From the bottom of this sea they have been raised to form the dry lands along the shores of Suffolk, whence they are now extracted as articles of commercial value, being ground to powder in the mills of Mr [afterwards Sir John] Lawes, at Deptford, to supply our farms with a valuable substitute for guano, under the accepted name of coprolite manure."
The Suffolk beds have been worked since 1846; and immense quantities of coprolite have also been obtained from Essex, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.
Coprolite is reduced to powder by powerful mills of peculiar construction, furnished with granite and buhrstones, before being treated with concentrated sulphuric acid.
Many of the impure substances thus utilized are not strictly phosphorite, but pass under such names as " rock-phosphate," or, when nodular, as " coprolite " (q.v.), even if not of true coprolitic origin.
The so-called "beetle-stones" of the coal-formation of Newhaven, near Leith, which have mostly a coprolite nucleus, have been applied to various ornamental purposes by lapidaries.