Fascinating history of dead volcano and a fundraising cockerel
- Credit: Joan Cole
A dead volcano is buried beneath clay in Warboys at a depth of 500 feet and according to studies, is has been extinct for about 350 million years.
In the 1990s, the Department of Earth Sciences at Cambridge University carried out a Geophysics course for physics undergraduates and the team went to Warboys.
They used gravimeters to measure the variations in the gravitational field around Warboys that would reveal changes in the density of the buried igneous rock.
After compiling their data, the survey showed a gravity body of 30 gravity units (a gravity unit is equal to a change in gravitational acceleration (g) of one million of a metre per second, or one part in 10,000,000 of the average value of (g).
What the team discovered, was the dense core of an extinct volcano right beneath Warboys at the site of a former Royal Air Force base in the village.
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The research team speculated, that around 300 million years ago during the Hercynian period, the volcano would have been active and covered several miles at its base.
Over millions of years, the land surface around the volcano eroded leaving just the hard diorite core. During the Jurassic period, this sank beneath a shallow sea and was buried by deposits of sediment and later around 20,000 years ago glacial till.
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Another famous point in history for the village of Warboys was the popular V C Cockerel which raised more than £11,000 for the British Red Cross Fund in Warboys during the First World War.
The Cockerel of Warboys was a popular figure and a man called Fyson, and together they would help to raise funds within the community.
The famous Clock Tower that stands originally in the centre was built in 1887 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria.
It was paid for by public subscription and cost £230. It was restored in 1987.
Originally stones sat there, to help ladies get into their horse and carts, one of which now sits in Joan Cole’s garden, a member of the Warboys History Society.
Another interesting fact is that Warboys Railway Station was opened in 1889. This was on the Somersham to Ramsey line operated by the Great Eastern Railway.
In 1923 it became part of the newly created LNER and during this latter period the line saw increasing competition with road transport.