Sunday, November 04, 2012


"Have you seen what it is yet?" The clue is that I'm in Greskine Forest, north of Beattock, looking down towards the M74.

I was hunting for the remains of Mellingshaw Tower.

There's not much left of this 16th century tower house which belonged to the Johnstones. Archeological notes are here.

One has to think that some of the material from the ruined tower might have been incorporated in this dry stane dyke. The pic shows the prominent position that the tower house occupied above the Evan Valley.

The little burn that come down this forest ride is called 'Tower Burn'.

Rather more substantial is Mellingshaw Burn which has carved a deep gorge, complete with waterfalls, on the downside of this bridge. Exploration of which has to be left to those younger and fitter than me!

These are the ruins of Greskine. Canmore lists it as a 'farmstead' see here, with no other information. Certainly it looks to be a substantial habitation on the OS 25 inch first edition map from 1861. Greskine farmstead gave Greskine Forest its name.

Did someone with a warped sense of humour plant the tree within the walls of the house? My OS 1:25000 Explorer map, which dates from 2001, seems to show that Greskine is in a clearing. It's not - it's well hidden by trees these days and could easily be missed it you weren't actually looking for it.

Greskine had two rooms. There's a hearth at each end of the building. I wonder what life would have been like here in the mid nineteenth century?

I tried to see if I could find one with four leaves!

There were wintry showers last night! This snow was still lying on these old logs as I walked up through the forest.

But it was a perfect day for a walk, with lots to see. Indeed, Greskine almost made it into my list of places I don't blog about - because I want to keep them a secret! The constant rumble from the nearby M74 was the only thing that prevented a full mark!

Photos © Skip Cottage

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic again Bob. I had seen this before on my OS but hadn't ever been there. Again, one for the list. You'll have to get yourself up to Lochwood!