Coprolite Mining

The industry began in the mid 19th century, when shortage of food after the Napoleonic Wars caused an influx in demand for fertilizers. The coprolite itself is fossilized dinosaur faeces which, when ground up, can be mixed with acid or water to make fertilizer. This fertilizer was discovered when a brick kiln using local clay exploded. One of the first areas in Cambridge to undergo coprolite mining was Coldham’s Common between the 1850s and 1890s. Wages were far higher in mining than agriculture so there was a ‘coprolite mine rush’ with huge pits dug on the common. The making of fertilizer and mining of dinosaur poo began to decline when international competition kicked in from America. But the industry was revived during the First World War when imported goods became unreliable and England needed to grow more food.

Download History Story Laminate Here

Read full History Story Here



In this section