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Carlin Crags 1

Natural Feature (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Carlin Crags 1

Classification Natural Feature (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Carlin Craigs

Canmore ID 43967

Site Number NS55SW 1

NGR NS 54664 52039

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council East Renfrewshire
  • Parish Eaglesham
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Eastwood
  • Former County Renfrewshire

Archaeology Notes

NS55SW 1 NS 54661 52042.

(NS 5465 5204) Cup marked Rocks (NR)

OS 25" map, (1967)

A map and rubbing held by the NMRS, annotated by J Harrison Maxwell, records his discovery of a group of 30 cup-marks on Carlin Crags, 7 November 1943.

NMRS MS 26/14.

Group of cup marks, apparently 19 in all, on rock surface at Carlin Crags; scale drawings in Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum (Reg No: '55-7) (information from J G Scott to OS, 9 February 1955).

Morris and Bailey (1967) notes at least 14 cups, on flat outcrops.

R W B Morris and D C Bailey 1967; Information from S R Skilling, 2 Ailsa Drive, Glasgow.

On top of a small rocky crag, some 15 small cups were located on one or two natural rocks. There are many water-worn fissures in association, but no trace of rings or other artificial markings. The features may be authentic, or merely weather-worn cavities.

Visited by OS (J L D) 10 August 1955.

Previous field report agreed with, but 18 cup marks on average 2" in diameter, 1/2" deep, were located.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (W D J) 20 November 1964.

Not cup-marks.

Visited by A MacLaren, 1979.

A number of possible cupmarkings are visible on an exposed limestone rock sheet on the summit of the Carlin Crags. The rock sheet is also marked with natural solution hollows and glacial striations.

Visited by RCAHMS (GB, AH) 17 July 2007.


Note (15 November 2017)

Date Fieldwork Started: 15/11/2017

Compiled by: ACFA South Glasgow

Location Notes: The sites of Carlin Crags 1 (Canmore ID 43967) and Carlin Crags 2 (Canmore ID 43970) are on a prominent low mound of fissured basaltic outcrops, about 180m S of the KIrkton Moor Road. They are visible about 480m W of Bonnyton Moor Golf Club House on the south side of the road where it takes a series of bends but before the road doubles back at the East Moorhouse road end. Carlin Crags is sited in rough pasture and across an area of boggy ground which carries small issues to the N and W of the outcrop, there is evidence of former quarrying of the outcrop in several areas with abandoned stone blocks proximate to the road.

Carlin Crags 1 is a complex of slab outcrops with steeper exposed S faces creating a nest of small sheltered cells attractive to grazing stock and is separated from Carlin Crags 2, about 35m to the east, a second outcrop of basaltic slabs. There are several rock surfaces (panels 1.1-1.7) with cup-shaped features on Carlin Crags 1:

Panel 1.1 is sited on the highest point of a large basaltic slab boulder.

Panel 1.2 is sited 6.5 m. to the E. of Panel 1.1 , and is probably contiguous with Panel 1.3. adjacent of its W. side,both occupying the same large basalt outcrop on the summit of Carlin Crags.

Panel 1.3 is separated by a narrow but shallow turf filled fissure from Panel 1.2 adjacent to the E. and is probably part of the same slab of outcrop. It is sited about 4m E of Panel 1.1 and 5.8m SE of Panel 1.4.

Panel 1.4 is sited on a separate boss of rock 8.5m NNW of Panel 1.1 and 5.8m NW of panels 1.2 and 1.3 and is inclined to the NNW where it falls away in a series of small ledges. A series of fissures run from NE to SW across its surface.

Panel 1.5 has been divided into Panel 1.5A and 1.5B as indicated in the sketch as both are contiguous. These slabs are sited on the S side of Carlin Crags 1 and at the E end of a complex of slabs and outcrop which are separated from the higher features of Panels 1.1 to 1.4 by an E-W nest of sheltered rock cells used by stock and visitors as a convenient shelter. The panels are separated by a narrow fissure.

Panels 1.6 and 1.7 are sited along a low scarp of rock extending E-W along the S length of Carlin Crags 1 from the site of Carlin Crags 1.5A and B to the W, to a low grass covered promontory to the E, which itself carries a low turf covered bank around its E perimeter, possibly created by quarrying. Along the scarp, bosses of exposed rock emerge at the lip of the scarp which itself continues as a turf covered rise to the N. Two of the exposures appear carry suggested cup marks as Panels 1.6 and 1.7 in the location sketch.

There are extensive views to the E over Eaglesham and the Upper White Cart Valley; to the SE, to Tinto Hill (28 miles) and SSE to Myres Hill Cairn and claimed cupmarked stone (4.5 miles). To the S the foreground is dominated by the rising Boshee Hill with the summit of Ballagioch Hill just visible. To the N the view is obscured by the immediate rise of a low ridge on the north side of Kirkton Moor Road. The site of the possible prehistoric enclosure and roundhouse, Canmore ID 43969 is visible 489m to the W.

Panel Notes: Panels 1.1 /1.2/1.3 and 1.4. Sited on the summit of the largest prominent outcrop and appear to be the most common surfaces described historically.

Considerable areas of turf would require stripping to determine the relationship of the four panels to each other, what is recorded is areas which are currently visible with minimum stripping.

The extensive fissuring and weathering of the surface offers many challenges to interpretation as seen in previous descriptions. We have indicated the more possible suggested cup marks as open features and the certain weathered ones as dotted lines.

Panel 1.1: This panel measures 3.0m E-W x 4.0m NNW - SSE, the south edge of the slab is a vertical face dropping 1.8m to a natural hollow in the crags, the boss of rock on which panels 1.1 - 1.4 are sited slopes gently to the north. A fissure on the lower northern half of this panel has a natural weather hollow, measuring 120mm x 90mm x 45mm deep which may have been enhanced and adjacent and below this on the edge of the feature there is a cupmark 75mm - 60mm. The panel contains 3 hollows interpreted as cup marks, the hollow described on the upper south side and 2 further possible cupmarks on the lower north side.

Panel 1.2 consists, as cleared, as a single panel divide by a turf filled N-S fissure from panel 1.3, and carries 4 possible cup marks and a single double cup mark, 2 cup marks and the possible double mark are sited along the N edge of pulled turf. Further marks may be found if the surface was fully cleared. A single cup mark is on the rising S. area of the panel. There are 5 probable weathering marks, one a double feature and a short weather gully terminating in a large possible natural but enhanced irregular cup measuring 110mm x 80mm x 10mm deep.

Panel 1.3 carries 3 possible cup marks from 70mm x 60mm x 0.2mm deep to 65mm x 60mm x 0.2mm deep, the higher mark to the S. is irregular and probably weathering.

Panel 1.4 carries 2 possible cup marks on its upper S face, the most defined is the upper mark 50mm x 38mm x 0.6mm deep, the adjacent lower one is 45mm x 40mm x 0.6mm is irregular and may be natural weathering. On the lower N face there are 2 possible cup marks, probably weathering and in the NNE face a natural groove 0.6mm long x 0.2mm wide runs into a probably natural or enhanced pot 100mm x 30mm x 04mm deep.

Panel 1.5A has a large fissure which runs from its NW corner down to a narrower crack which runs N-S across the width of the lower panel. Almost at the junction of these features may be seen a suggested cup mark measuring 80mm x 50mm and 8mm deep, the lower part of whose circumference has been cut by two diverging cuts which extend to the lower crack. This gives the feature the appearance of a 'keyhole cup mark' but is probably natural. A second suggested cup mark lies to the S. and below lower crack and measures 60mm diameter x 0.5mm deep. This panel has been photographed several times in the public record with the "keyhole" mark prominently featured.

Panel 1.5B carries a series of cracks running E-W down the slab and a single suggested cup mark measuring 60mm diameter x 0.4mm deep.

Panel 1.6 is a lipped boulder slab its S edge part of the natural kerb of the outcrop. On the upper E side is a probably natural small basin measuring 105mm x 70mm x 20mm deep and adjacent to the N and S of it, two possible small cup marks. The 3D model screen shots show one of these features.

Panel 1.7 is sited about 4m E of Panel 1.6 with an unmarked exposure of outcrop separating them. It carries a single suggested cup mark on the upper N face measuring 35mm x 40mm x 0.4mm deep.

All the features described above are considered to be natural.


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