Dorset's Important Geological Sites

Edmondsham

Mutton Hole, Edmondsham SU063.122

Mutton Hole swallow hole
Site description: Doline, or swallow hole.

Geology: Geomorphological feature. A sheer-sided doline or swallow-hole, showing very clearly how these are formed. There is a small stream running over Reading Beds clay in a gradually deepening valley. Suddenly, it falls over a waterfall into a sheer hole with Chalk clearly visible, and the stream disappears at the bottom. It is about 6m deep, with about 1m of that being clay, the rest Chalk. No exit can be seen but the course of the stream can be followed by a channel in the woodland which leads to a much larger doline, well vegetated, about 100m further downstream. At the lip of the waterfall are several large rounded flint pebbles.

Access: By prior arrangement e-mail us for contact details. Access restricted due to shooting parties on estate, and need to preserve rare flora.

Parking: In Estate yard.

Size of party: 15

Education level: A level /University

Castle Hill Gravel Pit SU060.125

Castle Hill gravel pit
Site description: Gravel pit.

Geology: Palaeogene, Reading Formation/London Clay. Rounded flint pebbles in a range of sizes, with three sets of graded bedding. Some patches have been cemented with ferruginous sand, at a level approximately 1.5m below ground surface. Otherwise the pebbles are loosely surrounded by sand. This deposit is exceptionally important for interpreting the palaeoenvironment, and could be compared with Chesil Beach as a modern equivalent.

Access: By prior arrangement e-mail us for contact details.  Access restricted due to shooting parties on estate, and need to preserve rare flora and insects.

Parking: In Estate yard.

Size of party: 15

Education level: A level/University

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