Puzzlewood, in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England, by Ben Rodford.
Puzzlewood is an ancient woodland site, near Coleford in theForest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England. The site, covering 14 acres (5.7 ha), shows evidence of open cast iron ore mining dating from the Roman period, and possibly earlier.
It is now a tourist attraction. Over a mile of pathways were laid down in the early 19th century to provide access to the woods, and provide picturesque walks. The area contains strange rock formations, secret caves and ancient trees, with a confusing maze of paths. Puzzlewood is said to be one of J. R. R. Tolkien’s inspirations for Middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings.
The geological features on show at Puzzlewood are known as scowles. Scowles 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. It is usually impossible to date open cast extraction precisely, although ores with a chemical signature consistent with those from the Forest of Dean were certainly used to make tools and weapons in the late prehistoric period.
Evidence of Roman occupation of the area is supported by the discovery of a hoard of over 3,000 3rd Century AD 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. (x)
wow! wanna go there some day :)
(Fonte: abluegirl, via coeurdelhistoire)