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Branch Cove Fossiliferous Rocks Municipal Heritage Site

Branch, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2008/11/24

Waterfall at the Green Gulch area of Branch Cove Fossiliferous Rocks, Branch, NL, 2008; Branch Heritage Inc., 2008
Branch Cove Fossiliferous Rocks, Branch, NL, 2008
Photo of part of Branch Cove Fossiliferous Rocks, Branch, NL, 2008; Andrea O'Brien, HFNL, 2008
Branch Cove Fossiliferous Rocks, Branch, NL, 2008
Photo of fossil in rock at Branch Cove Fossiliferous Rocks, Branch, NL, 2008; Branch Heritage Inc., 2008
Branch Cove Fossiliferous Rocks, Branch, NL, 2008

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/07/07

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.

Heritage Value

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.

Character-Defining Elements

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;
-in-situ fossils;
-and any existing off-site fossils or rock samples from the site.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

NL Municipality

Recognition Statute

Municipalities Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1959/01/01 to 1959/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life

Function - Category and Type



Nature Element

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
1 Springdale Street
St. John's, NL
A1C 5V5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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