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 Burnt Hill


This prominent mound or Red Hill lies on the edge of the salt marsh on the Mersea side of the Pyefleet channel, just over half a mile east from the Strood (Grid Reference TM 0226715466).



The height of the mound is such that it is seldom covered by water except at very exceptional tides and consequently is overgrown by scrub and hawthorn. Although a red hill, ...
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Burnt Hill
This prominent mound or "Red Hill" lies on the edge of the salt marsh on the Mersea side of the Pyefleet channel, just over half a mile east from the Strood (Grid Reference TM 0226715466).

The height of the mound is such that it is seldom covered by water except at very exceptional tides and consequently is overgrown by scrub and hawthorn. Although a red hill, briquetage can only be seen in the face of the salt edge cant some 20 yards from the mound.

Its local name is The Burnt Hill', this being derived from that classical novel of Mersea and the salt marshes, 'Mehalah', by the Reverent Sabine Baring Gould, Rector of East Mersea 1871-1881. For the story, he moves the hill to Ray Island where, in chapter 14, Mehalah meets the evil Elijah Rebow who has stolen her sheep. A lovely and well written story but read it for yourselves!

In chapter 14, he presents an interesting theory that as well as for evaporating sea water for salt, red hills might also have been used for burning marsh samphire or glasswort. The Romans used the ash for making glass.

This view of the 'Burnt Hill' is looking towards Langenhoe. The Pyefleet Channel is just beyond the hill.

From the 2012 Red Hills display at Mersea Museum.


Photo: Mersea Museum
Image ID DIS2012_RDH_001


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This image is part of the Mersea Museum Collection.