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Essex Field Club
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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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Tye Green Kettle Hole, TYE GREEN, Uttlesford District, TL53742377, Historical site only

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Site category: Interglacial deposit

Site name: Tye Green Kettle Hole

Grid reference: TL 5374 2377

Brief description of site:

Excavations for the Stansted Airport railway in 1989 revealed the presence of a depression filled with organic sediments dating from the Hoxnian interglacial stage about 400,000 years old. The depression has been interpreted as a 'kettle hole', formed by melting ice at the end of the Anglian glacial stage.



The public footpath from Tye Green to Warmans Farm passes around the rim of the north portal of the Stansted Airport railway tunnel. Prior to construction of the railway in 1989, trial boreholes along the proposed route of the tunnel revealed the presence of a deep depression in the boulder clay which was filled with black organic sediments dating from the Hoxnian interglacial stage (400,000 years old). The edge of the depression was exposed by the excavations for the tunnel entrance and it yielded interglacial fossils. This feature has been interpreted as a ‘kettle hole’ dating back to the time of the Anglian Ice Sheet some 450,000 years ago (Boreham et al. 1999).

Kettle holes are depressions created by the melting of blocks of stagnant ice left behind by the retreat of a glacier or ice sheet, in this case the Anglian Ice sheet that covered north Essex 450,000 years ago.

Photo of the section at the north portal excavations at Tye Green, Stansted. Photo © Steve Boreham.


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Reference: Boreham et al. 1999.

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