News Archive

Dinosaur Skull highlight for Castle Hill exhibition

A five-foot long skull of a 65 million year old dinosaur will be the centrepiece of a public exhibition being staged in the Churchill Shopping Precinct (adjacent to Beatties), Dudley, next week to give detailed proposals of the £100 million scheme by St Modwen Properties PLC to create world-class visitor attractions at the town’s Castle Hill.

Visitors to the daytime exhibition which opens at lunchtime on Tuesday, April 22 and continues daily between 10am and 4pm until lunchtime on Saturday, April 26, will be greeted by one of only half a dozen casts made of the first complete skull of a Tyrannosaurus rex used to name the species which came from the Hell Creek formation in North America. The three and a half foot wide T.rex skull cast is on loan from Bolton Museum.

Dinosaur expert Dr Phil Manning will be at the exhibition to meet in particular young visitors who will be able to handle real dinosaur bones some of which are 120 million years old.

“This terrifying predator had teeth the size of bananas, of which the largest was bigger than its brain,” says Dr Manning, presenter of many BBC programmes including Meet the Dinosaurs, Raising the Sea Dragon., Dinosaur Island and Horizon.

He is advising St Modwen on the creation of Origins, which will be one of the leading attractions within the landmark Castle Hill site. It will trace the 4.5 billion year story of the evolution of life on earth, highlighting the unique geological heritage of Dudley.

The exhibition will also give a visual impression of some of the other main attractions forming part of the scheme for which planning consent is being sought from Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.

David Cockroft, of St Modwen said: “It is a stimulating exhibition which will give people a first hand chance to understand just how exciting are the proposals for Castle Hill. We look forward to many people visiting the five-day exhibition.”

Advantage West Midlands has recognised the regional impact of the plans. Its chief executive John Edwards said: “Castle Hill is a key regional tourism and leisure site with an unique mix of historical and natural significance but is clearly not achieving full potential at present.

“If these proposals get planning permission they will utilise an exceptional strategic site which will have a massive impact on both employment and economic growth in the region and significantly boost tourism.”

David Cockroft and Dr Phil Manning will be available for interview and/or photographs at the exhibition in the early afternoon on Tuesday April 22. They can also be contacted in advance – David Cockroft (0121-456-2800) and Dr Phil Manning (07887 585487).

Issued by Paul Raymer of Howle Chapman Raymer (0121-236-7771).