Branch Cove Fossiliferous Rocks Municipal Heritage Site
Branch, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0B, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Branch Cove Fossiliferous Rocks are located in the cliff and shore exposures starting from Branch Head at the south entrance of Branch Cove, and along the cliffs into Easter Cove, towards the more settled area of the Town of Branch. The municipal heritage designation includes the exposed cliff face and the shorelines beginning at the highwater mark at Branch’s boundary at Branch Head and ending with the locality of the fossiliferous rocks at the Easter Cove. The continuous area between these points encompasses geological layering and localities of fossiliferous rocks such as those at the Green Gulch, Wester Cove and is included in the designation.
Branch Cove Fossiliferous Rocks have been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Branch because of their scientific value.
The heritage value of the Branch Cove Fossiliferous Rocks Site resides in the scientific information it reveals. The site was first studied in 1959, and is of paleontological and geological interest.
The fossiliferous rocks at Branch Cove were created by layers of sand, silt and mud deposits during the Cambrian Period of Earth history. These layers contain the fossilized skeletal remains of primitive animals that lived on the sea bed or swam the sea waters about 500 million years ago. These layers formed over hundreds of years, so that each layer contains a different selection of fossils, creating a record of the evolution of Cambrian animal life.
The succession of fossiliferous rocks around Branch Cove is reportedly the only occurrence of this type in Newfoundland providing a complete record of the Cambrian Period. Although not as unique as once believed on a worldwide scale, this particular succession of fossiliferous rocks is still considered to be a major sequence of international importance.
Source: Town of Branch Regular Council Meeting November 24, 2008.
Those elements which contribute to the site’s scientific value including:
-elements related to the life-forms and environments of the Cambrian Period, including the sequence of layering and contained fossils;
-and any existing off-site fossils or rock samples from the site.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land
1959/01/01 to 1959/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Function - Category and Type
- Nature Element
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
1 Springdale Street
St. John's, NL
Cross-Reference to Collection