In Puzzlewood you will find strange rock formations, secret caves and ancient trees, which have kept locals guessing for centuries as to what hand or force could have created such a unique and eerie landscape, aptly named "Puzzlewood".
How was the landscape formed?
The geological feature on show at Puzzlewood are known locally as Scowles. Scowles are a significant geological features and originated through the erosion of natural underground cave systems formed in the carboniferous limestone many millions of years ago. Uplift and erosion caused the cave system to become exposed at the surface. This was then exploited by Iron Age settlers through to Roman times for the extraction of iron ore.
The Puzzlewood Treasure
Evidence of Roman occupation of the area is supported by the discovery of a hoard of over 3,000 3rd Century AD Roman coins which were found in the Scowles of Puzzlewood. Once the Romans left, nature reclaimed the old workings with moss and trees, to create the unique landscape. The historical use soon became forgotten, and the folklore of "Puzzlewood" began.
In 1848 some workmen, after moving a block of stone in the woods, found a small cavity in the rocks. In this cavity, hidden away, were three earthenware jars containing over 3,000 Roman coins. No one knows why the coins were hidden away in the cliff face nor by whom. And could there be other treasures within Puzzlewood waiting to be discovered?
Are the paths natural?
In the early 1800s a local landowner laid down a mile of pathways which meandered through the trees and gulleys to open up this ancient forest originally for the amusement of his friends and children. Then, in the early 1900s, Puzzlewood opened to the public, with an honesty box at the gate for the benefit of the local church. Since then it is has remained essentially unchanged with the same pathways and bridges as in earlier times, but with the addition of visitor facilities on the Puzzlewood site.
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