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St Peters Church boulders, THUNDERSLEY, Castle Point District, TQ78358865, Potential Local Geological Site

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Site category: Boulders - sarsen

Site name: St. Peter's Church Boulders

Grid reference: TQ 7835 8865

Brief description of site:

A large sarsen boulder can be seen near the church with a smaller one in the church porch. These boulders have been here for a very long time and were brought here from Kent, probably over a million years ago, by the River Medway.

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Summary of geological interest

A couple of hundred metres north of Coombe Wood is St. Peter's Church, which has a steeply-sloping churchyard and a fine view to the west. This is a good place to appreciate the remarkable amount of uplift of the land and river erosion that has taken place over the last few hundred thousand years. In response to this uplift the Thames and its tributaries have carved the modern valley leaving remnants of high ground here as the Rayleigh Hills and also further west as the Langdon Hills.

Two fine sarsen stones that were recorded here in the 1930s can still be seen today. One is under a hedge next to Church Road, on the north-east corner of St. Peter’s Church Hall (68 x 42 centimetres in size) and the other is situated in the church porch. The latter stone was apparently discovered while digging a grave around the time of the First World War. These stones must have originated from the Chalk landscape of Kent and brought here by the River Medway, perhaps over a million years ago.



A large (68 x 42 centimetre) sarsen stone near the corner of St. Peter’s Church Hall, Thundersley. This boulder, despite its large size, was carried here from Kent by the River Medway probably over a million years ago. Photo © Jeff Saward

 

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