Stones, pebbles, gravel, sand and clay
The great flow of melt water gradually sorted the pieces of rock depositing the largest heavier pieces first, and then smaller pieces that were gravel, then even smaller pieces that were sand that travelled further and finally the finest ground down rock flour that formed clay.
If you look around you can find rounded pebbles of different rocks that have been carried far and rolled by the water. Some of these became embedded in the silecious clay and the matrix formed is so strong that under pressure the whole rock splits across without the pebbles separating out. This is known as Pudding Stone.
The red staining is iron in the stones and matrix.
There seems to be an intermittent bed of Pudding Stone under the ground right across this area.
It can be cut and polished to make attractive jewellery. This pendant was purchased from Peter Wagon's shop in the High Street.
A silver mounted pendant of cut and polished Pudding Stone
One book that I read says that Pudding Stone is one of the rarest stone in the world. Do you think this can be true?
This seems a very great claim but it is unique to Hertfordshire and nearby counties.
What was taken out of the pit behind Henry Wells Square that made a great pit for a slide? I am hoping that someone will tell me! I was told that it was a pond but am not sure about that. You can still see the paving on the side for children to climb up to get back for 'another go'.
The farmers used to call Pudding Stone 'breeding stones', possibly on the assumption that the stone itself was 'giving birth' to the pebbles. It is an interesting suggestion to account for the presence of the pebbles so far from the sea. I am told that in living memory a piece of Pudding Stone was given to a bride and groom, possibly as a fertility symbol.