NS4480 : Possible remains of a structure

taken 7 years ago, 3 km from Blairquhomrie, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

Possible remains of a structure
Possible remains of a structure
On most satellite imagery, there is nothing of particular interest to see at this location. However, the Google Earth "historical imagery" dataset of 1/28/2005 was illuminated by the sun at a very low angle, and there was little vegetation cover, so that many otherwise invisible details are evident.

There is a burn only 25 metres to the north-west of this point. From there, a channel appears to lead to this area, where a ditch delineates an almost rectangular space, about 35 metres long by about 8 metres wide, its long axis oriented SW-NE. Within that larger space, a few smaller rectangular outlines could be seen, each one about 3-4 metres long, and slightly less broad.

However, satellite images alone are not enough (there is always the possibility that small apparent features are just image processing artefacts), and an examination on the ground is needed.

The present photograph is a view along the long axis of the larger rectangular space enclosed by the ditch. The vegetation cover does not allow for a very clear view of the ground; nevertheless, several successive small green ridges are clearly visible directly ahead, running parallel to the top and bottom edges of the picture; it can also be seen that they are all (allowing for perspective) the same size; these ridges are the end-walls of the smaller rectangular structures mentioned above. There clearly are genuine traces of artificial structures here (quite apart from which, the line of the surrounding ditch is certainly not natural).

It is not clear how old these structures are, or whether they are traces of buildings, or of enclosures, or of something else (possibly related to the limestone industry, like many other features on the moor; it is worth noting in that connection that the whole area within the ditch was significantly greener and grassier than the surrounding moor). In any case, this was another new find.

(These remains are, at least as respects their appearance in satellite imagery, rather similar to others that I had encountered a week or two earlier, about 700 metres west of here: NS4480 : Possible remains of a structure.)

[The same satellite dataset hints at the presence of some circular features centred on a point about 65 metres NNW of the area shown in the present photograph. However, these are probably just artefacts in the images; the high contrast caused by the sun's low angle in those images seems to exacerbate that effect. Nothing significant was apparent on the ground; there were only some large dark tussocks of perfectly ordinary appearance.]

Incidentally, this location lies just within the northern edge of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI); this is a generally very wet and marshy area.
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NS4480, 16 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 10 October, 2012   (more nearby)
Saturday, 8 December, 2012
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4482 8086 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:59.7310N 4:29.3791W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4482 8086
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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