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Hangman's Wood

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Title: Hangman's Wood  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Thurrock, Denehole, Swanscombe, Anchetil de Greye
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Hangman's Wood

Coordinates: 51°29′23″N 0°20′52″E / 51.4896°N 0.3477°E / 51.4896; 0.3477

Hangman's Wood
Name sign for Hangman's Wood
Hangman's Wood
Hangman's Wood

 Hangman's Wood shown within Essex
OS grid reference TQ630793
Unitary authority Thurrock
Shire county Essex
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Police Essex
Fire Essex
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament Thurrock
List of places

Hangman's Wood is a triangular wooded area of Little Thurrock in Essex, England. The name Hangmans Wood dates back to at least the mid 17th century when it was recorded on an estate map.[1] Trees in the wood include oak, ash, sycamore and wild cherry.

The wood contains a number of deneholes which were investigated by the Essex Field Club at the end of the 19th century.[2] There is normally no access to the deneholes, but permission can be obtained from the council.[3] The deneholes are the most important underground hibernation sites for bats in Essex,[4] causing the wood to be a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. There are three bat species; Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus), Natterer's bat (Myotis nattereri) and Daubenton's bat (Myotis daubentonii).

The deneholes in the wood, which were sometimes known as Cunobeline's gold mines,[5] are described by English Heritage as medieval or post-medieval and were used for chalk or flint mining.[6] They are a scheduled ancient monument. The origin of these deneholes is discussed by Tony Benton.[2] There appears to have been more than 70 holes in the wood at one time, concentrated to the north of the wood. Most only survive now as shallow dips in the ground.

The bridlepath which crosses Grangewood Avenue and runs beside Woodside School to connect Hangman's Wood with nearby Terrel's Heath is part of an ancient route from Coalhouse Point in East Tilbury to the bridge or causeway at Aveley.[7]


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