This grassy ridge forms part of the southern boundary of a field system that was associated with the former farmstead of East Cameron, whose farm building is now represented only by some inconspicuous, low, grass-covered foundations: NS4783 : The ruins of East Cameron
The field system, which is mentioned in a report in the Canmore archaeology database (see Link
for details), lies on the northern side of a track (shown on the map) which crosses Cameron Muir from east to west (that track largely follows the course of a much older road across the moor).
The field system lies to the east of the Green Burn, and extends northwards, down the slope, almost to the edge of the present-day forest. It is irregular in shape, but the main concentration of ridges covers an area which measures about 650 metres (north-south) by about 530 metres (east-west).
However, there appear to be several outlying sections; for example, a ridge running alongside a NS4784 : Dry-stone wall
appears to be part of the East Cameron field system, as does a rectangular enclosure that is attached to it: NS4783 : Northern side of old enclosure
A little to the west, and extending both north and south of the main track across the moor, is another enclosure, which was apparently used for livestock: NS4683 : Western side of old enclosure
. Some indirect written evidence suggests that the enclosure was also associated with East Cameron: for details, see NS4682 : Remains of cairn
(The entire field system, including the outlying enclosure just mentioned, lies on the eastern side of the Green Burn. The burn therefore appears to have served as the farm's western boundary. The NS4683 : Ruined buildings of Mid Cameron
, for example, are on the other side of the burn, and no comparable earthen banks can be seen there.)
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The ridge shown in the foreground of this photograph is the part of the boundary that is closest to the ruins of the farm building of East Cameron, which is located just 55 metres to the south (up the slope).
It is not possible to tell from the photograph alone whether there are remnants of a stone wall beneath the grass that covers this ridge; however, another part of the ridge, not far from this point, has been sheared away. It is evident, when examining that area, that these boundaries are simply earthen banks: NS4783 : Old field boundary
. Some of them have ditches alongside them, from which the earth would have been taken.
The perimeter of this field system, as well as the subdivisions within it, are formed entirely from such banks; no dry-stone dykes were used (there is a dry-stone dyke not far to the east, but it dates from a later period than this field system, part of which it overlies: NS4784 : Dry-stone wall
(Most people will be more familiar with dry-stone dykes as boundaries around and within farmland. However, even near the end of the period when East Cameron was being farmed, such walls had not yet become nearly so common as they are now. Ure's "General View of the Agriculture in the County of Dumbarton", published in 1794, says that "till about 30 or 40 years ago, none of the country was inclosed, except a few fields adjoining to gentlemen's seats. Since that time, inclosing of land has been daily on the increase. One third of the county, however, is yet open, or but roundly inclosed; that is, the farms are inclosed, but not subdivided".)
These earthen banks may originally have served as bases of thorn hedges; this would have made them into much more effective barriers. In the late eighteenth century, this hedge-and-ditch method was the most common way of enclosing farmland in this district; it is described in some detail at NS4683 : Old field boundary with ditches
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The background of the photograph shows Glen Finlas (around NS3289
) on the right. The most distant mountains, visible through a gap, right at the centre of the skyline, are Creag a' Chanuill (NS1184
) and An Creachan (NS1085
) in Cowal, about 36km away. The woods at the left-hand edge of the photo are the northern edge of those shown on the map in (NS4683