A unique Jurassic plesiosaur is now on public display at the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre. It is one of the few 3D Lower Jurassic plesiosaur in the world and this 200 million year fossil has been loaned to our Centre for display.
This incredible fossil was discovered by Tracey Barclay and her dog Raffle in 2007. It has taken a team of experts 16 years of painstaking and intricate preparation to be able to finally mount and display this unique three-dimensional specimen. This specimen is 70% complete. The missing bones have been cast and modelled from the other existing bones of the skeleton.
Named after Raffle, Tracey’s dog, who was sat on the first exposed bone which led her to the discovery. The plesiosaur was preserved within the famous ammonite pavement of Monmouth beach, Lyme Regis. The site was monitored over the next year. Natural erosion revealed more articulated vertebra. Tracey and her partner Chris Moore then got permission from Natural England to extract this very rare skeleton.
Monmouth beach is covered by the Undercliffs National Nature Reserve Fossil Code. You must get permission from Natural England or the Jurassic Coast Trust before extracting fossils from within the rock ledges or cliffs.
The fossil has been extracted, prepared and displayed by a team of experts
– Extracted by Chris Moore, Alex Moore, Steve Etches, Richard Edmonds, Chris Duggan, Chris Dodds and Dave Baldwin.
– Bones mapped by Dennis Parsons (Taunton Museum).
– Acid preparation done by Mike Marshall and Matt Whitehead (Yorkshire Coast Fossils).
– Individual bones were restored and made ready for mounting by Tracey Barclay, Chris Moore, Alex Moore and Grant Field.
– The specimen was mounted by Aart Walen, with the help of Chris and Alex.
– Permission was granted by Natural England for allowing the excavation.
With special thanks to the landowners George and Frances Allhusen.
We can only put on new displays like this with your support. Our small independent educational charity relies on your kind donations to stay open and free for all to enjoy. Your donation will help us make new displays to showcase local recent finds and help conserve our unique coast and its heritage. Registered Charity No. 1105386.