Similar to Quantoxhead, Kilve is another location for collecting ammonites and Reptile remains. Vertebrae’s are as common here as ammonites. Another location set in tranquil surroundings, and ideal for all the family to enjoy.
♦ Kilve is just after Quantoxhead, follow the A39 to Kilve and you need, ‘Sea Lane’ follow this down to the beach and parking is available at the end of the road. From here, walk East. As a note, as you leave the car park, there are two routes, one which passes the toliets on the left and a lane to the right. The lane to the right is much quicker and leads directly onto the beach, the left path is much longer.
♦ Ref: 51.19359°N, 3.22495°W
FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦♦ – You will see many flat ammonites at Kilve, these are protected by SSSI rules, simply because they are so fragile that collectors can ruin them for everyone else to see, exposed on the foreshore. Reptile Remains can also be found and are not uncommon.
CHILDREN: ♦♦♦ – Kilve is suitable for families, especially children who will be fascinated by the ammonites exposed on the foreshore, however Kilva can be dangerous, always check tide times and keep children well away from the cliffs.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦ – Access to Kilve beach is fairly easy, use the maps on the location access page for easy navigation.
TYPE: – Kilve is a foreshore location, fossils are found exposed on the foreshore within the rocks, or exposed in wave-cut platforms.
REPTILES and FISH : Bones of Ichthyosaurus and Plesiosaurus are the most common reptiles, but other reptiles have been recorded at this location. Fish remains can also be found. There are many different species of ammonite at Kilve, the most common being psiloceras planorbis which are the flat ammonites exposed on the foreshore. These Ammonites are protected by SSSI because in most cases they will only break up when attempting to get them out of the shale, this way everyone gets to see them. Ammonites can often be found in the shale at Kilve, it is best to try to find nodules with ammonites in as the shale Ammonites are flattened and are often not of in very good condition. During the field trip of 2000, a couple of small Ichthyosaurus Vertebraes were located near to the nodule above. Bones can also be found in hard nodules scattered around on the foreshore, in 2002, UK Fossils found two more Ichthyosaurus Vertebraes, but this time instead of being in the shale, these were in the hard nodules. Kilve is similar to Quantoxhead. Walking West from Quantoxhead will eventually lead to Kilve beach.
Over 40ft of limestone and shale’s from the Lower Lias is exposed at Kilve. These contain psiloceras planorbis succeeded by a thick sequence of shale’s with a few thin limestone’s. Above this are some 60ft of shale’s in which limestone’s become more numerous and more massive upwards from the bucklandi zone. The lias dip eastwards. The Lias themselves are part of the Kilve Shales (approximatly 17m in thickness), blue lias and Quantock’s beds which continue to Quantoxhead. Within these dark shales, occasional limestones appear containing coroniceras.
Common sense when collecting at all locations should be taken and knowledge of tide times should always be noted. You can easily be cut off at Kilve by the tide as the sea always reaches parts of the cliff,
Kilve has strict SSSI Restrictions. These are No-Hammering and No-Collecting. Therefore we recommend that you take a camera to photograph any ammonites exposed in the shale. The No-Collecting Rule is aimed to preserve the beautiful flat fragile ammonites exposed in the shale for everyone to see, which would otherwise be smashed by collectors. However Reptile remains and other fossils can still be collected at this site.
This site is an SSSI. This means you can visit the site, but hammering the bedrock is not permitted. For full information about the reasons for the status of the site and restrictions please download the PDF from Natural England – SSSI Information