Have you ever wondered about the fascinating geological history of the British Isles, particularly Wales? Imagine enjoying a delicious meal while appreciating the breathtaking view of Treffgarne rocks, the very inspiration behind The Welsh Saucery's label artwork. In this blog post, we'll take you on a journey through time, exploring the ancient volcanic lava formations and the rich heritage that surrounds these magnificent rocks. Brace yourself for a mouthwatering adventure!
The Fiery Origins:
Known locally as The Wolf (Maiden Castle) and The Lion/Unicorn/Lamb/Bear (Poll Carn), these rocks are remnants of volcanic lava that formed a staggering 470 - 477 million years ago. These towering structures, described as Ordovician rhyolite volcanic plugs, are the last vestiges of the Roch rhyolite group outcrop.
During a period of intense volcanic instability, Northern Wales lay submerged beneath the sea. Viscous lava slowly flowed out, some of which hardened within the chambers, leading to blockages and violent explosions. The resulting Rhyolite rock, rich in silica and fine-grained due to rapid cooling, now stands as the volcanic plugs or igneous intrusions we see today. Time and erosion have eroded the outer body, leaving behind intricate patterns and textures as a testament to their fiery origin.
A Mystical Oasis:
Once the sea levels receded and the last ice age passed, evidence of human habitation emerged. Just below Poll Carn, the remains of an iron age hill fort can still be found. To the west of Maiden Castle, signs of three hut circles and a prehistoric field boundary can be seen. Were people drawn to this location due to its mystical presence or for safety, thanks to its commanding height and visibility? With numerous prehistoric sites in the vicinity, it made sense to settle in an area safely apart from neighbouring visits, which were not always friendly.
The allure of the Treffgarne area extends beyond its geological wonders. Rumours have circulated about a Roman gold mine or works in the vicinity, but so far, only tiny fragments have been discovered, preventing any potential gold rush—yet!
Across the centuries, a medieval village called Treffgarne emerged, aptly named "town of the rocks" (Tref = town, Garn = stones/rocks). Many trackways traversed the land, especially when the turnpikes and tolls of the 17th and 18th centuries made the lower road a costly choice. The area's historical significance is undeniable, and the rocks served as guiding landmarks for travellers throughout history.
Preserving Natural and Historical Treasures:
As you venture through the footpaths surrounding Treffgarne rocks, it's essential to respect their significance as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). This designation protects not only the unique flora and fauna that call this area home but also safeguards the historical heritage woven into the landscape.
A Flavourful Connection:
After an awe-inspiring walk through the Treffgarne rocks, reward yourself with a visit to The Welsh Saucery's pop-up shop, conveniently located just along the A40 past Nant Y Coy Mill. As you stand by Poll Carn or The Wolf, gazing across the valley towards the farm, you might catch a glimpse of the mastermind behind these delectable sauces, stirring a huge pan of flavoursome goodness.
Nature's artistic brush has not only gifted us with the awe-inspiring Treffgarne rocks but also provided inspiration for The Welsh Saucery's label artwork. By delving into the geological history of the British Isles, particularly Wales, we can appreciate the rich tapestry of events that unfolded over millions of years. So, lace up your walking boots, set off on an unforgettable journey, and indulge your taste