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The nodule bed was found in Hemley where they were extracted from the base of the crag pits during the 1870s when the demand for coprolites had reached its peak. Any landlord who found the deposit on their property would not have failed to have this lucrative deposit extracted. In the farmyard of Hemley Hall they were found in a sandpit 19 feet (6.85m.) deep and at the cross roads south of the church there was another old working. Just north of this in a long deep trench of a coprolite pit running northwards down a little side valley the nodule bed was found at ten feet (3.7m.). Close by, SSE of the church was a another newly opened pit 17 feet (6.29m.) deep where the coprolites were found in a bed three feet (1.05m.) thick. (Whitaker, 'Geology of Ipswich Etc.', 1885 p64.)


By the early 1880s  most of the fossils had been exhausted and the huge imports of cheap American rock phosphate had flooded the market causing coprolite prices to drop to such an extent that working them was hardly an economical proposition. This was confirmed in July 1884 when C.J. Cooper‘s 284a.1r.4p. Hemley estate was valued. The experienced coprolite surveyor, Charles Bidwell, from Ely, reported it was worth £7,560.


There are said to be coprolites under part of the land, but it is doubtful and if there are any the Suffolk Coprolites are of little value."

(Cambs.R.O. Bidwell 43 p181)