NS3779 : View over ancient hill-fort

taken 16 years ago, near to Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland

View over ancient hill-fort
View over ancient hill-fort
These boulders are located within an ancient hill-fort located on a south-facing slope near the summit of Carman Hill; at the time of writing, the fort was considered to date from the Early Historic period(*). See Link (in the article linked from the end-note) for a detailed discussion of the fort and its features.

[(*) "Early Historic": the early post-Roman period, or "Dark Ages".]

Click on the end-note title for related pictures, and see the annotated satellite view linked from the end-note as an index to these pictures and their positions in the fort.

In the middle distance, Carman Reservoir is visible (see NS3778 : Carman Reservoir); it is not far from the foot of Carman Hill. In the background is the River Clyde, with the double-peaked volcanic plug of Dumbarton Rock (NS3974), another important historic site, on its nearer shore.

The boulders are not the fort, though they are a noticeable feature within it. The fort itself, whose visible remains include an inner enclosure, an outer enclosure, sunken approach roads, and several hut circles, was first identified from aerial photographs as recently as 1954 (for further details, see the link given in the first paragraph).

However, the prominent boulders here on the hill-top had certainly not gone unnoticed before then: in the second half of the nineteenth century, the prevailing local folklore was that those large stones had been set here by the Druids.

Those traditions remained in living memory until at least the 1930s (when Iain C Lees observed, in his 1933 book "The Campsies and the Land of Lennox", that "the stones on the summit are supposed to mark the site of a Druid temple"), but they were thereafter forgotten.

The boulders suffered some damage in the year 1863, as recorded in the 1927 book "The Old Vale and Its Memories" (by J.G.Temple and James Ferguson): "When the Prince of Wales (later King Edward) was married to Queen Alexandra, the Vale rejoiced by a fireworks display in front of the Hall, which was then just newly finished. To Carman Hill the youths carried coals, wood, tar, etc., and had a great bonfire which could be seen in many counties. The fire cracked the big rocks badly and the damage can be seen to this day".

(Such damage is unfortunate, but it should be borne in mind that no one knew, back then, that this site had once been a hill-fort. The newly-finished hall referred to above is the NS3979 : Former public hall, Alexandria.)

Other pictures from the fort's interior:
NS3779 : The summit of Carman Hill
NS3779 : Boulders on Carman Hill
NS3779 : Boulders on Carman Hill

Previous topic hut circles:
NS3779 : Carman Hill-fort: possible hut-circle
NS3779 : Carman Hill-fort: possible hut-circle
Carman Hill-fort

This large hill-fort see LinkExternal link (at Canmore) was identified in 1954 from aerial photographs, and is thought to date from the Early Historic period (Dark Ages). See Link for a Geograph article on the fort. See LinkExternal link for an annotated satellite view, and Link for other antiquities nearby.

Carman Reservoir :: NS3778

Known locally as the Dam. See Link (in a Geograph article) for further information. The reservoir, which was officially opened in 1886, is now disused; there is a trout fishery based alongside it. Carman Reservoir was created by damming and enlarging an existing Carman Loch, which was itself artificial: the loch had been created in connection with the nearby Millburn Works; it was also occasionally used for curling.

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Lairich Rig and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Geographical Context: Historic sites and artefacts Period: Early Historic Place: Carman Hill Category: Hill fort other tags: Hill Fort Archaeology Click a tag, to view other nearby images.
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
TIP: Click the map for more Large scale mapping
Grid Square
NS3779, 116 images   (more nearby 🔍)
Lairich Rig   (more nearby)
Date Taken
Friday, 4 July, 2008   (more nearby)
Thursday, 18 December, 2008
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 371 794 [100m precision]
WGS84: 55:58.8414N 4:36.6611W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 371 795
View Direction
South-southeast (about 157 degrees)
Clickable map
W Go E
Image classification(about): Geograph
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