During scouring conditions, Coralline Crag is exposed below beach level at this location, which yields hard blocks full of shells, echinoids, bryozoans and corals.
♦ Head to the seafront car park at Thorpeness. Note that this is not to be confused with Thorpe Ness, which is further up the coast.
♦ Head north along the shore until you reach the cliffs.
♦ Ref: 52.18878°N, 1.62294°E
FIND FREQUENCY: ♦ – Fossils at Thorpeness can only be found after storms and scouring conditions, when the crags below beach level are exposed.
CHILDREN: ♦♦♦ – This location is suitable for children, but finds are uncommon.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦♦♦ – It is easy to find and park at this location, and it is a very short walk.
TYPE: – Fossils can be found on the foreshore and derived fossils can be found in the glacial cliffs.
You can find fossils from the Coralline Crag at this location. In spite of its name, the Coralline Crag contains far more bryozoans than corals, but both are extremely common. Shells and echinoid fragments are also packed in the blocks. The fossiliferous blocks can be found along the foreshore in the shingle after storms. These blocks are being washed ashore from a large offshore reef, known as the Sizewell Coralline Reef.
In addition to these blocks, during scouring conditions, crag shell beds have also been recorded, although at the time of writing, it is not known if these are Red Crag or Norwich Crag. During scouring conditions, search the base of the cliff for crag shell beds.
The Norwich Crag at Thorpeness is unfossiliferous, but the Coralline Crag blocks found on the beach are rich in fossils. These are washed ashore after storms and originate from the large Sizewell Coralline Reef Platform out to sea.
Common sense should be used when collecting at all locations. Tide times should be noted, with collecting carried out on a retreating tide, if possible.
Fossils at Thorpeness can mostly be picked up after storms and scouring conditions, so specialist equipment is not necessary other than containers for your finds.
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 – Thorpeness