Geology display in Spalding museum

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A regular column from Dr Patricia Buck of Spalding Gentlemen’s Society.

Prehistory abounds around the Wash and further along the North Norfolk Coast.

This land was once adjoined to northern Europe by a stretch of land now lost under the North Sea, known as Doggerland.

Alfred C Savin was a gentleman from Cromer on the North Norfolk Coast. He was a geologist, and was involved with the geological survey of the Cromer sheet in the 1880s and 1890s.

During this time Savin collected various artefacts and examples of Palaeolithic flint and stone implements. Most of these were found along the Cromer foreshore, and also at West Runton.

As a teenager in 1878, Savin had already discovered, at Runton, a very fine example of a stone hand axe which came to the attention of Sir John Evans who mentions it in his book Ancient Stone Implements of Great Britain, 2nd Ed. 1897, as being one of the finest yet discovered.

From his notebooks we can gather that Savin went on to collect from places all over the Norfolk coastline.

He donated and sold several collections of fossils to Norwich Castle and the British Museum (Natural History).

Ashley K Maples, president of the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society 1930-1950, purchased part of the Savin Collection from Norwich and donated these precious artefacts to the society for safe keeping, discussion and posterity.

The archaeology display cabinet at the society is often the centre of fascination and triggers plentiful discussion both with local visitors and specialists such as Mike Parker-Pearson of Stonehenge fame, who was intrigued by the variety of artefacts that he saw when he came to give a talk for the society during our last lecture season.

We are looking forward to starting this season’s Open Sundays at the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society Museum. The dates for this autumn are September 18, October 9 and November 20. Opening time will be 2.30pm.