The coastal cliffs at Pakefield, where fossils have been collected for over a century, rose to new prominence when in 2000 a Quaternary Research Association field meeting discovered human-worked flint flakes in the Cromer Forest-bed Formation. These are considered to be amongst the oldest unequivocal stone tools from northern Europe.
The Forest Bed at Pakefield-Kessingland is exposed for a distance of several hundred metres along the foot of the cliff between Lighthouse Gap (Pakefield) and Benacre Ness (Kessingland). The sequence includes a fluvial channel with a sandy gravel at its base (the source of most of the artefacts) and an overlying sequence of laminated silts and clays rich in organic remains. The channel is associated with an extensive buried soil and alluvium deposited on the floodplain of a large river. Palaeogeographical reconstructions suggest this was probably the Bytham River. The underlying sediments are estuarine and marine in origin and were probably de... [read more]