The Unique Attraction of Fossil Grove
It is hard to imagine what the earth looked like three hundred and thirty million years ago. Illustrations and artist impressions give us an idea of the landscape and vegetation, but the Fossil Grove in Glasgow, Scotland, gives visitors the rare opportunity to journey back into ancient times and see the fossilized remains of part of a forest that once thrived in Scotland. This magnificent find was discovered in 1887, while workmen were working in an old quarry to landscape a park.
Fortunately, the fossils were carefully excavated and a building was erected over the excavation site, to protect them from damage by weather and human interference. A balcony was constructed in the building, allowing visitors to look down on this spectacular, and ancient, attraction.
It is said that three hundred and thirty million year ago, Scotland was located closer to the equator, stimulating a humid climate with a high rainfall, therefore making it the perfect location for a Giant Clubmoss and Lepidodendron tropical forests. The remainder of the countryside was covered in rivers and wetlands, and it is the fossils of these plants that were preserved in sandstone, exactly as they grew millions of years ago. There is no plant material left within the sandstone, and the sandstone has merely created a cast of the original plant. Evidence of a rich animal life, in regard to fish, insects and other small reptiles were found, but dinosaur remains are absent, as they only started roaming the area of Fossil Grove approximately a hundred million years later.
From the viewing balcony, in the ten meter by twenty three meter protective building, visitors will look down on fossil trees and roots that have been left exactly where they grew and fell. Smaller display units and pamphlets explain in detail the history of the site and the fossils. The Lepidodendron was a plant that grew to a staggering height of more than forty meters, with leaves growing straight from the bark in a spiral fashion. Clubmosses were also common plants in the Carboniferous Period, referred to as the Coal Age. Fossil Grove is one of the few sites where visitors can view fossil trees in their original location and this classifies it as a rare and unique attraction.
This wonderful site has become the oldest and most popular attraction in Glasgow, instilling a sense of amazement and inspiration in all who visit. It is a magnificent opportunity to glimpse into the past; and to see a time that once was filled with life and growth.