Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Mystery of Garwaldshiels

There really shouldn't be a beach here! My walk yesterday to do some Geographing in the headwaters of the Black Esk, took me past the reservoir of the same name. When I was here a year or so ago (see here), the reservoir was full. It certainly is not in June 2010, reflecting just how dry it has been in the past months.

It is a pretty place though, with fishing for brown trout.

The reservoir dates from 1962, and levels must fluctuate, to see these dead trees standing at its head.

A structure, probably a dry stane dyke, just peaks above the surface of the water. This caused me to wonder just what had been flooded when the dam was built and the reservoir established. Sure enough, there used to be a farm, Blackeskhead, on the river hereabouts.

On the principle that annual levels of rainfall will average out over the months ahead, I think I should start building my ark now!

However, one of the aims of yesterday's walk was to investigate further what I'm calling 'the mystery of Garwaldshiels'. This little bridge over the Black Esk upriver from the reservoir, made from two metal beams and a whole load of used railway sleepers, leads to an area on my OS 1:25,000 map showing a habitation called Garwaldshiels.

The 'mystery' is that there's nothing there! On old maps, further up the Black Esk, there is also a 'Garwaldshiels'. On newer maps this is what is now known as 'Old Garwaldshields', which I've visited before, see here. But what happened to this 'new' Garwaldshiels? More research is needed.

To my eye, I could see nothing to suggest the foundations of a house. But there is certainly evidence of habitation, daffodils, other bulbs, and this patch of rhubarb!

This little pool, where the Black Esk meets up with the White Hope Burn, was a fine place for an afternoon break!

Pics © Skip Cottage

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