Unique Handmade Ammonite Whitby Soaps That You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

Mount House, the stylish Georgian B&B in the heart of Whitby, is the beautiful home of Ruth Denison, creator of a range of stunning handmade ammonite soaps.

The soaps are handmade from moulds of original Whitby ammonites found locally on the beach at well-known fossil sites along the Jurassic Coast.

The moulds themselves are handmade by Ruth from silicone impressions of the ammonites. A fascinating process that was inspired by Ruth’s work as a translator.

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These unique handmade ammonite soaps come in three distinct designs; dactylioceras, hildoceras and ichthyosaur.

Dactylioceras ammonite soap

Whitby Ammonite Soaps
Whitby Ammonite Soaps

This is the classic ammonite soap design. Measuring 5cm in diameter and weighing 20g, the dactylioceras ammonite soap is flat one side, just as the original is.

The original dactylioceras ammonite came from Byron Blessed at Natural Wonders in Whitby.

A beautiful handmade gift that is perfect for any occasion.

What should an ammonite smell like? This question posed a challenge for Ruth, in particular, the black ammonite soaps. 

In the end, inspiration was taken from the garden at Mount House. 

Essential oils scent the soaps. Rosemary and lavender grow happily in the garden at Mount House and we are lucky enough to have a white rose of seemingly great age growing along the original railings. These plants inspired the choice of scent and a little warming cedarwood was added.

These delightful ammonite soaps are handmade at Mount House from natural ingredients. The finest essential oils are used in the preparation of these wonderful artisan cosmetics.

Dactylioceras handmade ammonite soaps come in three colours; black, beige and white. 

Twelve Whitby Dactylioceras Soaps In Boxes

The selection includes beige bladderwrack seaweed soaps (bladderwrack adds nutrients not found in land plants), white floral soaps (intended as an alternative to the black soaps), and the more authentically coloured black soaps, which can be a bit messy due to the charcoal and black clay (avoid use with white flannels).

Where can I buy these soaps?

You can buy Ruth's soaps directly from The Whitby Guide. All orders are shipped directly from Ruth at Mount House using Royal Mail 1st class delivery.

Six Whitby Ammonite Soaps (£15.00) – Buy Now

Twelve Whitby Dactylioceras Soaps in Boxes (£42.00) – Buy Now


Hildoceras ammonite soap

Arguably the largest handmade ammonite soap on the market, the hildoceras soap is made from a mould of a 200 million year old fossil.

The soap measures 140 mm in diameter and weighs a hefty 150g. The mould for this awesome soap was taken from a large hildoceras specimen, prepared by local expert, Mike Marshall, of Yorkshire Coast Fossils. 

This soap is based on a beautiful hildoceras ammonite. The coiled shell of an ammonite protected a creature resembling a squid living in the larger lower chamber. The hildoceras genus of ammonite is named in honour of St. Hilda of Whitby (614-680 AD), a patron saint of learning, culture and poetry. In medieval times, it was believed that St. Hilda rid Whitby of a plague of serpents by turning them into coils of stone, the ammonites. Although one theory speculates this may be a metaphor for Christianity usurping Paganism.

For best use of this soap, it is recommended to use a dry hand to hold the patterned side and to use a wet hand to lather the flat side. This makes certain that the soap retains its design for longer.

Hildoceras handmade ammonite soap is available in three scents; Rosemary (with a little cedarwood), Lavender (also with a little cedar wood), and Rose Garden.

The soap comes in black, beige or white according to the scent.

Ichthyosaur ammonite soap

Ichthyosaur ammonite soap

The ichthyosaur may appear plain next to it's neighbours but do not be deceived, this 190 million year old design comes with teeth!

The fossilised vertebra used to make the mould for this soap is from a temnodontosaurus, which means the cutting-tooth ichthyosaur.

It makes a special soap to hold in your hand and imagine the extraordinary life of the fierce temnodontosaurs all those millions of years ago

Ichthyosaur ammonite soap comes in three scents; Rosemary (with a little cedarwood), Lavender (also with a little cedar wood), and Rose Garden.

The soap comes in black, beige or white according to the scent.

This handmade ammonite soap is 80mm in diameter and weighs 90g. 

The central hole where the spinal cord would have passed through has filled in during fossilisation but becomes apparent as the soap is used.

Handmade ammonite soaps from Whitby

The beige and black soaps contain bladderwrack seaweed. The black soap has additional black clay and charcoal. Black soap takes a bit of getting used to as it produces greyish suds, so avoid use with white facecloths.

Keeping the soap dry and drained between uses prolong its lifespan and keeps it looking nice, too.

The packaging is a translucent paper, printed at home

Drawings by Jo Witney, Whitby

You can buy Ruth's soaps directly from The Whitby Guide here.

Mount House – beautiful guest rooms with a stunning view

Mount House occupies a striking position halfway along Cliff Street. This charming property, set in a gated courtyard, commands an enviable view across the harbour towards Whitby Abbey.

Perfect for an inspiring stay throughout the year. Ruth specialises in writers retreats and creative escapes by the sea. Learn more here.

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