The Fossil Grove: An Ancient Petrified Forest in the Heart of Glasgow

Fossil Grove: petrified trees denote the remnants of an ancient forest in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Image: Elliott Simpson. The Fossil Grove in Glasgow’s Victoria Park)

Situated within the boundaries of Victoria Park in Glasgow, Scotland, is an ancient oddity that was uncovered during the late 19th century. The Fossil Grove was discovered in 1887 amid layers of sandstone and shale at an old quarry inside the Victorian park. The find, which includes the petrified stumps of 11 extinct Lepidodendron trees, marks the remnants of an ancient forest dating back 325 million years. A museum building has been constructed around the Fossil Grove to act as a viewing area and protect the ancient relics from the often-inclement Glasgow weather.

The Fossil Grove in Glasgow

(Image: Thomas Nugent)

Lepidodendron, also known as scale tree, is an extinct relative of club mosses. Fossilised Lepidodendron trees are said to have a regular feature of 19th century fairgrounds, exhibited by enthusiastic amateurs due to their reptilian appearance. (An artist’s impression of the ancient tree is shown below.) Today, the ancient petrified forest within Fossil Grove is a site of special scientific interest and a popular tourist attraction in Scotland’s largest city.

Ancient Lepidodendron

(Image: Tim Bertelink)

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