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 In 1874 there were several coprolite workings near Kirton where the nodules were worked and it may well have been that they were carted down to the river for washing and transporting to Ipswich for processing into superphosphate. They were worked at the farm by the edge of the marsh, a mile and a quarter east of Kirton as well as from a 20 feet deep pit a quarter of a mile NE of Kirton Church. Another pit, about a mile NNE of the church and west of Corporation Farm, was worked in 1877 and another, closed by then, was a fifth of a mile to the west. There were also several workings on the north and south slopes of the ridge near Corporation Farm. (Whitaker, ”Geology of Ipswich Etc.' 1885,p59-60.)


It was the 1881 census that shed light on the involvement of what was recorded as one of the most labourers employed in any Suffolk village. Whilst there is a strong likelihood that many of those involved in other parishes must have described the coprolite work as farm labour, in Kirton they must have done exactly the same. Although nobody described themselves as involved, George Hines described himself as a “Carrier and Coprolite Raiser employing 16 men and 7 boys." One farmer who may well have been involved was Henry Laws. He farmed 1085 acres employing 31 men and 7 boys. There is the possibility he was in some way related to Frederick Laws who in the late 1850s lived at Foxhall Hall and had contracts to work coprolites in Cambridge. There is the strong likelihood that others must have been involved given the number of pits described earlier.


An 1882 map showed two small coprolite pits half a mile to the northeast of St. Mary‘s Church. A tramway led eastwards from them to the track at the eastern edge of the field. (OS 25" 1st Ed. Suffolk 83.8) Several buildings were marked which would have been the washmill and sorting sheds on part of Church Farm. The 1885 trade directory also made reference to the diggings in the parish with another coprolite raiser advertising in the parish. This was the local, George Driver, but no further documentation has emerged to indicate how long the workings continued. (White's 1885; see Ipswich, Felixstowe)