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Lochwinnoch Town and Nature Reserve Scotland

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Today, I visited Lochwinnoch in Renfrewshire. This is a very interesting area comprising an historic small town set on the edge of a loch which in turn is a site of Special Scientific Interest, nature reserve and bird watching centre. The loch is open to anglers and for water sports. It is possible to cycle or walk to Lochwinnoch from Glasgow (Paisley) via a dedicated trail which was formerly a railway line.


Church of Scotland at Lochwinnoch

View of the loch and nature reserve.

Woodland walk with snowdrops close to the bird watching facility.

Movie showing the extensive loch.

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Bothwell Castle West of Scotland

Friday, February 27, 2009

This evening, I am posting some images taken during my visit to Bothwell Castle, near Glasgow.

This is a substantial and very impressive sandstone built ruin which sits on a bend in the River Clyde.

The Castle dates back to the 1270s when construction was undertaken by Walter of Moray who based his design on the great chateau of Corcy in France. The castle then experienced a very chequered ownership/control history, viz:

  • Captured by the English 1296.
  • Recaptured by the Scots 1298
  • Re-taken by the English 1301
  • Partly demolished by the Scots 1314.
  • Partly re-built by Edward III 1336
  • Besieged and dismantled 1337 by Sir Andrew de Moray.
  • Restored by the Douglases in 1381
  • Abandoned by 18th century and now in care of Historic Scotland.



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Industrial Archaeology Netherlee Glasgow Scotland

Thursday, February 26, 2009

This morning I inspected the site of a former paper mill and dam on the White Cart Water close to Clarkston, Glasgow.

Paper making in the area commenced in the late 17th century by a Frenchman, Nicholas Deschan whose descendants built the mill at Netherlee which is the site covered by the still and video images below.

The images show overgrown ruins with the video focusing on the site of a former dam which was used to generate water power for the mill.

Overall, a very interesting site with linkage to the industrial revolution with which Glasgow was closely associated.

It would be nice if the local Council or other appropriate authority provided information boards for this and other industrial sites along the river side.



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Snowdrops on the Clyde at Bothwell Scotland

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This evening, I am posting a short video of an extensive patch of snowdrops in bloom as found on the banks of the River Clyde.


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Bothwellhaugh Roman Bath House Strathclyde Scotland

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

This morning I visited Strathclyde Country Park near Motherwell. Here, in 1973, was discovered a bath house close to the South Calder Water and in proximity to the Bothwellhaugh Roman Fort.

The fort was on the line of the Roman road linking Carlisle with the Clyde.

The bath-house comprised a number of rooms: a vestibule, a cold room, two warm rooms,a hot room and a furnace room. The facility would have been restricted to about 20 soldiers at any one time.

After the Romans departed there is evidence that local "squatters" were in occupation with the building a total ruin by end of the second century AD.



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Duncarnock Fort Barrhead Glasgow Scotland

Monday, February 23, 2009

This afternoon, I visited what is believed to be an Iron-Age (1st century AD) site named Duncarnock Fort near Barrhead which the locals have named 'The Craigie'.

The site is 204m high and is naturally defended by a near-vertical face on the west and crags around the north and east sides. On the top there is evidence of walls and an entrance.

Although the site has never been excavated, archaeologists have provisionally assigned an Iron-Age date (1st century AD) with occupation possible lasting until the 8th century.

The site is very similar in size and elevation to that of the more famous Dunadd site near Kilmartin Glen.

As regards the name, 'Dun' means 'Fort' and I suspect that 'carn' means 'rocky hill' from which follows 'Fort on the Rocky Hill' which appears very apposite.

Below is a fixed image of the hill. Whilst the two video clips show (a) the view from the summit and (b) a view of the summit/occupation area.

The site affords superb views of Glasgow and the West. Great place for a picnic on a summers day!





video video

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Arthurlie Cross Barrhead Glasgow Scotland

Sunday, February 22, 2009

This morning I visited the Arthurlie Cross which is located in the midst of a social housing estate in Barrhead.

The cross is of the 'Govan School' of ecclesiastical scuplture and may date from somewhere between the 9th and 11th centuries AD.

Although the cross is believed to originate somewhere in or around Barrhead it was placed in its current position as recently as the 1940s. There has been no archaeological investigation of the monument which extends to some 2 metres/6 feet in height.

The stone comprises the shaft of a cross with the curved surfaces at the top suggesting that it was once a ring-headed cross.

The unworn section (pictured) is covered with panels of interlace carving . Unusually, there is a carved cross in one of the lower panels. The sides are decorated with bands of interlace pattern.

The short video clip (below) should help to fully appreciate this very ancient monument.



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Celtic Football Club Parkhead Glasgow Scotland

Saturday, February 21, 2009

This morning, I visted Glasgow Celtic football stadium. Celtic jostle with rivals Rangers FC for ranking as top Scottish football club. As I write they (Celtic) are top of the league. The team enjoys strong support form the Roman Catholic community.

There was no game in process today at Celtic Park. Tomorrow the team play Motherwell at Fir Park.




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Spring Snowdrops at Greenbank Garden Glasgow

Friday, February 20, 2009

This morning, I visited Greenbank Garden in south side of Glasgow. This is a heritage property with a well maintained garden.

Snowdrops were the only patch of colour, but a sure sign that Spring is on its way!



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Antonine Wall at Bonnybridge Scotland

Thursday, February 19, 2009

This morning I visited a famous Roman site forming part of the Antonine Wall which in turn formed the north-west frontier of the Roman empire from about AD140-160.

The Wall extended from Bridgeness on the Forth estuary (near Edinburgh) to Old Kilpatrick on the River Clyde, a distance of about 40 Roman miles or 37 English miles.

The Wall rampart (10 feet high by 6 ft top-width) was largely built of turf blocks and mainly on a stone base at least 14 ft wide. A rough parallel ditch some 20ft (berm) to the north was generally formed in a V-section (40ft width and 12ft central depth) whilst to the south, some 45 yards inside the rampart ran the Military Way, a road some 17ft wide.)

The two video clips below were taken near to Rough Castle on the Wall.




video video

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Industrial History at Cathcart Glasgow Scotland

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This morning I visited an old industrial location called Snuff Bridge near Cathcart. To obtain the image I had to struggle ( fall!) down a very steep river bank. However, this was the right opportunity as during other times the foliage on the trees would obscure the view. Originally, there was a (water powered) water mill here which converted to snuff making in 1921 but later reverted to paper making. The bridge is named after the snuff manufacturing. The river is the White Cart Water which powered considerable industrial activity in and around Glasgow from the 17th through to the 20th centuries.

The video on the bottom left shows what I believe to be the remains of an old tramway (not far from the bridge) which was active during the time of heavy industry in the area-milling, coal mining and lime quarrying.

The video on bottom right shows the area around the Snuff Bridge.




video video

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Industrial History at Linn Park Glasgow Scotland

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This morning I re-visited a fascinating historical site in the valley of the White Cart Water.

Paper making (powered by the river) commenced in this area in 1682 when a Frenchman, Nicholas Deschan, first established a paper mill. His descendants moved the mill to a location at Millholm which is just a few hundred yards/metres from the impressive Holmwood House (designed by Greek Thomson) a shown in the image below. Holmwood House was closely linked to the paper mill and in fact was part used as a sales office to impress and entertain potential customers of the paper mill.

The videos show the remains of the paper mill and related water control measures on the White Cart.

This is an important part of Glasgow's mercantile history yet there are no information boards or similar information.



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BBC River Clyde Glasgow Scotland

Monday, February 16, 2009

This evening, I am posting a short video clip of my visit to a regenerated area of the River Clyde near the centre of Glasgow. This shows the BBC building, Science Centre Tower, Bell's Bridge and the Armadillo Conference Centre. Being mid-winter light conditions were poor. However, the architecture is quite impressive.


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Linn Park Glasgow Industrial Archaeology Scotland

Sunday, February 15, 2009

This morning I re-visited Linn Park at Cathcart to further investigate the industrial legacy of this now pleasant recreational area.

Deep inside a small copse I discovered the remains of a Lime Quarry and Kiln complex (as shown in video below) close to Linn House. This would have been active in the 19th century at a time when the adjacent area was by busy with coal mining, paper mills and textile working all centred on around the White Cart Water which was the main source of power.


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Medieval Pollock Park Glasgow Scotland

Saturday, February 14, 2009

This evening, I am posting a couple of video clips taken at an earthwork structure at Pollock Park.

The site comprises a circular platform some 30m in diameter with a low bank around the edge and a 9M wide ditch surrounding it.

One school of thought is that the structure comprises a Norman ring-work, a circular palisaded enclosure consistent with those erected by the early Scottish-Norman families and dates from the early 12th century. It may have been the work of the Maxwell family.





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Glasgow Tall Ship Glenlee Scotland

Friday, February 13, 2009

This morning, I visited Glasgow harbour and came across the steel sailing vessel, Glenlee which was built in Glasgow 1896 and is now under restoration as a visitor attraction. The vessel was originally commissioned for commercial service and subsequently used for training purposes in the Spanish Navy.

This vessel is popular with families and children.

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Winter Images of Glasgow Scotland

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Now that the snow and ice is almost gone, I have collated a few still images of my recent travels around Glasgow with particular emphasis on winter scenery.

Firstly, here is a snowman near Pollock Park


Wildfowl at Queen's Park
Not icicles but frozen wood

White Cart at Linn Park
Another aspect of the White Cart Water at Linn Park

Icebound birds at Queen's Park

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Greek Thomson Architecture in Glasgow Winter

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This evening, I am posting a couple of video clips of famous buildings designed by Victorian Glasgow's greatest architect, Alexander 'Greek' Thomson (1817-1875).

Thomson used ancient Greek architecture as the basis for modern architecture and left many examples of his work all over Glasgow.

The first clip below was taken at Holmwood House (1857-8). This was Thomson's finest and most elaborate villa built for the owner of the nearby paper mill.

The second clip is of the Caledonia Road Church (1856-57), Thomson's first church which is now a ruin having been burned by vandals in 1965. However, the ruins have dignity with an elevated portico and a most unusual tower. The winter sunshine and snow adds a new dimension.


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Winter at Forth&Clyde Canal Glasgow Scotland

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

This morning, Glasgow's layer of snow remained in situ. As the temperature was below freezing any standing water was covered in ice, a feature which applied to the Forth & Clyde Canal at Anniesland where I went this morning to take the video clips below. Where not protected by bridges, the canal had frozen over to a good thickness.


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Winter Snow at Linn Park Glasgow Scotland

Monday, February 09, 2009

Overnight Glasgow experienced a decent snowfall. This morning I re-visited Linn Park ( formerly and industrial area) to obtain images of the White Cart Water (river) in context of the wintry scenery, an expedition which proved successful. The river water level was quite low. Wildlife extended to a few ducks although I noticed tracks of animals in the snow.


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Pollock Park Glasgow in Winter Sunshine

Sunday, February 08, 2009

This morning, temperature was below freezing but visibility good. My timing was good as there occurred snow flurries this afternoon.

I took a trip to Pollock Park which has been voted one of the top public parks in Europe. Firstly, I came across a friendly ( docile) Highland Bull who was feeding contentedly. However, would not like to tangle with him when he is angry!

Near to Pollock House ( a heritage building open to the public) I took a video clip of the the river which runs nearby, this is actually called the White Cart Water. The temperature is evident by blocks of ice around the edges. The weir/waterfall in the video is a remnant of a former mini-hydro electric scheme which was used to provide electricity to the House before the era of mains electricity. Perhaps thought should be given to re-harnessing this energy source.




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Linn Park Glasgow in Winter

Saturday, February 07, 2009

This morning, I visited Linn Park near Clarkston. This park is centred on the White Cart Water, a river which was a source of power for various mills, mines and industrial activity from the 17th through to the 20th centuries. Over the course of some five centuries mills on this stretch of the river have used to produce or power paper, snuff, printing activities, meal, and waulk ( washing and thickening cloth). There are also numerous coal mines and lime pits in the area. What is now an area for pleasant relaxation was up until the 19th century a very active industrial, area employing many hundreds of workers.

The video clips below show the White Cart River at the heart of the old industrial area. Weather conditions were benign relative to the heavy snow and ice experienced elsewhere in Britain.

I plan to return to this area to look more closely at the industrial archaeology.

Interestingly, the word linn derives from (a) Llyn, the Brittonic (Welsh) word for lake or (b) Linne, the Gaelic for pool. I suspect the former in this case as Brittonic was spoken in Glasgow in the past and there exist other, local place names of Brittonic derivation.




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House for Art Lover Garden Glasgow in February

Friday, February 06, 2009

This morning, Glasgow continued as a relative oasis of benign weather. North of Scotland and Southern England continued to suffer with heavy snow leading to severe transport disruption and thousands of closed schools. With clear skies and sunshine I visited the House for Art Lover at Dumbreck Park. The video clips below reveal the wintry conditions albeit with a spark of colour from emerging polyanthus blooms.


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Wildfowl at Queens Park Glasgow Scotland

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Today, many parts of Britain were suffering extreme transport difficulties due to heavy snow falls and ice. Over 5000 schools were closed. However, Glasgow was a pocket of relative normality but light conditions remained poor.

This morning, I continued my wildfowl theme with a visit to Queen's Park to photograph the birds. This area was, in fact, a major battle site (Battle of Langside 1568) but is now put to more peaceful uses.

As the video clip shows, the park is covered by snow and the pond frozen over.

The pond is carefully managed to help the wildlife. There is a resident pair of Mute Swans which breed.


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Winter Sunshine in Glasgow

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

This morning, we benefited from an unusual sunny period which allowed me to venture out and take a short video of people feeding the waterfowl, including a pair of swans, on a frozen Rouken Glen pond.

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First Shoots of Spring in Glasgow Scotland

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

This morning I visited Dumbreck Park in Glasgow. This is where the famous Burrell Collection is located as is House for an Art Lover.

Here are some images of the first crocus I have seen this year. Some colour to the snow and ice!



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Snowbound Rouken Glen Glasgow

Monday, February 02, 2009

This morning, Glasgow was covered in a layer of snow from heavy overnight falls. The following image and video clips were taken in course of my trip around local park, Rouken Glen, during continuing snow falls.

Light conditions were, inevitability, poor but gave rise to some interesting effects.

The snow shut down most of Southern England but Glasgow escaped relatively lightly.





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Highland Cows Scotland

Sunday, February 01, 2009

This morning, I came across this small herd of Highland Cows enjoying their morning feed at Pollock Park, Glasgow. The muddy conditions did not seem to faze them.


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