Monday, May 12, 2014

Generations of geology students have swarmed over his unconformity on the way to the Cock of Arran,.

We made our way out of Loch Ranza and turned north along...

...the Newton shore where we chose to stop for second breakfast near the site of a considerable nonconformity.

Just below the wreck of this old boat (which has seen better days) lies an interesting geological feature,.It attracted the interest of the 18th century Scottish geologist James Hutton. He observed dipping old metamorphic rocks which were immediately overlain by gently sloping layers of much younger sedimentary rocks. There was no evidence of any intermediary rocks between the layers despite them being separated by 160 million years. Hutton used this unconformity to deduce that the underlying metamorphic rock had been created, metamorphosed, (altered by great forces) then uplifted and eroded before the later sedimentary rocks were overlain. Lastly, the two layers were then further uplifted then eroded to expose their junction on what is now Newton shore. He deduced from all this that the World was much older than had been previously thought.

Generations of geology students have followed Hutton to swarm all over his unconformity.

Leaving the unnconformity we passed the Fairy Glen on our way north.

This rock pippit was hopping between great...

...priapic boulders of conglomerate...

... which lay on the old red sandstone of the Cock of Arran.

For the full StereoVision experience read Ian's account here.

Anchors aweigh at Lochranza castle.

Although Lochranza castle has stood since  it was built by the MasSweens as a two storey hall house in the mid 13th century... was heavily modified by the Mongomeries in the 16th century to become a tower house. Indeed this is not even the original door, which was initially on the other side of the castle.

 The interior is well worth exploring and it is fun to try and work out what function the various parts of the castle had served.

 Some of the stairways are still open so it is possible to climb to some of the upper levels.

 Helpful plaques highlight features of the castle's construction and history.

Although the sun shines in now, originally the interior would have been very dark.

 Some light now spills into this store but the claustrophobic prison was still in complete darkness so... was a relief to escape through the tiny door to...

...the brightness of the day outside. It would have been nice to stay in this wonderful location for second breakfast but a bitterly cold wind had sprung up and not even...

...this wonderful old anchor could hold us there. It was time to move on to an unconventional alternative....

For the full StereoVision experience see Ian's account here.