By Donald A. Cameron
Having completed the Munros and visited 304 of Historic Scotland’s 308 Sites I was looking for a new project when I came across this excellent guide by Sue Hothersall.
I had already visited about a dozen of the fifty sites, e.g. Glasgow Cathedral, Govan Old Parish Church, Dumbarton Rock, etc. but it was with a sense of enquiry and satisfaction that I set off to work my way around Sue’s list. This took me into hidden corners of the world that I had missed on my outings. For example the wonderful chambered cairn ‘The Druids’s Grave’ in pleasant country near Beith, the prominent hillfort (?) Dunwan Hill giving an excuse to walk through Whitelea Wind Farm, the Meikle Reive hillfort on the slopes of the Campsies giving a lovely day out and Sir John de Graham’s Castle looking out over the Carron Valley.
Favourite Sites? – Four stand out in different areas and of different types. Firstly the Crannog at Dumbuck a muddy walk at low tide but with surprisingly extensive remains visited on a lovely evening with the Waverley paddling by 20 yards away.
Secondly Stockie Muir Chambered Tomb, giving an excuse to visit that unique geological feature The Whangie.
Thirdly Torwood Broch very overgrown, but with substantial walls, a rare southern outpost of the architectural feature more common in the north.
Finally as a Romanist my top favourite Lurg Moor Roman Fortlet above Port Glasgow with fabulous views up the Clyde to the Loch Lomond Hills and to the west. Now threatened by Wind Farm development, I spent two hours here soaking up the views and appreciating the pragmatism of the Romans to pick the perfect spot. This is only a snapshot of the pleasure to be got from this excellent illustrated and well described Guide. With a perfect “how to get there” section I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Buy it, get there and … enjoy!
Archaeology Around Glasgow is available at Meetings (£10) or by requesting an order form through our Publications Officer (+ £1.50 postage).
Cover image: "Love Heart" at the Whangie by easylocum
Inset: Dumbarton Rock by Andy Magee