NS3278 : Mound east of Ardmore Point

taken 7 years ago, near to Ardmore, Argyll And Bute, Great Britain

Mound east of Ardmore Point
Mound east of Ardmore Point
The photographs shows some of the loose stones lying on top of a NS3278 : Mound east of Ardmore Point. The mound is connected to the shore by a dark curving structure. See the end-note for current thinking about the nature of these features.
Dark mounds east of Ardmore Point
A large mound of dark rocks at NS32307829, connected to the shore by a curving line of similar material, was formerly thought to be either a ballast mound beside an old landing place, or the remains of an old yair (fish-trap).

As of 2017, the explanation that this mound and another one not far to the south (see below) were ballast mounds could still be found on an interpretation panel at Ardmore. However, the panel, though reflecting up-to-date thinking when it was installed, has been there for a number of years, and the site has been re-examined since then.

A later opinion was that the mound is natural. See LinkExternal link (at Canmore) for the current thinking about the site.

At the time of writing (2017), the Canmore entry points out that the mound is made of the same material as is found on the adjacent shore, and that there is a similar mound about 175 metres to the south of it (NS32277812), which likewise seemed to be natural.

The following comments from David Murray's "Old Cardross A Lecture" (1880) are quoted, not because they shed any light on the nature of the mounds, but for interest, in that they preserve some of the old place-names of this area. In an appendix to that work, Murray lists several old place-names in connection with the White Bay, that is, "the bay on the south-east site of the Hill of Ardmore":

"The Kyloch the landing place in the White Bay"
"The Big Layer/Lair in the White Bay"
"The Little Layer/Lair in the White Bay"

The main body of the book does not elaborate upon those names, except to observe that "in the White Bay on the south-east side of the Hill ... the remains of a jetty (the Big and Little Layer) are still to be seen"(*). Given their similarity to the Black Lair LinkExternal link (a dark rock-mass, which Murray also mentions, at the mouth of the Leven), it seems possible that "the Big Lair" and "the Little Lair" were names for the two dark mounds; this, though, is just speculation on my part. Nevertheless, the example of Black Lair does show that, locally, the term "lair" could refer to such a feature.

It is not clear what the name "the Kyloch" referred to. Again, I can only speculate, but the name could have referred to the general area of the two mounds, if they were (at that time, and not necessarily correctly) viewed as having once collectively been a landing place; Murray does indeed refer to "the Big and Little Layer" as being the "remains of a jetty", although he does not explicitly equate them with the Kyloch.

(*) The fact that Murray equates the "remains of a jetty" (which may or may not have been "the Kyloch") with "the Big and Little Layer" shows that it comprised two distinct features. On that basis, it is unlikely that Murray's "remains of a jetty" could refer to the ruined quay LinkExternal link that can be seen a little further clockwise round Ardmore Point: that quay, which was probably associated with a nearby ferry house, is a single well-defined structure, and not a composite of two distinct features.
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NS3278, 63 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Friday, 5 August, 2011   (more nearby)
Wednesday, 10 August, 2011
Geographical Context
Estuary, Marine 
Place (from Tags)
Ardmore Point 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3231 7829 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:58.0944N 4:41.3034W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3232 7828
View Direction
West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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