NS4783 : The ruins of East Cameron

taken 11 years ago, 3 km from Craighat, Stirling, Great Britain

The ruins of East Cameron
The ruins of East Cameron
For another view, see NS4783 : The ruins of East Cameron.

The area in the foreground is greener and slightly higher than the surrounding moor. Some indistinct ridges are visible here; these are the grass-covered foundations of an old farmstead.

These remains had already been reported in the 1970s, although the grid reference associated with the report does not correspond exactly with this spot; see LinkExternal link (at Canmore). The discrepancy in position (about 150 metres) can be explained by the difficulty in accurately establishing the position of the ruin without the benefit of modern GPS technology, and with few suitable reference points nearby. I was able to track down the ruin by using the rough position given in the Canmore report, and by exploring the area close to the southern perimeter of the field system; the slight green knoll shown in the photograph looked promising from a distance, and the foundations were visible there. The ruin is centred on NS 47142 83328.

The identification of the ruin as that of the farm of East Cameron (also known as Easter Cameron) is my own interpretation of the map evidence, but this identification can be made fairly confidently, not only because of the situation of the ruin in relation to the still-extant NS4583 : Wester Cameron Farm and the NS4683 : Ruined buildings of Mid Cameron, but also because its location matches the indicated position of East Cameron on Roy's Military Survey of Scotland (1740s-50s), where it is shown not far to the east of the upper reaches of the Green Burn.

When examining it on the ground, I was able to discern an L-shaped plan for the building, which consisted of two rooms. The larger of the rooms is on the north, with its long axis oriented WSW-ENE; it measures 7.7 metres (E-W) by 4.7 metres (N-S), including the width of the walls (about 60-70 cm). An apparent gap, perhaps the entrance to the building, was visible at the eastern end of the northern wall of this room.

Attached to the southern side of that room was a smaller room, which measures 4.1 metres (E-W) by 4.8 metres (N-S). The eastern wall of that room continues the line of the eastern wall of the northern room; the resulting outline of the building as a whole is L-shaped, in the form of a square with the south-west corner missing.

In the photograph, the large tuft of grass near the centre of the photo is located on the boundary between the two rooms. The smaller southern room is on the near side of that tuft, to the right, while the larger northern room is behind it, and extends to the left. (The brownish line of the western wall of the smaller room can be picked out in the photo; its far end is located a little to the left of the large tuft of grass, and the wall leads directly towards the photographer's position.)

About ten metres to the north of the building is another greenish area of ground; some indistinct features there may be the remains of a less substantial auxiliary building, or of some other structure, but I could not be certain.

- - - -

As was mentioned above, East Cameron is shown on Roy's Military Survey of Scotland (1747-55). West Cameron is also shown there, and, as noted above, it is still in use. Mid Cameron does not appear there; despite already being a ruin by the time of the first-edition OS map (c.1860), it seems that Mid Cameron was a later and relatively short-lived addition to the two other farms. However, Roy's map did not always show all of the farms in a given area.

A little later than Roy's map, there is some documentary evidence in the form of teind records (records relating to the parish minister's stipend) from 1765; these mention the heritors of East and Mid Cameron. It therefore seems that both farms were in existence at that date.

A few years later, East and West Cameron are mentioned in the 1777 edition of William Nimmo's "A General History of Stirlingshire". Towards the end of that work there is an account of various landowners in Stirlingshire who swore fealty to Edward I of England in 1296. One of these is "Duncan Maggadelf de Cambroun". Nimmo speculates that "it is not improbable that he was a landholder in the western parts of the shire, where there are two places which still go by the name of East and West Camerons".

In this, Nimmo is quite correct. The "Duncan Maggadelf" mentioned above was styled "de Cambroun" because he had earlier been granted the land of "Cambroun" (as the place-name was then spelled) by charter. See the link in the first paragraph for the evidence from charters.

The Pont/Blaeu map of the Lennox, published in 1654, and based on surveys carried out in the 1580s-90s, likewise shows "Camrons" in this area. This form looks plural, and might indicate a division into Easter and Wester farms at that early date, but it is hard to be certain without further evidence.

Mid Cameron, mentioned above, was already a ruin by the 1860s, but it is far better preserved than East Cameron. In their present condition, the ruins of East Cameron more closely resemble those of a pre-Improvement farmstead nearby: NS4582 : Remains of Aridow: the main building.

East Cameron is shown on Roy's map (c.1750), and was still familiar as a place-name in 1777, but its ruin was sufficiently inconspicuous as not to be noted on the first-edition OS map (1860s). It is probably fair to say, then, that the farmstead must have been abandoned at (very roughly) the end of the eighteenth century.
Ruins of East Cameron

The foundations of an ancient farm building. It was abandoned long before the first-edition OS map, which does not record the ruin. An extensive field system, associated with this farm, extends northwards from the ruin: Link

East Cameron field system

A network of earthen banks forming an extensive field system associated with the long-disappeared farmstead of East Cameron (see Link for details). See LinkExternal link for an annotated satellite view. For outlying parts of the same field system, see Link and Link

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Grid Square
NS4783, 25 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Thursday, 14 October, 2010   (more nearby)
Friday, 5 November, 2010
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts 
Ruin (from Tags)
Ruins > Ruins   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4714 8333 [10m precision]
WGS84: 56:1.1060N 4:27.2339W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4714 8331
View Direction
NORTH (about 0 degrees)
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Other Tags
East Cameron Field System  Archaeology 

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