Rare scorpion was jewel of fossil finds
IN THIS week’s history feature we’re taking you back a bit further than usual – 240 million years ago, to be exact.
For it was in Rochdale that fascinating prehistoric remnants were unearthed by workmen from the early 1890s onwards.
Experts were shaken by the finds made at Sparth Bottoms, which had long been a haven for fossil hunters since fossilised plants often turned up there.
But in September 1894, workmen went one better by uncovering a whole fossilised tree.
And six years later, the foreman of the brickworks found a clay nodule of ironstone containing a ‘beautiful fossil crustacean.’
Various other crablike forms were found over the next few years before the big breakthrough in 1903.
This was an entirely new species of scorpion, dubbed Eoscorpius Sparthensis in honour of Sparth Bottoms.
Touchstones still has a cast of the scorpion fossil on display, the only example of the species ever found.
For more pictures like this, please visit the Touchstone Archives at www.link4life.org.
●●The only example of the scorpion Eoscorpius Sparthensis which was discovered in 1903 ●●This picture was taken on September 25, 1894 and shows a coal worker with the remnants of a fossilised tree
●●The brickworks at Sparth Bottoms where many of the fossils were found
●●Workmen with a fossilised tree discovered in the 1890s