Geology tells us that for many millions of years the Dengie 100
was under the sea.
During the Eocene epoch about 55
million years ago Essex was in a shallow tropical sea similar to
modern day Malaysia. During this period, over about 3 million
years, rivers flowing from the mainland dropped silt which
formed the modern London Clay bet that is a predominant feature
of our soil.
Into this new clay soil
at the bottom of the sea dropped a variety of sea life that
The clay is rich in
minerals with selenite, a variety of gypsum, that forms clear
In more recent times the
Thames/Medway River crossed the Dengie 100 to meet the Sea north
of Bradwell on Sea. During this period the river cut into the
London clay leaving deposits of sand and gravel . During the Ice
Age the Thames became blocked in Hertfordshire by a glacier and
a large lake was formed. This lake eventually forced a new path
which led to the Thames and Medway adopting its current route.
The ice age brought many
new animals with fossils of mammoths, hyena, hippopotamus,
wolves and reindeers all being found in the area. In 1983 a
superb mammoth tusk was found on the shore of the River Crouch
at Burnham on Crouch by local historian Les Holden. The tusk can
be viewed in Chelmsford Museum.
Three sites are
especially notes for fossils and geologists alike - Creeksea
Cliffs, Maylandsea and Asheldham pits.
A cliff on the
outer bend of the River crouch that is being eroded with fossils
that can be found on the shingle beach below the cliffs. Sharks
teeth and other fossils from this site can be viewed in nearby
Burnham on Crouch Museum.
Burnham museum hold regular fossil hunts at Creeksea.
At low tide sharks teeth
,stems of the sea lily and fossilised lobsters can be found in
the River Blackwater from Maylandsea to Steeple.
A line of flooded gravel
pits stretches across the Dengie Peninsula from Bradwell on Sea
to Burnham on Crouch. They are sited on the route of the
Alister and Alison
Cruikshanks have written a great guide to fossils at Burnham as
part of the UK fossil network
To visit their web site click