Fairy Loaves – Group of Three


In Suffolk fossilized sea urchins have always been known as ‘Fairy Loaves’ and kept on the back of the oven to ensure that bread did not burn and on the hearth for good luck.

Group of 3 – approx 2- 4cm each one

All over the world they have believed to have magickal powers – Pliny thought they were snake eggs, otheres thought they were snake froth and effective against poison.  On the South Downs they were called Shepherds Crowns – perhaps because of their 5 distinctive ridges.  They were believed to be ‘Thunderstones’ produced by lightning and protection against future strikes, that sweated when a storm was coming.


Mr.Wynd has not burnt his bread once since putting them on his stove


The Natural History Museum says

“The resemblance between these echinoids and round loaves inspired people in north-east Suffolk to place them as charms by the hearth in the hope that the baking bread would be influenced by the fossil’s loaf-like shape. It is said that families who kept fairy loaves in their houses could ensure they would always have bread.
Failure of the weekly bread to be properly formed was attributed to witchcraft against which Fairy Loaves had protective powers. The powers given to these fossils underlines just how vital bread and breadmaking were to daily life and village economy in Suffolk during times gone past.

The fairy loaf in Suffolk was also called pharisee-loaf which at some point became facy-loaf. Farcy is a disease in horses and it has been suggested that the fossils were also used as charms by farm horse

In stock

Additional information

Weight 400 g
Dimensions 10 × 5 × 10 cm