Monday, November 19, 2007

Black Penny Wall Well in the Forest of Dean

Black Penny Wall Well (Forest of Dean Trail - Stop 1)

This was probably commonly used as a drinking place by travellers through the Forest. Its importance is indicated by the way it has been lined with stonework. The name is a corruption of Blackberry.

Around the well are rushes, foxgloves, and plants of hard-fern. Rushes grow only in wet places. Their leaves and stems, like onions, are hollow. Can you see how greenish flowers are set on the stems a few inches below the tip? Dried rushes were strewn on the floor as carpets in the Middle Ages, and bunched and soaked in grease, were also used as lamps.

In the water a green scum can usually be seen. This is the algae, a primitive form of plant life.

The spring is caused by water collecting between a layer of clay and a layer of sandstone above, and flows out here where the two layers surface.

This text was written by B. V. Cave of the Wilderness Wildlife Centre Mitcheldean for the Forestry Commission 'Boy's Grave and Forest Trail'.

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