C is for Coprolite Street, Ipswich

Coprolite Street, Ipswich 10 April 1961 (K490/71/1)

Coprolites are fossilized animal dung! Coprolite Street is near the Ipswich Waterfront and is believed to be the only street named after coprolites in the country. In 1842 a local botanist, Rev John Stevens Henslow, who was also a professor at St John’s College Cambridge, discovered coprolites in villages near Felixstowe.  He realised they could be a valuable source of phosphate once they had been treated and he patented an extraction process. Soon, coprolites were being mined on a large scale in the east of England, including Suffolk. It was used as a fertiliser and the refining was carried out in Ipswich by Edward Packard and Co Ltd, later Fison Company, at their premises near the docks. The Ipswich Record Office holds the business records of Fison’s PLC and other fertiliser manufacturing companies that they owned, collection reference HC434.