NS3977 : Clinker

taken 6 years ago, near to Renton, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

This piece, several inches across, is just one of several fragments that were eroding, along with various old bricks, out of the embankment on the southern side of Dalquhurn Point.

The material is very dense, but non-metallic, and non-magnetic; there are many vesicles (small bubbles) in it, though not enough to make it significantly lighter than it would otherwise be. It varies in colour and consistency; some surfaces are gritty, others are fused, with a vitreous (glassy) lustre. The word "clinker" has several meanings, but what is shown here is very typical example of residue from the burning of coal; it consists mostly of silicates, which melted in the furnace and sank to the bottom (compare NS3976 : Clinker at Mains of Cardross), but there are various small inclusions of other materials in it.

The clinker did not originate here on Dalquhurn Point; it was brought here. Nevertheless, its presence reveals something about the former use of the Point: I discuss this at NS3977 : Dalquhurn Point: eroding embankment, with clinker, which also provides the context for the present picture.
Dalquhurn Point

[dalˠˈhʌɾn] Large loops in the River Leven form two Points: Cordale Point Link to the north, and Dalquhurn Point. Unlike Cordale Point, Dalquhurn Point shows no buildings on OS maps of any period. However, there was a railway line ("Cordale Branch") for a small locomotive, "the Pug", that ran between the Howgate, the nearby Dalquhurn Works, and the Cordale Works; the 1914 OS map shows a branch of that line leading onto Dalquhurn Point; there must therefore have been some industrial activity on the point, even if only something like shallow quarrying or the storage of materials.

Clinker, in this case from the burning of coal, underlies much of the edge of the Point; its angular fragments could serve as a cheap form of track ballast. It is particularly noticeable on the south side of the Point, where it can be seen, in quantity, eroding out of the embankment, but it can also be found on the raised eastern tip of the Point, and in places along the north side, suggesting that it may also have been used to form the embankment, or as infill if the interior of the Point was quarried for sand, as happened in other places nearby (at the southern end of the Dalquhurn works, at Pillanflatt, and at Mains of Cardross Farm).

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NS3977, 335 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 13 October, 2015   (more nearby)
Saturday, 24 October, 2015
Geographical Context
Derelict, Disused  Industry 
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Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3939 7777 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:57.9596N 4:34.4863W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3939 7777
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NORTH (about 0 degrees)
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