Geology Site Account
Shoeburyness foreshore, SHOEBURYNESS, Southend District, TQ920840, General geological site
Foreshore exposures of London Clay yielding fossils.
Description of site
When not obscured by river mud, a foreshore platform of London Clay has sometimes been visible at low tide at various points between Southend and Shoeburyness. There are records of fossil animals and plants from the London Clay having been found here from the middle of the nineteenth century onwards and the rapid erosion of the coast at this time must have produced numerous fossils that could readily be collected from the beaches.
Since the sea defences have been built the supply of fossils has dried up but it appears that as late as 1951 fossils could still be found on the foreshore at Shoeburyness. At this time there were well developed layers of septarian nodules visible with fossil sharks teeth available on the beach. Also to be found were the fossil fruits of Nipa, a stemless palm tree that was growing on the shores of the London Clay Sea some 50 million years ago.
Fossils from the London clay of the Southend district are preserved in the collections of Southend Central Museum.
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Reference: Davis and Elliott 1951, Saward 2015.
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