In the district of the Weald marl prevails, with a substratum of clay.
It makes excellent charcoal, especially for metallurgic processes; the Sussex iron, formerly regarded as the best produced in Britain, was smelted with oak charcoal from the great woods of the adjacent Weald, until they became so thinned that the precious fuel was no longer obtainable.
The White Horse Hills and the Chilterns strike right across the Thames basin, but almost their entire drainage from either flank lies within it, and similarly a great part of the low-lying Weald, though marked off from the rest of the basin by the North Downs, drains into it through these hills.
?ive i 95,501)A Svcnak Weald i ll;FourEfns Hrdrnborough 8.
The valley, which extends from the borders of Sussex to Hythe, is occupied chiefly by the Weald clays, which contain a considerable number of marine and freshwater fossils.
Much of the Weald, which originally was occupied by a forest, is still densely wooded, and woods are specially extensive in the valley of the Medway.
Among the earliest industries of Kent were the iron-mining in the Weald, traceable at least to Roman times, and the salt industry, which flourished along the coast in the 10th century.
Frequently refer to wool, and Flemish weavers settled in the Weald in the time of Edward III.
Valuable timber was afforded by the vast forest of the Weald, but the restrictions imposed on the felling of wood for fuel did serious detriment to the iron-trade, and after the statute of 1558 forbidding the felling of timber for iron-smelting within fourteen miles of the coast the industry steadily declined.
Furley, History of the Weald of Kent (Ashford, 1871-1874); W.
Even densely peopled areas like north Kent, the Sussex coast, west Gloucestershire and east Somerset, immediately adjoin areas like the Weald of Kent and Sussex where Romano-British remains hardly occur.
Lead in Somerset, Shropshire, Flintshire and Derbyshire; iron in the west Sussex Weald, the Forest of Dean, and (to a slight extent) elsewhere.
Cypridea tuberculata, Sby.; (Ostracoda); Weald, Sussex.
2.1 Natural Divisions 2.2 Lake District 2.3 Pennine Region 2.4 Wales 2.5 Cornwall and Devon 2.6 The Jurassic Belt 2.7 The Chalk Country 2.8 The Fenland 2.9 The Weald 2.10 The London Basin 2.11 The Hampshire Basin 2.12 Communications 2.13 Density of Population 2.14 Political Divisions
This is closely followed on the south-east by the Chalk country, occupying the whole of the rest of England except where the Tertiary Basins of London and Hampshire cover it, where the depression of the Fenland carries it out of sight, and where the lower rocks of the Weald break through it.
From the upland of Salisbury Plain, which corresponds to the axis of the anticline marking the centre of the double fold into which the strata of the south of England have been thrown, the great Chalk escarpment runs north-eastward; fingers of Chalk run eastward one each side of the Weald, forming the North and South Downs, while the southern edge of the Chalk sheet appears from beneath the Tertiary strata at several places on the south coast, and especially in the Isle of Wight.
The sheet of Chalk shows its cut edges in the escarpments facing the centre of the Weald, and surrounding it in an oval ring, the eastern end of which is broken by the Strait of Dover, so that its completion must be sought in France.
The Lower Greensand escarpment looks inwards in its turn over the wide plain of Weald Clay, along which the Medway flows in the north, and which forms a fertile soil, well cultivated, and particularly rich in hops and wheat.
"Underhill" flocks that have been kept for generations in East Anglia, on the Weald, and on flat meadow land in other parts of the country, have assumed a heavier type than the original "Upperdown" sheep. It was at one time thought not to be a rent-paying breed, but modern market requirements have brought it well within that category.
Towns are found only round the edge bordering the Weald Clay, such as Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Horsham; and along the line where it is cut off by the sea, e.g.
The principal directions of crust movement in England are: (I) north and south, by which the Pennine folds and faults, and the Malvern Hills have been produced; (2) east and west, by which the folds of the Weald and the Mendip Hills, and those of Devonshire have been formed.
Thus the industry centred chiefly upon the Weald (Sussex and Kent), the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, and the Birmingham district; but from the first district named it afterwards wholly departed, following the development of the coal-fields.
The primitive forests have been largely cleared, the primitive marshes have all been drained, and now the Weald Clay district is fairly well peopled and sprinkled with villages.