NS4276 : The channel of the Overtoun Burn

taken 8 years ago, near to Bellsmyre, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

The channel of the Overtoun Burn
The channel of the Overtoun Burn
The Overtoun Burn follows an artificially straight channel through this area. This new channel was built at the same time as the adjacent ornamental lily pond (NS4276 : Former dam and lily pond), which doubled as a source of water for a domestic hydro-electric power scheme, providing electricity for NS4276 : Overtoun House. See NS4276 : Remains of a turbine house for the details of that scheme.

Close inspection of large-scale mapping shows the lily pond to be separate from this channel. Water was transferred from one to the other by means of a sluice gate: NS4276 : Sluice gate beside the Overtoun Burn. For a view along the same channel, but in the opposite direction, see NS4276 : The channel of the Overtoun Burn. See also NS4276 : Small weir on the Overtoun Burn.

Further downstream, just beyond the southern end of the lily pond, the artificial channel of the Overtoun Burn shows signs of more recent work (1970s), with gabions (rocks contained in a wire mesh). The first-edition OS map (c.1860) pre-dates the hydro-electric scheme, and shows the original course of the Overtoun Burn, before the pond/dam was created.
Overtoun House hydro-electric scheme
This was one of the earliest examples of a hydro-electric scheme producing power for domestic use: in around 1892, the occupant of Overtoun House, John Campbell White (soon to be created Lord Overtoun), had a turbine house built to provide electricity for his home. See LinkExternal link for more on Overtoun House. The ruins of the turbine house are located beside a waterfall called Spardie Linn LinkExternal link on the course of the Overtoun Burn. Water was impounded further up the burn in a dam, which doubled as an ornamental lily pond. The dam is fed by the Overtoun Burn, whose channel, just upstream of the pond, can be seen to have been artificially straightened; the remains of a sluice gate are visible there.
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NS4276, 211 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Friday, 17 February, 2012   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 28 February, 2012
Geographical Context
Rivers, Streams, Drainage 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4254 7651 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:57.3436N 4:31.4174W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4255 7653
View Direction
South-southwest (about 202 degrees)
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The Overtoun Burn 

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