Posted by: christinelaennec | September 9, 2015

The Fossil Grove

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 fossil grove, with the fossil house at the back. Victoria Park, Glasgow, July 2015.

The fossil grove, with the fossil house at the back. Victoria Park, Glasgow, July 2015.

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 fossil grove - the side of the old quarry I believe. Victoria Park, Glasgow, July 2015.

The fossil grove – the side of an old quarry. Victoria Park, Glasgow, July 2015.

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.

The fossil grove.

The fossil grove.

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”.

Inside the fossil house: these tree trunks are 30 million years old! Victoria Park, Glasgow, summer 2015.

Inside the fossil house: these tree trunks are 330 million years old! Victoria Park, Glasgow, summer 2015.

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!



  1. Wow! Makes one feel quite small in such a great span of time. I am not a sciency person either, but those tree trunks are very special and I have never seen anything like it. Can’t but admire Gods amazing creation. Hope Dafter is having a good week. Blessings, Pam in Norway

  2. I’ve been to the fossil grove, it’s fascinating isn’t it. If only Glasgow had stayed a bit nearer the equator!! lol x

  3. It is fascinating to think of earth long ago and see fossils such as you have. We have petrified wood on our property which seems impossibly beautiful to me, no doubt because I do not understand the sciency principles that make it so 🙂 xx

  4. When I first started to read your post today, I immediately thought of Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia which was made in a limestone quarry. But, soon I realized that this Fossil Grove is truly unique and amazing. I also read the link you provided. It’s fascinating and to think that it was there all those millions of years until it was discovered for Queen Victoria’s jubilee. You have added another “must see” item to my list. Wishing you the very best. Please give my regards to the Dafter. Pat xx

  5. That is amazing! We visited the Natural History museum in London recently and outside they have a specimen of a fossilized tree from Scotland from the same period. The girls were fascinated. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  6. Fascinating! And quite refreshing that it was saved and the Victorians didn’t take it all away for curiosities in their gardens and homes😀 thank you for sharing another interesting place in Glasgow that I never knew about. I will definitely have take a trip there soon.

  7. Wow. Thank you for sharing this. What an interesting piece of history. Scotland really is an amazing place.

  8. How amazing; what an enchanting place to visit. I find it so thrilling to be so close to ancient pieces of art or parts of the earth, especially when you’re allowed to touch the exhibits! Thank you Christine, a must visit when I next get a chance to spend some time in Glasgow.

  9. Wow! What a fascinating place! I’m a bit sad that I didn’t know it existed before now.

  10. What a splendid place, I’d like to see it myself some day. Good tip about signing the visitors’ book.

  11. Thanks, everyone, I’m glad you enjoyed learning a bit about the fossil grove. marksgran, your comment made me laugh! And mudarissa, you’re right it is very lucky that they didn’t just take them home as garden ornaments. Apparently there just happened to be, at the time of the discovery, a professor who knew about such things and who lived nearby, and they went to consult him. Gracie, I remember being shown petrified wood as a child in Oregon, and marvelling at it. I don’t understand either but it is very humbling! Sakthi, you would find it thrilling in that case!

  12. I had no idea about this place. Definitely something I would have wanted to show the children if we were there now.

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