NS4582 : The remains of a farmstead

taken 8 years ago, 3 km from Blairquhomrie, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

The remains of a farmstead
The remains of a farmstead
See NS4582 : Old farmstead: main building for a summary of the various individual features to be seen at this site. The present article concentrates, instead, on what can be seen from a distance, and on the evidence for this farmstead on early maps.

With reference to the present photograph, the remains of the main building of the farmstead are located just right of centre, at the far end of the foreground ridge (the remains themselves cannot be seen in this photograph; instead, see the link in the previous paragraph). On the left, in the middle distance, traces of an old enclosure appear as an area filled with pale tufts of grass. The ridge visible in the foreground of this photo runs due south for about 70 metres, before turning WSW to head towards the wooded slopes above the Gallangad Burn; see NS4582 : Field dyke associated with old farmstead.

None of these features is indicated on the first-edition OS map, surveyed c.1860; the traces on the ground must, even then, have been rather indistinct. However, I was able to find some evidence of this farmstead on an earlier map: Roy's Military Survey of Scotland (1747-1755) shows several farmsteads that can be identified with modern farms that stand on or near the same locations. That map shows, marked in the usual red ink, Culalice (modern Collalis), West Cameron (Wester Cameron), Knockingour (present-day Gartlea), Culingad (Gallangad Farm), and Third of Blairwhomry (now Merkins Farm, restoring a much earlier name, "Merknisk", that is shown on the Pont/Blaeu map, surveyed in the 1580s-90s).

In that area, Roy's map also shows an unnamed farmstead (likewise marked in red ink), corresponding to the location shown in my photograph. That identification is made certain by the fact that his map indicates the topography of the land, and the farmstead is shown as being placed on the NW slope of an elevated area, which is easily identified with the part of Gallangad Muir on which the nearby trig point now stands. The fact that the farmstead is unnamed on Roy's map may indicate that, even as early as the mid-eighteenth century, it had already been abandoned for some time.

[The slightly later "Map of the Shire of Dumbarton" (1777) by Charles Ross shows only one site, labelled "Aridu", in the area to the south of "Knocknagour"; it is therefore a possible candidate for the ruins visible here. That map, though, distorts the landscape considerably, and it lacks the very helpful depiction of topographical relief that allowed the ruins to be identified fairly confidently with an unnamed site on William Roy's map. If nothing else, the site on Charles Ross' map may provide a starting point for further research.]

About 120 metres to the south of the site of the farmstead, I happened across a large oval pit, which was perhaps associated with the farmstead; it appears to have been the site of limestone quarrying. It is shown in NS4582 : Oval pit near old farmstead and NS4582 : Oval pit near old farmstead.

The background of the photograph shows Loch Lomond to the left, with Ben Lomond (NN3602) as the most prominent skyline peak, just left of centre. The green hill in front of it is NS4385 : The Dumpling (Duncryne Hill). Right of centre, the ridge of Conic Hill (NS4292) can be seen in front of Beinn Bhreac (NS4296). Near the right-hand edge of the photo, the low ridge-like hill Gualann (NS4594) is directly behind a clump of trees.
Remains of a farmstead
The site is shown, but not named, on Roy's Military Survey of Scotland (1740s-50s); the farmstead may already have been derelict by that time.
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NS4582, 38 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Friday, 14 May, 2010   (more nearby)
Friday, 21 May, 2010
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts 
Ruin (from Tags)
Place (from Tags)
Gallangad Muir 
Ruins > Ruins   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4521 8214 [10m precision]
WGS84: 56:0.4279N 4:29.0486W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4526 8206
View Direction
North-northwest (about 337 degrees)
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