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The dinosaur found near Southborough – some facts

Southborough is the sort of place where there’s always something interesting happening and that’s been a fact about the town for many years.

James the Sweep has been sweeping chimneys in Southborough for 20 years – and he’s firmly  established as the town’s master sweep. If residents need a chimney swept, it’s always James who is called because he is reliable, professional and affordable. He’s known as the ‘Southborough chimney sweep’ and it’s as simple as that.

And over the years James has picked up some interesting facts about the town, which are known by the locals but could raise an eyebrow or two, if you’ve a visitor.

For example – the dinosaur. Most people know about the iguanodon, which was splashing around in High Brooms some 135 million years ago (date depending on how accurate the carbon dating was/is). And splashing about is correct because High Brooms was a marshy area back then. The High Brooms Society has written an excellent account of the geology at the time when the dinosaur was alive.

Anyway… here’s the interesting fact known by residents and probably unknown by visitors to Southborough.

The dinosaur, whose bones are under the care of Tunbridge Wells museum, was discovered in the High Brooms brickworks pits in 1933. What some people don’t know is that the big beast’s footprints were also found in the Wadhurst clay, and moulds were created by brainy archeologists, which are also housed by the museum.

An article in the Kent & Sussex Courier [see image above], dated Friday 27 October 1933, gave the specific details of the discovery of the bones and also mentions the foot prints.

The Natural History Museum calls the Iguanodon ‘one of the most successful dinosaurs’ and species of the dinosaur have been ‘found in many parts of the world’.

The museum notes: “Iguanodon could probably walk on all fours or on two legs. It had a large thumb spike, probably to fend off predators. Muscle attachment areas inside its head suggest that it may have had a long tongue.”

Digging up our past is a fascinating subject and that includes not just dinosaurs but human society. Chimney sweeping has been a major part of that for hundreds of years and especially since Victorian times.

Chimney sweeps are needed so that households can use indoor fires safely without any risk of chimney fires or carbon monoxide poisoning.