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Fossil Hunting in Somerset

The country of Somerset has mostly Jurassic and Triassic rocks. At the very western fringe of Somerset, Devonian and Carboniferious fossils can be found. Although the coastal areas of Jurassic rocks is fairly limited, they can be very productive. Somerset benefits by not being as commercialised for fossil hunting as Dorset, so in many ways you can often find more here. The town of Watchet is the central point with locations both sides of the town for finding ammonites, reptiles, belemnites and crinoids. Blue Anchor is the best location for the famous Triassic Bone Bed, also found at Aust along the river Severn. Weston-Super-Mare and Portishead are excellent locations for fossil corals.


Watchet is rich in reptile remains and ammonites are also common. There are some spectacular faults that can be seen and fossil casts of giant ammonites on the foreshore. This is a must-visit location for anyone in the area in to fossils.


Quiet, peaceful and tranquil, Quantoxhead has several miles of tall Jurassic cliffs and a very long wave-cut platform. Many fossils including some superb ammonites and reptile remains can be found on this platform. Plenty of rock pools for the kids.

Writhlington spoil heap has been opened up to the public for fossil collecting. It has yielded hundreds of plants and insects and is well documented. It is publically accessible, and there is plenty to be found.


Similar to Quantoxhead, 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.


Rich in reptile remains, you can find bones at Lilstock on the foreshore and in the cliff. In fact, complete skeletons are regularly found. Lilstock also yields ammonites, shells and fish remains. The Lilstock Formation contains fossils in the Triassic beds exposed along the foreshore.


At Hinkley Point, you can find complete fish and complete reptile skeletons exposed on the foreshore. Reptile and fish remains can also be found in the cliff or on the foreshore such as vertebras, scales or ribs. There are also ammonites and shells to be found too.

Doniford bay yields some superb 'white-ammonites' which can be found in the rocks on the foreshore. There is also a number of brachiopods and bivalves also well preserved.

St Audries Bay

St Audries bay is another location along the Somerset Jurassic Coastline, boosting more wave cut platforms and cliffs to find ammonites and shells.

Blue Anchor

The cliffs at Blue Anchor contain a thin Triassic bone bed overlying Jurassic deposits from the Rhaetian Penarth series. This is full of reptile and fish remains, similar to Aust on the River Severn. There are plenty of blocks to split.

Portishead is an interesting location with both Carboniferous and Devonian rocks. At Battery Point, many corals and crinoids can be collected from the rocks on the foreshore, there are plenty to be found. further along Woodhill bay, fish remains are also commonly found.

Weston-Super-Mare is a fascinating geological location, underwater Volcanoes during the Carboniferous period buried all life forms and preserved them in the rocks now exposed on the foreshore and cliff. Well preserved corals, bryozoans, Algae, Bivalves and Brachiopods can be found.

The Chilcompton site is an old spoil heap form coal mining days, with a publically accessible footpath through the middle. Although now overgrown, the footpath still provides coal measure shale debris, which yields plant remains.

Brown’s Folly is located in a nature reserve. Fossils can be found everywhere in the old quarries in the area and many exposures of Great Oolite can be seen. The reserve is managed by the Avon Wildlife Trust and kept clear by the Bath Geological Society. The site is an SSSI, so no hammering on the bedrock is allowed, but loose material can be picked up and collected.

Stocker Hole is a large disused quarry to the south of Radstock, The quarry has a footpath running right through the middle and contains Carboniferous Black Rock Limestone. Corals, and brachiopods are the most common fossils here, with Bryozoans also being found.

Stolford represents the most easterly coastal exposures of the Jurassic Lias in Somerset. There are no cliffs here, just a large foreshore platform consisting of limestone and shale bands. Sadly, the foreshore platform is often covered in algae and mud, making collecting quite hard.


Fossils collected direct from cliff face
Fossils collected from the foreshore
Fossils collected from the cliff and foreshore
Location is a quarry or pit
Fossils collected from a stream or river bed,
Fossils collected from a farm field
Fossils collected from road or railway cutting.
Scree Slope
Fossils collected from hill or mountain scree slope.
Rock Outcrop
Fossils collected from rock outcrops.
Lake / Reservoir
Fossils collected from lake or reservoir banks.
Samples taken back for processing microfossils.


Fossils are common
Fossils often found
Fossils are not common
Fossils rarely found
Site protected, no collecting permitted, or no access to beach


Cambrian / Pre Cambrian

A-Z Listing

Fossil Resources

Beginners Guides to Fossil Hunting

The Geology of Watchet and its Neighbourhood

Somerset has in the past been a fantastic place for its geology and fossils but has only now started to become reconised for its geology. This book covers the the geology of Watchet, Doniford Bay, Blue Anchor and Helwell Bay.



Rock and Fossil Magazine, Deposits

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