Team members at Everything Dinosaur spotted some Jurassic fossils whilst on a recent trip to London.  It might be surprising to learn that you can see fossils in our capital city, but you can if you know where to look.  You do not have to visit a museum to see fossilised remains of prehistoric animals.  Many of the buildings in London are made from Portland stone.  This limestone, famed for its quality is quarried in Dorset. Dorset is famous of having much of the “Jurassic Coast” within it.  Other famous buildings are also constructed from limestone. These rocks too, also contain lots of fossils of marine invertebrates.

The Victoria and Albert Museum, also known as the V&A is built from limestone.  The front facade and the low walls surrounding the building are full of Jurassic fossils.  They are easy to spot.

Jurassic fossils preserved in Portland stone.

The stones used to build the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A Museum) in London contain fossils. The stone is probably similar to Portland stone from Dorset (southern England). Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Jurassic Fossils in London

The Museum was founded in 1852. Like many Victorian buildings in Britain, it was constructed from Jurassic limestone.  It is located in South Kensington, a short distance from the London Natural History Museum.

To read an article from Everything Dinosaur about fossil hunting in London: Fossil Hunting in London A Guide to Finding Fossils in the Capital.

These stones contain the fossilised remains of thousands of marine gastropods, brachiopods and bivalves.  These stones preserve a record of a devastating event.  An immense natural disaster such as a tropical storm or tsunami smashed a shallow marine habitat.  The shallow seascape took the full force of this natural disaster. The jumbled remains of the invertebrates can be clearly seen in the building stones.

The stones may also contain fragmentary remains of Jurassic ammonites.

Ammonite fossils (Dactylioceras).

A selection of ammonite fossils fragments of ammonites and other marine invertebrates can be found in stones used for building materials.  Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Visitors to London can find evidence of the destruction of an ancient marine ecosystem preserved in the buildings.

Visit the Everything Dinosaur website: Dinosaur Models and Prehistoric Animal Toys.