NORFOLK Museums Service
Fossil right lower jaw of Ursus arctos deningeri (brown bear)

Geology Collections

Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery

Many thousands of geological specimens are cared for by Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, some of them internationally important. These mostly reflect the geology of the county and therefore are largely fossils from the Chalk, Crag and Ice Age deposits.

However, over the last one hundred and eighty years the collection has been built up by the kind generosity of geologists who have donated or bequeathed their own collections that were often built up from trips further afield. Because of this our collection contains some exotic specimens that do not merely reflect our local geology. Indeed, they have come from all around the world.

The geology collection is in storage at the present time, following the major refurbishment of the museum.

If you wish to consult specific items in the collection, please email Acting Curator of Geology Dr David Waterhouse.

Highlights of the geology collection include bones, antlers and tusks from large vertebrates of the Cromer Forest-bed Formation which outcrops around the coast of Norfolk and Suffolk.

Illustration of the West Runton Elephant by Sam BrownThe largest and most complete fossil elephant ever found in Britain is the West Runton elephant, which is currently housed in special storage at the Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. The lower jaw is displayed in Norwich Castle and a small exhibition about the find is on display at Cromer Museum.

The Lynn Museum

A small collection concentrating particularly on the rocks and fossils of West Norfolk and the Fens is displayed at the Lynn Museum. There is a research collection that can be consulted by appointment.

Cromer Museum

Cromer Museum was extensively redeveloped in 2005-06 and now includes an enlarged geological gallery featuring the geology of the coast and, of course, the West Runton elephant.

See also: Geological Field Guide to North East Norfolk