NS3184 : The former Blackhill Quarries beside Luss Road

taken 6 years ago, near to Daligan, Argyll And Bute, Great Britain

The former Blackhill Quarries beside Luss Road
The former Blackhill Quarries beside Luss Road
I have included NS3184 : Luss Road for context (that picture shows the same feature, viewed in the opposite direction), but the main subject is a long curving mound to the south of the road. It appears to be sliced through at the point where it meets the line of the fence; it can be seen heading to the left from there, but its course is not straight.

This irregular linear mound is too big to be a remnant of a grass-covered dry-stone wall. Old maps reveal its true nature: the first-edition OS map, surveyed in 1860, shows unnamed quarries here. The second-edition map, surveyed in 1897, calls them Blackhill Quarries. On the 1914 revision of the map, they were marked as "disused".

The mound shown in the present picture was the eastern edge of one of the quarries. The interior, on the far side of this mound, has been filled in, and now looks much like the surrounding fields. However, this mound serves as a visible reminder of the former use of the area. The interior of the former quarry is now covered in grass, and is conspicuously greener than the surrounding moor: NS3184 : The former Blackhill Quarries.

The name Blackhill was applied to those quarries, and is also been seen in the nearby NS3084 : Blackhill Waste Transfer Station. Locally, the road to Helensburgh via Arden (NS3584 : Houses at Arden) and Crosskeys (NS3385 : Crosskeys roundabout) is known as the Black Hill Road. Although that name is widely used, the identity of the Black Hill itself has generally been forgotten.

However, the "Black Hill" was an old name for Ben Bowie (NS34008297).

For example, John M Leighton, on page 181 of his book "Strath-Clutha, or the Beauties of Clyde" (1840), mentions, in his description of a road to Luss, "the tower of Benechra or Banochar, an ancient castle of the Macfarlanes, at the foot of which winds the Fruin, and behind which frowns the Black Hill or Benbowie, from the top of which is to be had one of the best views in Scotland".

Other places mentioned in that extract:

Bannachra Castle: NS3484 : Bannachra Castle / NS3484 : Castle Ruin.
The Fruin: NS3384 : The Fruin Water.
Ben Bowie: NS3382 : Summit of Ben Bowie / NS3382 : Summits of Ben Bowie / NS3382 : Summit ridge of Ben Bowie.

The name "Ben Bowie" itself is pronounced [bɛn buɪ], and is probably from the Gaelic "Beinn Bhuidhe" [beiɲ vujə], "yellow mountain".
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NS3184, 28 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Monday, 14 April, 2014   (more nearby)
Wednesday, 30 April, 2014
Geographical Context
Boundary, Barrier  Quarrying, Mining  Derelict, Disused 
Primary Subject of Photo
Long Distance Path (from Tags)
John Muir Way 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3126 8417 [10m precision]
WGS84: 56:1.2386N 4:42.5330W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3128 8418
View Direction
West-southwest (about 247 degrees)
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