Saturday, 24 September 2022

Arran - A Look Beyond the Obvious - see also Island 3

Arran was the 3rd island I ever visited, back in 1976.  I have returned three times since and this blog post highlights some of the less obvious interesting places to visit on the island.

Tin Tabernacle Church at Pirnmill
The church was built c1920.

Pirnmill Church Bell

Plaque outside the Co-op in Lamlash commemorating Donald McKelvie
Donald McKelvie (1867-1947) developed disease resistant potatoes, including the Arran Chief, Arran Victory, Arran Pilot and Arran Banner. The Maris Piper was bred from his Arran Cairn,  He also bred Highland ponies.  He was born on Arran and after training as an accountant in Glasgow he returned to Lamlash in 1894 to run his family's bakery business.  He became interested in horticulture and developed the new varieties in his garden and on fields where the high school now stands.

Igneous Dyke at Kildonan Shore
The southern coast of Arran around Kildonan has one of the best exposed igneous dyke swarms in the world.  They were formed when basaltic magma was squeezed up through vertical  cracks in the earth's crust, which formed as the continents of Europe and North America were pulled apart 60 million years ago.  Today they look like walls that extend out into the sea.
Igneous Dyke at Kildonan Shore

Waterfall at Kildonan Shore

Seat at Kildonan Shore

Eas Mor Waterfall
It was more of a trickle, than a waterfall when we visited in May 2022, despite a week of rain.

Paper lined hut near Eas Mor
Not sure what this was all about!

Outside of the paper-lined hut at Eas More

Bluebells near Eas Mor Waterfall

Sheep bollard at Glen Sannox

Elephant Rock near Sannox

Hutton's Unconformity, Lochranza

Fairy Seat at the Fairy Dell near Lochranza

Fairy Dell, Lochranza

Twelve Apostles, Catacol
This row of 12 cottages is known as the Twelve Apostles.  They were built in the 1860s to house people who had been cleared from their homes in the interior of Arran to make way for deer.  

Barking House, Catacol
This now ruined building is where local fisherman used to preserved their sails, ropes and nets by immersing them in a liquid known as cutch. Cutch was made by boiling the bark of the Acacia catechu tree (from India) in water.

St Bride's Church, Lochranza
The current church was built in 1795 on the site of an earlier church. It was enlarged in 1835 and restored in the mid 1890s by the Duke of Hamilton.

Stained Glass Window in Lochranza Church
This window was given by Miss Edith Kerr in 1931 in memory of the Reverend John Colville. It depicts the ship of the Gospel sailing through the troubled seas of life. The thunder and lightning represent the perils its experiences along the way. The lighthouse on the hill in the background is a guide to the ship's ultimate goal, the city of light and the harbour where the waters are calm.

Auchencar Standing Stone

Auchencar Standing Stone

Auchagallon Cairn

Coast Path near the King's Cave

Cave near the King's Cave

Entrance to the King's Cave
According to legend, a despondent Robert the Bruce sheltered in this cave before the Battle of Bannockburn and it was here that he saw the famous spider that took numerous attempts to create its web but never gave up on its task.  This inspired him to have another go at claiming the Scottish throne.  However, the story is probably not true and the cave is one of a number that claim to have sheltered Robert the Bruce on that occasion.  The caves along this part of the coast to the north of Blackwaterfoot were eroded into the New Red Sandstone cliffs by the sea during the last ice age when glaciers covered much of Scotland and caused isostatic depression of the land.  When the climate warmed the glaciers melted and the weight of the ice was removed from the land, which caused it to rise up relative to the sea and to form the raised beaches, which are a feature around most of the coastline of Arran.

Cross carving in the King's Cave

Looking out of the King's Cave

King's Cave

Caves close to the King's Cave

Entrance to the King's Cave

Rock sculptures in a cave to the north of the King's Cave

Unusual rock formation near the King's Cave - is this an example of pillow lava?

Beautifully carved wooden otter gate at Corrie

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