A HISTORY OF SURREY Roehampton, and in the bed of the Thames at Putney, Richmond and Wandsworth. A rough ochreous flint implement of the palaeolithic age, found at Clapham, is now in the Museum of Practical Geology, Jermyn Street. In the higher parts of the valley of the present Wandle, as also in the dry valley of the ancient river, palaeolithic implements are much more rare. The gravels which are so well developed in the neighbourhood of Croydon, and which have been constantly searched over for worked flints, have hitherto proved remarkably barren, and the only specimen to be recorded is a rather well made ovoid implement of the palaeolithic age found upon the surface of a ploughed field near Croham Hurst, about one mile south of Croydon. The implement is now in the collection of Mr. A. J. Hogg of South Norwood. In some of the upper parts of the chalk plateau numerous pieces of fractured sub-angular and deeply stained flints have been found which have been accepted by some authorities as implements roughly shaped by the hand of man. Many antiquaries, however, are unable to accept them as artificial forms. Their shape is largely, perhaps entirely, the result of natural fractures and drift wear, and the general shapes of the implements are so rude and inconvenient that, until some more conclusive evidence is forthcoming, we prefer to consider them naturally shaped flints. Examples of so-called ' eolithic implements ' have been found by Mr. N. F. Roberts, F.G.S., at Warlingham and Tatsfield, and they have also been recorded from other localities in Surrey. THE NEOLITHIC AGE In the course of the neolithic age the surface of the land had assumed its present appearance. The river drift period as it had formerly existed was closed, and the trees, plants and animals of the neolithic age may be said to have been roughly the same as those we now have, except that some species have been exterminated and others introduced by the forces of civilization. There have also been some changes on the sea coast by which the shore has been modified since the first appearance of neolithic man, but these appear trivial when com- pared with those of the palaeolithic age. In a district such as Surrey, abounding in chalk, whence flint could readily be obtained, it would be remarkable if neolithic implements were not well represented. As a matter of fact they are scattered upon the surface of the ground throughout the county, and it would be diffi- cult, perhaps impossible, to name a single parish in which they do not occur. In the following account of the neolithic age in Surrey therefore it is not proposed to pay any particular attention to the occurrence of neolithic chips or flakes of flint unless those remains are specially note- worthy. But whilst only the discovery of the more regularly formed 232
Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/280
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