Cuckfield and the Iguanodon Coincidence

Dr Hermione Cockburn the presenter of the BBC television series “The Fossil Detectives” which aired on BBC television channels back in 2008,  heralds from the village of Cuckfield in West Sussex.  What of it, you might say?  Well, Dr Cockburn, who has a PhD in geomorphology from the University of Edinburgh and is well-known for her television roles on educational programmes such as “Coast” and “What the Ancients Did for Us”, can lay claim to having a link to one of the most important places related to early palaeontology.


The fossilised remains of a giant, prehistoric animal, later identified as an Iguanodon were discovered in a quarry close to the village of Cuckfield, the place were Hermione spent part of her childhood.  It was from these fossils that Gideon Mantell was able to describe the second member of the Dinosauria Order.  There is a monument to Gideon Mantell located not far from the village centre.

A Model of an Iguanodontid Dinosaur

A model of an Iguanodon.

A typical iguanodontid dinosaur.

The large village of Cuckfield is synonymous with early fossil discoveries from the Wealden Formation of Lower Cretaceous aged strata.  A number of Iguanodon fossil discoveries have been made in nearby quarries.

Visit Everything Dinosaur’s award-winning website: Everything Dinosaur.