The Coralline Crag at Broom Pit is extremely fossiliferous and rich in a wide variety of molluscs and bryozoans. You will be sure to come home with plenty of finds. The shells are in excellent condition and some are very large. It is a site definitely worth visiting.
♦ Broom Pit is near Orford. You can find it to the west of the village in the woods known as ‘The Broom’.
♦ From Orford, drive southwest out of the village and take the narrow road northwest when you get to Richmond Farm.
♦ The narrow road will take you to the edge of the woods, where there is plenty of parking. You will see a small trackway through the woods.
♦ This site is situated on private land, so you must seek permission to visit or join on an organised group.
♦ Ref: 52.09568°N, 1.51169°E
FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦♦♦♦ – Broom Pit is highly fossiliferous and you will be sure to find plenty of excellent fossils of molluscs and bryozoans.
CHILDREN: ♦♦ – Quarries and pits, either working or disused, are no places for children as they present many dangers. Therefore, this location is not recommended for children.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦ – Broom Pit is easy to find and has recently been cleared so the faces are clean. There is a short walk from the parking area of a half a kilometre.
TYPE: – Fossils are found in the cliff face and in the pit floor of a disused quarry, which is constantly being eroded by wind and rain.
Broom Pit is rich in molluscs and bryozoans. There is a vast number of different species to be found and they are all in excellent condition. You should bring plenty of paper to wrap the fossils in and a field box to keep the specimens safe.
The best fossils are found by digging into the quarry floor and all of the specimens shown on this website were collected that way. Digging into the face is not permitted and too dangerous.
Broom Pit is Pliocene in age, being the lower levels of the Coralline Crag Formation (Gelasian spanning the time between 2.588 Mya and 1.806 Mya.
This beds are made of carbonate-rich skeletal sands. The acid-insoluble sand fraction is moderately- to poorly-sorted medium-grained sand. It has a low mud content and the basal lag gravel is rich in pebbles of phosphatic mudstone, largely derived from the Thames Group.
The cliff face at Broom Pit is very high and overhangs in places. Keep away from those areas and be cautious at all times when collecting here. We recommend that you collect from the pit floor.
A trowel or knife can be used for removing the shells from the shell beds. These are fragile, so paper and specimen boxes should also be taken. A spade will come in useful for digging the floor of the pit, in which the best fossil shells are found.
This site is an SSSI, whilst you are free to visit and collect, digging is not permitted in the cliff face. This site is situated on PRIVATE land, and you must seek permission to visit, or join on an organised groups.
It is important to follow our ‘Code of Conduct’ when collecting fossils or visiting any site. Please also read our ‘Terms and Conditions‘