In the West End of Glasgow, there is an amazing thing: the Fossil Grove. It’s located in Victoria Park, next to Jordanhill and Hyndland:
The grove itself is made in what was, in the 19th century, a quarry. You can see the shape of the quarry in the photo above. There are paths around the fossil grove:
The fossils were discovered when Victoria Park was being made in the 19th century. (It was made at the time of Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee in 1887.) Very fortunately, people recognised that they had stumbled upon something special. Work was stopped, and a small house was built to protect the fossils they had uncovered.
Here are the fossils. They are over 330 million years old! There are 11 tree stumps, and some fallen pieces of trunks. They date from a time when Glasgow was near the equator, and covered with a forest of these plants (Lepidodendrons). The City of Glasgow website describes it as a “tropical swamp similar to today’s Florida Everglades”.
It’s free to go visit the fossil house, which is open daily between April and October. Click here for more information and visiting details. The staff tell me that they rely on visitor numbers to stay open, so if you go, sign the guest book.
I’m not a very sciencey person, and I don’t have a particular interest in fossils, but visiting these giants from a time when the Earth was completely different is pretty mind-boggling!