle Wick Gravel Pit
1898 OS Map showing the Writtle Wick Gravel Pit

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Reference: Holmes 1895, Salter 1914

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