Sunday, 7 July 2013

Fast Castle & Siccar Point.

The forecast was to be hot for the day with blue sky's, so taking full advantage of this I decided to cross the East Lothian Border into the Scottish Borders & head for the coastal cliffs to visit the ruins of Fast Castle & the home of geology at Siccar Point...

Crossing the border under the old & new A1 road bridge's.
Dunglass mill cottage swamped at this time of year with tree's etc.

Heading to & passing by Pease Bay caravan park, with the Coastal Path Waymarkers pointing you in the right direction.

(Top 2) Climbing up the never ending Coldingham Moor road to near enough the top, with views of the cliffs & Red Heugh farm cottages with their amazing view over the sea.
(Bottom) Finally at the top & turning to go down the Dowlaw farm road towards Fast Castle.

Farmers making silage bales for the winter months, No escaping the horrible wind turbines & Harly Darlies telecommunications tower used in WWII, also on this site there was a settlement & earthworks from the Megalithic period.

A wee look back over towards my home county with the prominent landmarks of Torness power station & LaFarge cement works & now reaching Dowlaw preparing for the big descent down to Fast Castle & looking over to the spring fed hill pond up here on the moor.

From sea level back at Pease Bay caravan park climbing high up to the edge of the second highest cliffs in the eastern side of Britain.

Over the gate & down the hill to come to the start of the walkway to the castle with some warning signs highlighting the dangers of the impending cliffs ahead & a farmers message to dog walkers.

A rock with 2 sculptures on it for walkers to take pictures or rubbing's off, there are more to collect all along the Berwickshire Coastal Path.

Following a nice single track through the heather & down the hill eventually revealing Fast Castle down on the cliff edge.

 Part of the castle which has recently collapsed.

 The on-site quarry used in the castle's construction.

A artist's impression of how the castle once looked. The castle sits on 148 foot high cliffs making the castle more or less impregnable, the castle could only be reached by a drawbridge over a narrow ravine protected by a 'barbican' which is a fortified outpost or gateway, such as an outer defence to a city or castle, or any tower situated over a gate or bridge which was used for defensive purposes. There is evidence of Iron Age habitation here & Fast Castle is first recorded in 1333, Fast Castle was originally known as 'Fause Castle' which meant 'false' on account of the lights that were hung from it to mislead shipping. Ship masters would see the lights while travelling in darkness & consider that they had reached a safe haven, only to find that they had been guided onto rocks, where 'wrecking parties' awaited to plunder the wreckage.

 Before the big hike back up the hill I was sitting having a bite to eat & admiring the amazing scenery over the castle, sea & the rugged coastline, when I spotted a seal playing with a buoy of a fisherman's lobster creel, the seal was having such a great time that I left him to carry on & I made my way back up the steep hill.

Following the Berwickshire Coastal Path travelling towards my second planned stop of the day at Siccar Point.

Missing a waymarker & taking a wrong path I came across this little bolthole !

Re-tracing my way back & now back on the correct route with some pictures on the way.

The ruins of St. Helen's church at Old Cambus on the way to Siccar Point.

Siccar Point is famous in the history of geology as a result of a boat trip in 1788 in which James Hutton & two others observed the angular unconformity which Hutton regarded as conclusive proof of his uniformitarian theory of geological development. Gently sloping strata of 345 million year old Devonian Old Red Sandstone overlie near vertical layers of 425 million year old Silurian Greywacke.

A couple of last photos of the views along the coastal route & now leaving behind the Scottish Borders & back home now... East Lothian...
...& home to Innerwick, glad to be out of the sun ! Hope you enjoyed the tour until the next time cheers for now.