Back to Bedfordshire publications

 

SUTTON, BEDS

 

In time the seam was discovered on the south side of the Sandy - Potton railway line extending southeast towards Sutton and pits were opened there. (Kitchener, D. Life in Potton in 1871, Beds.Mag. vol. XII Autumn, (1969) p.46) Even today coprolites can still be seen in the roots of trees blown over in the 1988 gales in the Galley Hill woods opposite the Hollow football ground. In those days much of this land formed part of Sir John Burgoynes Sutton Park Estate.

 

According to one local source the workmen unearthed some armour and breastplates in the golf course. They were digging into John OGaunts Hill. Sir John came over and halted the work, arguing that it was disturbing the dead. (Conversation with Mr. Croot, Potton, whose father had told him the tale.) Little of the Burgoyne papers have come to light. It is thought they were destroyed in a fire that burnt down his property on the site of the present club house. Almost certainly, like Peel, he would have profited where his fields were found to have the fossils. The Lord of the Manor at the time, Samuel Whitbread, MP., would similarly have been involved if his land contained them. Unfortunately, none of his records related to Potton during this period have come to light.

 

see The Dinosaurs on Sandy Heath for extra details