330 million years ago, Wheeldon Trees (and the rest of the British Isles) would have been at the equator...
We were surrounded by tropical seas, and the Peak District would have been just like the Caribbean is today !
Fringing Dovedale were reefs and just beyond Chelmorton was an active volcano; its lava flow almost reaching to Brierlow Bar.
Then, as far east as Lincolnshire, was mile after mile of turquoise
coloured shallow lagoons, with little patch reefs - and probably the
occasional basking shark..
As time went on, great thicknesses of animal remains built up, which
then set like concrete to form limestone. Major earth movements folded
and fractured the rocks. Massive amounts of other rocks piled on top,
only to be eroded away, leaving behind the shapes of this ancient
Today, the sharp pointed peak of High Wheeldon, together with Parkhouse
and Chrome Hill to the west, stands out as remains of this ancient
"apron' reef. The Packhorse Inn at Crowdecote lies on the muddy floor
of the deep sea "Staffordshire Gulf', and the wide open countryside
towards Monyash and Bakewell is formed by shells of sea animals that
thrived in the shallow, warm waters of the tropical sea.