The Alfred Gillett Trust is holding two more free pop-up exhibition’s in 2019 of fossilised ichthyosaurs found in Street. From 1 to 6 April and 28 October to 2 November 2019 you can view the fossils for free and learn about how they were found and what they tell us about the local environment.
19 large ichthyosaur fossils will be on display, as well a selection of smaller fossils found in the local area. Known as ‘sea dragons’, ichthyosaurs were dolphin-like marine reptiles which swam in the warm seas which covered Somerset around 200 million years ago. Street is known internationally for the quality and quantity of the fossils found in the local blue lias rock.
The fossils were found in local quarries in the 19th century by Alfred Gillett, a cousin of the founders of Clarks the shoemakers. Clark family members were also interested in the fossils which were being discovered in the area, and this impressive collection gradually developed. First displayed in Glastonbury Town Hall in 1880, the fossils were soon moved into a purpose-built Geological Museum in Crispin Hall in Street, which was opened in 1887.
Noted geologists and academics visited the collection to study them, along with tourists and residents in the locality of Street. Such was the importance of the collection and the affection held for the fossils in the area that the newly formed Street Urban District Council chose the ichthyosaur as their symbol in 1894. It is still used today by local societies and associations.
The exhibition will be open to the public from Monday 1st to Saturday 6th April 2019 from 11 am to 5 pm.
Entrance to the exhibition and activities is free, but donations towards the care and future display of the fossils would be gratefully received.
To find us: The Grange is opposite the restaurant terrace of Clarks Village, accessed via Car Park 4 (The Grange). Please DO NOT use the postcode as there is no entry via Farm Road.
For more details contact us or ring the Alfred Gillett Trust 01458 444060.