An extremely large claw bone, some 30 cm long, was found in Wealden (Lower Cretaceous) deposits in a Surrey claypit in January 1983. This led to the discovery the following month of the well-preserved skeleton of a new large theropod dinosaur. Only one other theropod specimen comprising more than a few bones had ever been found in Britain, and that discovery was more than a century ago. Indeed, no large theropod, reasonably complete, had previously been discovered in Lower Cretaceous rocks anywhere in the world. Our study so far suggests that the Surrey dinosaur was a typical large theropod in certain respects, resembling, for example Allosaurus1. In several other respects, however, it differs sufficiently from all known dinosaurs to merit designation as the representative of a new species, genus and family.