Natural England - Rusthall Common (SSSI)

Rusthall Common (SSSI)

Location and Access Information
Grid Reference: TQ 568395

Rusthall Common

The Toad Rock was formed by
weathering during the Ice Age.

Rusthall Common is situated 1.5km west of Tunbridge Wells, just off the A264. The Common is open to the public and parking is available within the village and adjacent to the Common.

Geological Interest

Rusthall Common is a key site for sandstone weathering features, developed in exposures of Lower Cretaceous estuarine sandstones (the Hastings Beds). Although there are a number of isolated blocks of rock in the area, it is perhaps best known for the Toad Rock, which comprises a block of sandstone on a narrow pedestal.

First popularised in a local guide in 1810 and named about 1820, the rock was fenced and the base strengthened with masonry in 1881-2. It is thought that the feature was formed by the erosive action of wind on blocks of upstanding sandstone during the period of arctic conditions of the last glacial period, some 10,000-50,000 years ago.