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Caistor St Edmund fossils and fossil collecting

From South of Norwich, it is best to access this from the B1332 off the A146 just before the dual carriageway. The road is signposted to Bungay. Follow this road, and turn right towards 'Arminghall Bayway'. Follow through the village, then you will reach a giveway, turn left and the quarry is further down the road on the left. 'Needham Chalks Quarry".
From Norwich, West or North of Norwich, it is best to follow the A47 and come off at the junction with the A140. After the sliproad, take the exit towards 'Caistor St Edmund' from the roundabout. Once at the village, turn left and the quarry will be on your right. Once at the quarry, parking is permitted near the old vehicles near to reception.

GRID REF: 52.59460°N, 1.30408°E

fish, echinoid's, brachiopods, bivalves, belemnites, sponges, mammal remains.
Fossil Collecting at Caistor St Edmund

The Caistor St Edmund quarry in Norfolk is particularly good for fish remains which can be found in the lower beds. Echinoids, brachiopods and bivalves are also common here along with Sponges from the flint spoil heaps.
Where is it


Fossils can often be found at this site, although the Norwich Crag Basement Bed is only extracted every few years. Chalk fossils should easily be found at Caistor St Edmund.

Not for Children


Working quarries are dangerous places, and children are not allowed to enter due to health and safety.

Good Access


Good access to the quarry and it is easy to find. You can park at the site, but you will need permission.

Working Quarry


This is a working quarry, you will need permission to enter. You must keep out of the way of moving vehicles when collecting.

Permission Required


This is a working quarry, and you will need permission to enter. This usually involves signing a form to say that the quarry is not liable should something happen to you.

The quarry is 'Needham Chalks Quarry', at Caistor St Edmund. Permission by contacting the quarry;
01508 493444.

This is a working quarry, keep away from moving vehicles, steep cliff edges and deep water and always wear protective clothing including hard hat and high visibility. Permission is required to enter this site.

Last updated:  2008
last visited:  2008
Written by:  Alister and Alison Cruickshanks

You will need a pick as fossils are found in the soft chalk. A hammer and chisel may come in handy for harder chalk. You dont have to have tools to collect here, often a good eye for searching in the scree is all you need. Fossils can be quite fragile, especially after intense rainfall, ensure fossils are wrapped and placed into containers or small bags. You will also need a hard hat and high visibility to enter this quarry.

Related Links

similar to Caistor St Edmund

Nearby can be walked from Caistor St Edmund for an extended excursion.

For other locations where mammalian remains can be found from the Pleistocene and Pliocene, try Easton Bavents, Weybourne, Easton Wood or Overstrand, Stutton, West Runton.

For nearby chalk locations where fossils can be found, try Overstrand, or at Weybourne where chalk fossils can be found in the cliff face. Hunstanton is another good location for chalk fossils.

Other nearby quarries in Norfolk are, Crimplesham, and Hillington.

Stone Tumblers are used for tumbling and polishing rough rock, stones and pebbles including those found on the beach and glass.

Whilst collecting fossils, on those days where you come back empty handed, you could collect rocks, stones and glass from the beach and tumble then at home.

These are all high quality machines to give a professional finish to your samples. The tumblers can be used with a variety of grits, most commonly Silicon Carbide Grit and Cerium Oxide. We have a wide range of rough rocks for sale too.

Microfossils are much easier to collect because they are so small that the vast majority of collections only concentrate on large finds. These small finds can simply be found by taking small samples of sands, crags, clays and soft rocks and examining them under a microscope.

We have a wide range of microscopes for sale, both for the study of fossils, but also educational and professional for use in the laboratory. We have Stereo microscopes, Compound Microscopes, Polarising Microscopes and Monocular Microscopes.

We have thousands of Test Sieves for Particle Analysis.

Endecotts Sieves: For accurate dependable results you can't buy a better test sieve than Endecotts. At every stage of manufacture each test sieve is individually inspected.

High Precision Tecan manufactures precision apertures as small as 3 microns for a wide array of applications such as filtering, sieving and nozzles. Its high-performance, ASTM/ISO compliant test sieves satisfy the most demanding fine particle grading requirements.

More Guides

Location Photos
Needham Chalks Qusrry at Caistor St Edmund.

Fossil Collecting
Your Reports

This quarry is mostly popular for its superb echinoid's which can be found well-preserved in flint from the Pleistocene graves. Sponges and corals can also be found in these flints, which are usually piled up and easy to pick through. Simply turn over the flints, or break them open.

The chalk itself yields many different fossils, you can search in the chalk embankments around the edge of the quarry, or in the loose scree. Most fossils are found by breaking the chalk boulders apart using a pick. Apart from belemnites, bivalves, brachiopods and echinoids, this chalk is particularly good for sponges and fish remains. If you can find the right bed, then some zones are full of fish!

Every few years, Caistor St Edmund quarry excavates a new area, and it scrapes the top of the gravels and Norwich Crag Basement Bed off, this bed is full of mammal bones, and if you are lucky enough to be at this time, you should be able to see bones in situ, along with shells. Bones of deer, horse, mammoths, rhino etc can all be found.

Echinoid in flint from the Pleistocene Gravels.
Echinoid in flint from the Pleistocene Gravels.

Horse bone fragment from the Norwich Crag Basement Bed.
Horse bone fragment from the Norwich Crag Basement Bed.

Sponge from the chalk.
Sponge from the chalk.

Fish remains from the chalk.
Fish remains from the chalk.

Geology Guide
Cretaceous, Pleistocene

At the top of the quarry, there are several meters of pleistocene gravels. These gravels contain flints, stones and sands. The quarry actually lets out part of the site to a gravel company which processes these gravels. Below this, and sitting directly on-top of the chalk is the Norwich Crag basement bed. This bed is full of flints, stones and gravels, shelly material and bones. The actual chalk here is the Beeston Chalk of Late Campanian age. ...[more]

Geological Succession of Caistor St Edmund
Recent excavation, April 2008 at the site, the Norwich Crag Basement Bed and Gravels have been removed in preparation for extracting the chalk. The very top of the chalk is exposed as a platform ready for digging.

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While we (UKGE/UK Fossils) try to ensure that the content of this location guide is accurate and up to date, we cannot and do not guarantee this. Nor can we be held liable for any loss or injury caused by or to a person visiting this site. Remember: this is only a location guide and the responsibility remains with the person or persons making the visit for their own personal safety and the safety of their possessions. That is, any visit to this location is of a personal nature and has not been arranged or directly suggested by UK Fossils. In addition, we recommend visitors get their own personal insurance cover. Please also remember to check tide times and rights of way (where relevant), and to behave in a responsible and safe manner at all times (for example, by keeping away from cliff faces and mud).
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