Images of Stuffynwood/rockface_by_lodge.jpg

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Here's a pic of the rock face running along Pleasley Vale, parallel with the River Meden. You can see that the limestone strata is not solid but made up of layers containing fissures - this provides ideal drainage for farmland. Old quarries are also evident in the Vale, having provided excellent building blocks for walls and buildings in the area. The layers appear to have buckled upwards at the bottom but infact are dunes caused by waves when the land was submerged in a tropical sea, near the equator, 250 million years ago. Sediment deposits formed the layers, baking hard when the waters receded. The composition of this limestone rock contains a high percentage of calcite - the skeletal remains of fossil creatures, which made it ideal for the burning process, chemically changing the calcium content to lime. The pic is taken near the site of an old lime kiln, situated behind Stuffynwood Lodge as marked on old maps. The same 1896 map, also shows a kiln at Littlewood. Medieval kilns were very basic than in later periods when it was commercialised but still very effective. An average temperature of 1000 degrees F maintained over a period of days, provided a soft light paste which was used as mortar, fertiliser and a disinfecting lime wash for sanitary purposes. This area of Stuffynwood has been designated a SSSI site (Site of special scientific interest)