This working quarry (Perryfield Quarry) on Portland has a giant ammonite (Titanites) at its gates. Ammonites like this can be found here, but most quarries sell these and so do not allow collectors to remove these finds. However, trace fossils and molluscs can be seen in the Basal Shell Bed.
♦ Follow signs to the Isle of Portland from Weymouth and, once you are on the island, drive through the town of Fortuneswell. Follow the road from here to Easton. Then take Eastern Road towards the museum and continue down the eastern side of the island.
♦ There is car park just before Perryfield Quarry, where you can park. Or you can enter the quarry, if permission has been given.
♦ Access to this quarry requires prior permission from the quarry owners (see below). You will need to contact them before your trip to arrange. You will also require a hard hat, a high visibility jacket and steel toe-cap boots.
♦ Ref: 50.53860°N, 2.43302°W
FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦ – Fossils at Perryfield Quarry are uncommon, since the best fossils (such as the large ammonites) are sold by the quarry owners. However, bivalves and trace fossils can be found.
CHILDREN: ♦ – Working quarries can be dangerous places and, therefore, children are not allowed at this location. Generally, most quarries will not allow anyone under the age of 16 to enter for health and safety reasons.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦♦ – The quarry is very easy to find, but you will need permission before your trip to enter and collect fossils.
TYPE: – This is a working quarry, fossils can be found from the loose, waste blocks, which are not reserved for building stone. Keep away from machinery and obtain permission before you enter.
You will need permission to enter this quarry. Permission can be gained by contacting the quarry manager at the following address: Portland Quarry
Bumpers Lane, Wakeham, Portland, Dorset, DT1 1HY, Tel: 01305 820331.
As soon as you enter the quarry, you will see a giant ammonite. These ammonites do occur at this quarry, but most are sold once they are found or they are broken.
Bivalves (Laevitrigonia gibbosa, Myophorella incurva, Protocardia dissimilus, Camptonectes lamellosusand Pleuromya tellina)and trace fossils of worm burrows are easily collected from the Basal Shell Bed, along with several different species of gastropods. Near the top of the sequence is a layer of algal burrs, which can be up to half a metre in diameter. The Portland Roach is also well represented here, with abundant specimens of the bivalves Laeritrigonia and Protocardia, and the gastropod Aptyxiella, together with the calcareous red alga, Solenoporella.
The Portland Stone is renowned all over the world as a building stone. The Isle of Portland has quarried this stone for many years and continues to do so today. Perryfield Quarry is a well known quarry on the Island and one which has been a going concern for a considerable length of time. This quarry did close for a while, but re-opened due to the demand for this particular stone. In fact, it was used in the building of Waterloo Bridge.
The Purbeck Beds are now covered in rubble, but once made up the top most part of the quarry.
Common sense when collecting at all locations should be used and prior knowledge of tide times is essential. The main issue to be aware of is the tide. It is easy to become cut off, so it is important to return at least three hours before high tide. The other danger is falling debris. Rocks frequently fall due to weather and birds. Therefore, hard hats are recommended.
Most of the fossils at Perryfield Quarry are found in the hard Portland Stone. You will need a good quality hammer, a chisel and safety goggles to extract any fossils. A crack hammer is recommended. You will also need a hard hat, a high visibility vest and boots with steel toe-caps.
You will need permission to enter this quarry, permission can be gained by contacting the quarry manager. 01305 820331 – Portland Quarry, Bumpers Lane, Wakeham, Portland, Dorset, DT1 1HY. www.stonefirms.com. They supply and manufacture Portland limestone for prestigious building sites.
This site is an SSSI and forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast. 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 – Portland