NORFOLK Museums Service
Pro-glacial thrusting at Sidestrand

Sheringham - Beeston Regis

Geology

The shallow easterly dip of the Chalk provides good outcrops of a series of hard grounds in the Chalk along the foreshore section at low water to the east of Sheringham. Interesting Chalk hardground faunas have been collected from here, especially by Paul Whittlesea.

There is sometimes exposure of the Chalk, immediately below Beeston Hill and eastwards. Here the Chalk surface is brecciated, which is interpreted by Professor Richard West (West, 1980) as an old land surface that has been subjected to peri-glaciation and solifluction. Up to 7m of Pleistocene sediments are present in the lower cliff to the east of the stream at Old Kiln but they are often poorly exposed, due to coast protection works. The sequence is complex, with marine and freshwater deposits of the Pre-Pastonian (cold) stage, Pastonian (temperate) and Beeston (cold) stages. Involutions and ice-wedges indicate the severity of the conditions that occured from time to time. Elephant remains have come from here, probably the remains of a single skeleton that has gradually been exhumed by cliff erosion. See the fine jaw of a Steppe Mammoth Mammuthus trogontherii displayed in the Zoology Museum at Cambridge (UK) that came from a spot 150m east of the concrete steps below Beeston Hill.

Beeston Hill itself is composed of glacial sediments of the Anglian stage. These are the same sediments and glaciotectonic processes that built the Cromer Ridge which runs sub-parallel, a little to the south of the coast. According to Jane Hart (see Hart, 1989) 'Beeston Bump' should be regarded as a mini-ridge.

The climb to the top of Beeston Hill is well worth it, and affords a splendid view of the Cromer Ridge to the south, and of the shingle beach that stretches westwards to Blakeney Point.

Getting There

Park in a street or car park within Sheringham. The beach is best reached from Sheringham Promenade.