Excursion to Bishop's Stortford, Saturday, June 10th, 1011 - Geologists' Association excursion

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Geologists' Association Circular No. 133. Session 1910–1911. p.7-9[edit]

Excursion to Bishop's Stortford, Saturday, June 10th, 1011. (Transcription from GA Circular No. 133. Session 1910–1911. p.7-9)[edit]



Leave Liverpool Street 1.24 p.m.; due Bishop's Stortford 2.34. Meet Excursion Secretary in Main line Booking Office not later than 1.5. Trains must be verified for June. Special return fare 3s. 3d.

On arrival at Bishop's Stortford, walk through the town to the hill above Maple Avenue, on the flank of which a horse skeleton was found under 4 ft. to 6 ft. of the landslides of the hill, together with the natural quaternary pond (in which it appears to have been smothered) containing a Holocene molluscan fauna (B. B. Woodward). The top of the hill commands.) extensive view across the Stort Valley. The site affords a good illustration of the work done by a powerful high-level spring (fed by the drift cap of the hill) in cutting back into the flank of the hill since the close of the Ice Age ("Rubble-Drift Period" of Prestwich).

Walk by Cricketfield Lane and Oak Hall (very fine pebbly sarsens) to Mr. Day's brickyards in Rye Street (some new sections with good exposures of rubble-drift); thence by the Grange, where note the position of a recent exposure of interglacial outwashings of the older boulder-clay covered by five or six feet of a later boulder-clay; thence to Foxdells (rubble-drift section) and across the valley to the brickyards of Sleeves. Glasscock (Reading Beds with rubble-drift resting on the Chalk). Walk on to the Birchanger brickfields (L. Clay and R. Beds), thence through Birchanger Wood to Parsonage Farm (prehistoric remains) and Parsonage Lane, where an interesting section (300 yards long) has shown the structure of the valley-flank, and brought to light horse-bones (tallying with those of the skeleton at Maple Avenue) buried under 11 ft. of the rubble-drift, also a magnificent boulder of carboniferous limestone glacially striated (23 by x7 by so inches). Walk on to Hockerill Church on the bluff of the bill overlooking the valley, where the graves show a most irregular unassorted variety of rocky detritus, thrown down as if from the melting of ice-floes stranded at 240 ft. to 960 ft. above present O.D.

Adjourn to Hockerill Vicarage for light refreshments, where inspect maps and sections, together with# The sub-fossil horse skeleton unearthed two years ago at Maple Avenue at nearly 300 O.D., and the holocene shells and remains of prehistoric man associated with it.

  1. A collection of erratics from the neighbourhood.
  2. A rather remarkable Sarsen lately unearthed in the Town Cemetery.
  3. A freshwater limestone proved in several well-sections, intercalated with the sands of the Reading Beds, containing molluscan shells which have been identified at Cambridge with the Oldhaven Series, and believed to be new to the stratigraphy of the Northern flank of the Thames Basin.
  4. Collection of bones of Equus and Bos from the bottom of the Stort alluvium.

Cameras should be taken on this Excursion.

Return to Liverpool Street at 743 p.m. Due at Liverpool Street 8.26.

Walking distance 6 to 7 miles.


1884. NEHRING, A.—Fossile Pferde aus der deutschen Dilunial-Ablagerungen. (Berlin Paul Parey).

1892. PRESTWICH, J., F.R.S.—" The ' Head' or ' Rubble-Drift' of the South of England." Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc., vol. xlviii.

1893. IRVING, A. —"Surface Changes in the London Basin." Geol. Mag., No.347.

1896. SALTER, A. E.—"Pebbly Gravel from the Goring Gap to the Norfolk Coast." Proc. Geol. Assoc., vol. xiv.

1897. IRVING, A. —"Excursion to Bishop's Stortford." Proc. Geol. Assoc., vol. xv

1898. IRVING, A. —"The Geology of the Stort Valley." Ibid., loc. cit. 1904.

HOLST, N. O.—"The Inter-glacial Question." Geol. Mag., No. 476.

1904. IRVING, A.—"High Level Plateau-gravels." Geol. Mag„ No. 484; also B.A. Report, Cambridge Meeting.

1906. IRVING, A.—"Excursion to Bishop's Stortford and Stansted." Proc. Geol. Assoc., vol. xix.

1907. EWART, J. C., E.R.B.—" he Derivation of the Modern Horse." Quarterly Review. April, No. 414

1909. WIND., B. C. A., F.R.S.—"Remains of the Prehistoric Age in England." Methuen & Co.

1910. IRVING, A.—"The Bishop's Stortford Prehistoric Horse." B.A. Report, Sheffield Meeting, Section II.

1910. IRVING, A.—"A Buried Valley through the Mercian Chalk Range, etc." Ibid., Section C.

I9i0. BONNEY, T. G., F.R.S.—Presidential Address at B.A. Sheffield Meeting.

The Shilling Guides to the Stone Age and the Bronze Age of the British Museum also very useful.


List of photographs[edit]

Page 43 P805418 The Stort Valley. Bishop Stortford Excursion, June 10th 1911.
Page 43 P805419 Foxdells. Section in rubble drift. Bishop Stortford Excursion, June 10th 1911.
Page 43 P805420 Sarsen with band of pebbles from cemetery. Bishop Stortford Excursion, June 10th 1911.
Page 43 P805421 Day's Brickyard, mottled Reading Clay. Bishop Stortford Excursion, June 10th 1911.