By Mr. William Stevenson.


The photograph ** of a portion of this Post-Glacial Forest as exposed at the brickfields in Chalk Lane, kindly taken for the Society by Dr. Hewlett, and forming the frontispiece of this volume, shews only the few existing stumps of trees in situ where a year or two ago a considerable number existed with fallen trunks interspersed among them. Unfortunately these have been removed, but the Society has in its possession negatives, also taken by Dr. Howlett, of other parts of this forest bed where five or six stumps are shewn in nearly the same number of square yards. The large stump in the foreground has had its root branches, which extended over a circle of from 10 to 12 feet in diameter, cut off, but some of the stumps in the photographs before mentioned have their roots intact, including the smallest fibrilae, leaving no question as to their being in situ. This bed underlies a great portion of the town at depths varying from 10 to 15 feet and is covered by deposits of clay and warp, with a layer of peaty vegetable matter about two feet in thickness at the roots of the trees, resting on the Boulder Clay itself, the latter just appearing above the water under the large stump in the photograph. The trees are largely Oaks, Quercus pedunculata; a few Scotch Firs, Pinus sylvestris, possibly the remnants of a larger portion; and Birch, Betula alba, recorded only by its white bark. I believe Alder, Alnus glutinosa, was present, as it is found at the base of the peat bed on the moors north-west of Scarborough, which as a forest appears to be of the same age as this section. The yew, Taxus bacata, also existed, as prostrate trees have been found in the bed of the River Hull at Hull Bridge, but these possibly grew at higher levels or on a more rocky ground. The depth of peaty matter shows that the forest must have existed for an enormous length of time; the trees are large and have stood thickly together; the climate, as denoted by the annular zones of wood, was almost the same as at the present time. The shells, Scrobicularia piperata and Tellina baltica have been found embedded in the roots of the trees under the warp. In Sir J. Hawkshaw's paper* read before the London Geological Society, he states that in the Albert Dock excavations in addition to the last named shells, Cardium edule, Hydrobia sp., and Bullina obtnsa were found, all except the last in great abundance. He also found Hazel nuts, and the remains of a fire, some characteristics of which he thought suggested human agency. Forest beds are also found in this neighbourhood with prostrate trunks of trees which have drifted into depressions formed in the Boulder Clay, but they differ from this section in the fact that no stumps of trees are found in situ.


*Geological Society's Journal, vol. 27, p. 237.

** Editor's Note -  volumes 1 to 4  of Transactions had a plate at the front. These were actual photographs. The first one was so fragile and faded that I did not attempt to copy it.


[Note -This article has been scanned in from original printed format and then put through an OCR program by Mike Horne. The process may have introduced some new spelling errors to the texts. Some original misspellings have been corrected.]

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