NS4178 : Lot's Wife

taken 11 years ago, near to Bonhill, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

This is 1 of 2 images, with title Lot's Wife in this square
Lot's Wife
Lot's Wife
This pinnacle is located in the lower reaches of Auchenreoch Glen. The photograph shows it with the grassy northern side of the glen behind it.

For a different view, see NS4178 : Lot's Wife.

The 1874 volume of "Transactions of the Geological Society of Glasgow", published by the Geological Society of Glasgow, mentions various Summer Excursions that were organized by the Society in 1870. On May 14 of that year, they set out to explore NS4178 : Auchenreoch Glen, where they remarked upon the fine examples of Ballagan Beds (NS4178 : Ballagan Beds in Auchenreoch Glen).

After remarking upon another feature, called NS4178 : The Gates of Sodom, the report mentions that "a curious isolated pinnacle of trap a fragment of another dyke which rises from the bed of the burn a few yards further up, is known as Lot's Wife".

That pinnacle is shown here. It stands about 2 metres tall (not including the wider and slightly grassy base; see Mort, below, for the total height), on the northern side of the burn. It is located about 140 metres upstream of the Gates of Sodom, but despite the reference, above, to its being only "a few yards further up", there can be no doubt that this is the feature that was then known as Lot's Wife; not only is it very conspicuous, but it is the only such pinnacle in the glen.

"The Geologist" (May 1862), in describing a similar excursion on Friday the 11th of April, 1862, by the Glasgow Geological Society, adds further details, describing it as "a grotesque column of tufaceous felstone, locally known as 'Lot's Wife'".

[The sides of this pinnacle show some strata, which are in fact the same as the Ballagan Beds that can be seen in the sides of the surrounding valley: NS4178 : Ballagan Beds in Auchenreoch Glen. However, these sedimentary strata are simply adhering to a pinnacle of igneous rock. Compare one of the images of the NS4178 : The Gates of Sodom; the dyke shown there is certainly composed of igneous rock, but the same sedimentary strata can be seen adhering to it, on the left.]

Perhaps relevant here is a comment in Frederick Mort's "Dumbartonshire" (1920); after describing several volcanic plugs (or "necks", as he calls them) such as Dumbarton Rock and Dumbowie Hill, the author adds: "the last example we shall mention is interesting because of its small size, being probably the tiniest neck in the west of Scotland. It is only about twelve feet high and outcrops at the junction of Auchenreoch and Murroch glens".
Lot's Wife

This was the name by which a prominent isolated pinnacle of igneous rock (possibly a very small volcanic plug), located in Auchenreoch Glen, was known in the latter half of the nineteenth century. It stands not far upstream from a feature known as the Gates of Sodom: Link

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Grid Square
NS4178, 66 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Friday, 25 June, 2010   (more nearby)
Thursday, 1 July, 2010
Geographical Context
Geological interest 
Place (from Tags)
Auchenreoch Glen 
Geological feature   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4184 7836 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:58.3262N 4:32.1546W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4183 7834
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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Lots Wife 

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