The unique bonsall landscape was created by a volcano beneath tropical waters. Limestone was made by a millennia of the remains of sea creatures, some of which can still be seen in the rubble walls. Tufa was made by the bubbling water through coral. Minerals like spar and lead were formed, and ultimately this is what has shaped the village to what it is today.
The romans came to bonsall to mine 'pigs' of lead. maybe bonsall had a role in the demise of the roman empire because of the toxic properties of lead plates. Bonsall's volcanic warm springs that never freeze in winter caught the imagination of richard arkwright. already a hub for silk stocking frameknitters, Sir Richard built his factory downstream at cromford and thus started the industrial revolution:- From a couple of springs in the bonsall dales!
Bonsall's landscape is a historic industrial landscape because of such workings. It has many footpaths as the mines are dotted around the Parish. There are pack- horse trails cobbled and flanked with stone walls, stone squeeze stiles to keep stock in, lead miner's coes, dew ponds, lime kilns, quarries and field barns. The spoil heaps from the lead workings have had nature weather them over time and unique flora and fauna now live amongst the rubble. Lead wort and orchids are a common site in the summer months. Higher up on the moor the hawthorn and blackthorn create a witchy silhouette in winter, but by early summer they froth like champagne with may blossom. The wildflower meadows closer to the village
are abundant in June, just before the hay is cut. The fields were walled as part of the enclosures act, and many of them were narrow strips or 'Pingles'. There is an old map on the wall at the barley mow with all the field names on each en- closure. the bongs, fairy lane and wooly pingle to name a few.
So the village really has evolved through its geology, its thermal heat and minerals. It had an abundance of limestone rubble from which to build homes, shops, pubs, small holdings and field boundary walls. Lime mortar was made to cement it all together and fresh spring water plumbed in at wells to drink. The 7 wells are still an important feature around the village and are celebrated during the well dressing and carnival week.
Bonsall village won the village of the year competition in 2010. We work hard at keeping village life vibrant with many events, celebrations, business, school and church networks, and conservation work at the forefront.
we are grateful to all the open gardens visitors who participate in this event, because investing back into the village creates more enjoyment for everyone in the years to come.