Famous fossil collectors childhood memento discovered on UK coastline

Researchers have been studying a recently discovered childhood token - believed to have belonged to the pioneering palaeontologist Mary Anning - on a beach in Lyme Regis, Dorset.

According to Michael Taylor, a visiting research fellow at the School of Museum Studies, the token, a metal disc found by a detectorist on Church Cliff beach, Lyme Regis, may have belonged to the famous fossil collector, who passed away on 9 March 1847.

A new paper examines the high likelihood that the token - which has “MARY ANNING MDCCCX” (1810) on the obverse of the disc and “LYME REGIS AGE XI” (eleven) on the reverse - belonged to Mary Anning.

Mike Taylor said: “My colleague, Richard Bull, who is a volunteer researcher at Lyme Regis Museum, and I were delighted to research such an intriguing find. Its importance is that it's such a very personal little thing and a real addition to the Museum's collection which doesn't have many items from Anning. It's a pleasure to be able to do research of such immediate use to the museum.”

The token is now on display at Lyme Regis Museum, Dorset. 

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