In a small cottage on the outskirts of Charmouth, lives local palaeontologist Peter Langham.
Peter is a leading fossil hunter and has been collecting and cleaning Jurassic fossils for over
50 years. His knowledge of and his fossils finds are startling. In the basement of his cottage
is a studio workshop. At this well equipped studio and on every spare surface can be found
fossils and rocks awaiting the methodical and skilled cleaning undertaken by Peter. Each
fossil is laboriously chiselled out of the matrix of hard limestone. The fine details of the fossil
are carefully exposed by the use of tiny air chisels. A large fossil, such as an ichthyosaur, can
take months of careful work and will sometimes need acid etching, to improve the definition
of the find.
Peter is a dedicated and active fossil hunter. Included among his major discoveries are
several new species to science:
Ichthyosaur: (Kimmerosaurus lanhami)
Dinosaur: (Stokesisaurus langhami)
Dinosaur: (scelidosaurus). A plant eating dinosaur. The complete fossil was found on Black Ven and is an anomaly, as it is a terrestrial dinosaur, (which resembled a hippopotamus) found in a marine environment.
One of Peter’s best finds was a 2 meter long ichthyosaur, found in the ledges below the cliffs
of Black Ven, at Charmouth. This was a unique fossil and one which has a complete
embryo. The ichthyosaur is now on public display at Bristol City Museum.
Peter is a leading restorer and cleaner of fossils and has undertaken work for many of the
leading museums and collectors. In addition, Peter is a dealer and supplies to both
collectors and leading fossil retail establishments in many countries.