Photographer: Geoff Downer
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Grid Reference: TQ722597
The two working pits at Aylesford (Aylesford Pit and Wagon's Pit) provide excellent sections through Lower Cretaceous and Pleistocene sediments in the Maidstone area. Aylesford Pit, the smaller of the two pits, is shown as 'disused' on current maps but has been re-activated
These two sites, together with the Charing Sand Pit RIGS, provide the best example of Cretaceous bimodal tidal deposition in the United Kingdom and probably in Western Europe. Evidence of these tides is preserved in the Folkestone Sands.
Gault Clay, that will be exposed if the Aylesford Pit is worked northwards, would provide one of the few remaining inland exposures of this extremely fossiliferous and imporant marine clay.
Removal of Pleistocene overburden will provide access to the gravels of the Medway River Terrace 2. These have long been researched for their famous mammal fauna and for hand axes.
Access And Safety
The site is an active quarry and all visits have to be properly controlled. Contact the Quarry Manager well in advance to make the necessary arrangements. Visitors will need to be properly inducted (advised of the potential hazards) and properly equipped (with boots, helmets, high-visibility clothing etc).
(Regionally Important Geological Sites)
RIGS are geological sites that are important for historical, scientific research or educational reasons.
(Sites of Special Scientific Interest)
SSSIs give legal protection to the best sites for wildlife and geology in England.