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28 October 2014
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OUTDOORS
You are in: Berkshire > Outdoors > Thames Travelling > Stage 9
Flint wall
Flint wall
Thames Travelling
The churchyard of St Andrew's Church in Sonning is steeped in history.
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Flint
Church
St Andrew's Church

When you reach Sonning (“Sunna’s inga”, literally Sunna's People”, another Anglo-Saxon settlement) take the path right, after the iron railings, through to the churchyard.

Look out for flint on this path.

St. Andrew’s Church, Sonning, was founded in the 7th century. Significant parts of the present church date from 1310 and a major reconstruction took place in 1350, to celebrate deliverance from the Black Death.

This involved much of the rest of the church, including the tower.

Sonning church is mostly built of flint, probably from local pits whose scars can now be seen but softened by ivy overgrowth, in the Blue Coat School woods adjacent to Sonning Lock.

Because it is very difficult to build corners and window mullions with flint, these features were built of stone (shelly oolitic limestone of Middle Jurassic age, possibly from Taynton north-west of Oxford).

Yew
Yew

Look closely at the flint in the church walls and you will see some of the pieces have holes in them. These are from fossils which were embedded in the flint when it was formed and have since fallen out.

You'll also see Yew Trees in the churchyard.

Yew was always present in churchyards in medieval times to provide the wood to make bows and arrows.

MANY THANKS TO PROFESSOR BRUCE SELLWOOD OF READING UNIVERSITY FOR ALL OF HIS HELP WITH THIS WALK

 

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SEE ALSO
BBC Berkshire Outdoors
BBC Berkshire Way
Natural History EVENTS
BBC Berkshire galleries - your pictures of the Royal County
On bbc.co.uk
Netley Shoreline Walk
Wallingford Wander
BBC Science & Nature
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Defra
Forestry Commission
The National Trust
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On Science & Nature
Fox illustration, on Science & Nature
More walks through time and amazing wildlife.
Find another walk
Explore wildlife habitats
The TV series:
British Isles, a Natural History
Visit Open2.net's Natural History section
Snail
Get more from your walk,
with the Open University.
bullet point Get active - the Great Snail Hunt
bullet point What does that mean? - a natural history glossary
bullet point Get into nature - the science you need to know
bullet point How do they know that? - explore nature's secrets
bullet point Become a Landscape Detective - Free Leaflets!

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