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Pentland Hills
Pentlands099.JPG

Etymology

The name is first recorded for the farm of Pentland (c.1050, 1200) and probably derives from Brythonic pen llan, head or top end of the church or enclosure. In the late 15th to mid-16th centuries, land transfers refer to Pentlandmure and Pentland – documents that also list adjacent parcels of land with such still-recognisable names as Loganehous, Hilend, Boghall and Mortounhall. 'Muir', in Pentlandmure, describes common grazings where the farm's livestock would be pastured in summer; and gradually the name was linked more specifically with the slopes of the nearby hills (perhaps Allermuir, Woodhouselee or Castlelaw).[1]. The name is completely unrelated to the name of the Pentland Firth in the north of Scotland.

Timothy Pont mapped the area in the 1590s, and his work appeared in the maps of the Dutch cartographers Hondius (1630s) and Joan Blaeu (1654). Interestingly, Blaeu gives the name in two forms, in two different locations: Pentland Hill (roughly in the area of Castlelaw); and Penth-landt hill (further south and clearly intended as a name for the wider range).

Geology

The southern and western parts of the Pentland Hills are formed from sandstones together with some conglomerates, all of Devonian age and assigned to the Old Red Sandstone. Within the sedimentary sequence are extrusive igneous rocks, principally of basaltic and andesitic composition. The sedimentary rocks are also intruded by dykes of porphyrite.

The oldest rocks are a sequence of Silurian mudstones, siltstones and sandstones collected together as the North Esk Group. From oldest to youngest they comprise the Llandovery age Reservoir Formation (named for North Esk Reservoir where these rocks are to be found), the Deerhope Formation, the Cock Rig Formation and the Wether Law Linn Formation overlain by the Wenlockian age Henshaw Formation. These are in turn unconformably overlain by the late Silurian to early Devonian age sandstones and conglomerates of the Greywacke Conglomerate and Swanshaw Sandstone formations. A further unconformity separates these from the overlying Pentland Hills Volcanic Formation though all three formations are collected together within the Lanark Group. The Volcanic Formation forms such summits as East and West Kip.

The southeastern edge of the range is defined by the Pentland Fault with a substantial downthrow to the southeast. Running NE-SW through the middle of the range is the Cairnmuir Fault which downthrows to the northwest. West Cairn Hill and East Cairn Hill are formed by the sandstones of the Kinnesswood Formation which reach as far north as Hare Hill (though also underlie much of the southeastern part of Edinburgh) and which terminate to the southeast at the Cairnmuir Fault. The Kinnesswood sandstones together with rocks of the Ballaggan Formation, which form the lower ground immediately northwest of the Pentlands, constitute the early Carboniferous age Inverclyde Group.

Black Hill stands out as being an intrusion of microgranite or felsite, as in part is nearby Harbour Hill. South Black Hill on the other hand, together with Scald Hill and Carnethy hill are formed from various lithologies of the Pentland Hills Volcanic Formation, as too are Allermuir, Caerketton and Castlelaw hills. The Volcanic Formation gives rise to generally steeper and craggier hillsides as these rocks are more resistant to erosion than the sedimentary rocks.

Much of the lower ground is covered by glacial till from the last ice age. Glacial meltwater channels are identified in places as at Deer Hope and the deep cleft of Green Cleugh between Hare Hill and Black Hill.[2][3][4]

List of peaks

The peaks include:

  • Scald Law (579 m) (1,900 ft)
  • Carnethy Hill (573 m) (1,880 ft)
  • East Cairn Hill (567 m) (1,860 ft)
  • South Black Hill (563 m) (1,860 ft)
  • West Cairn Hill (562 m) (1,844 ft)
  • West Kip (551 m) (1,808 ft)
  • Byrehope Mount (536 m) (1,759 ft)
  • Mount Maw (535 m) (1,759 ft)
  • East Kip (534 m) (1,752 ft)
  • Turnhouse Hill (506 m) (1660 ft)
  • Black HIll (501 m) (1,644 ft)
  • Allermuir Hill (493 m) (1,617 ft)
  • Castlelaw Hill (488 m) (1,601 ft)
  • Caerketton Hill (478 m) (1,568 ft)

The hills span a number of council regions: from the City of Edinburgh and Midlothian in the north, south-west through West Lothian to the Scottish Borders and South Lanarkshire.

Use

The Pentland Hills Regional Park was designated in 19

The name is first recorded for the farm of Pentland (c.1050, 1200) and probably derives from Brythonic pen llan, head or top end of the church or enclosure. In the late 15th to mid-16th centuries, land transfers refer to Pentlandmure and Pentland – documents that also list adjacent parcels of land with such still-recognisable names as Loganehous, Hilend, Boghall and Mortounhall. 'Muir', in Pentlandmure, describes common grazings where the farm's livestock would be pastured in summer; and gradually the name was linked more specifically with the slopes of the nearby hills (perhaps Allermuir, Woodhouselee or Castlelaw).[1]. The name is completely unrelated to the name of the Pentland Firth in the north of Scotland.

Timothy Pont mapped the area in the 1590s, and his work appeared in the maps of the Dutch cartographers Hondius (1630s) and Joan Blaeu (1654). Interestingly, Blaeu gives the name in two forms, in two different locations: Pentland Hill (roughly in the area of Castlelaw); and Penth-landt hill (further south and clearly intended as a name for the wider range).

Geology

The southern and western parts of the Pentland Hills are formed from sandstones together with some conglomerates, all of Devonian age and assigned to the Old Red Sandstone. Within the sedimentary sequence are extrusive igneous rocks, principally of basaltic and andesitic composition. The sedimentary rocks are also intruded by dykes of porphyrite.

The oldest rocks are a sequence of Silurian mudstones, siltstones and sandstones colle

Timothy Pont mapped the area in the 1590s, and his work appeared in the maps of the Dutch cartographers Hondius (1630s) and Joan Blaeu (1654). Interestingly, Blaeu gives the name in two forms, in two different locations: Pentland Hill (roughly in the area of Castlelaw); and Penth-landt hill (further south and clearly intended as a name for the wider range).

The southern and western parts of the Pentland Hills are formed from sandstones together with some conglomerates, all of Devonian age and assigned to the Old Red Sandstone. Within the sedimentary sequence are extrusive igneous rocks, principally of basaltic and andesitic composition. The sedimentary rocks are also intruded by dykes of porphyrite.

The oldest rocks are a sequence of Silurian mudstones, siltstones and sandstones collected together as the Silurian mudstones, siltstones and sandstones collected together as the North Esk Group. From oldest to youngest they comprise the Llandovery age Reservoir Formation (named for North Esk Reservoir where these rocks are to be found), the Deerhope Formation, the Cock Rig Formation and the Wether Law Linn Formation overlain by the Wenlockian age Henshaw Formation. These are in turn unconformably overlain by the late Silurian to early Devonian age sandstones and conglomerates of the Greywacke Conglomerate and Swanshaw Sandstone formations. A further unconformity separates these from the overlying Pentland Hills Volcanic Formation though all three formations are collected together within the Lanark Group. The Volcanic Formation forms such summits as East and West Kip.

The southeastern edge of the range is defined by the Pentland Fault with a substantial downthrow to the southeast. Running NE-SW through the middle of the range is the Cairnmuir Fault which downthrows to the northwest. West Cairn Hill and East Cairn Hill are formed by the sandstones of the Kinnesswood Formation which reach as far north as Hare Hill (though also underlie much of the southeastern part of Edinburgh) and which terminate to the southeast at the Cairnmuir Fault. The Kinnesswood sandstones together with rocks of the Ballaggan Formation, which form the lower ground immediately northwest of the Pentlands, constitute the early Carboniferous age Inverclyde Group.

Black Hill stands out as being an intrusion of microgranite or felsite, as in part is nearby Harbour Hill. South Black Hill on the other hand, together with Scald Hill and Carnethy hill are formed from various lithologies of the Pentland Hills Volcanic Formation, as too are Allermuir, Caerketton and Castlelaw hills. The Volcanic Formation gives rise to generally steeper and craggier hillsides as these rocks are more resistant to erosion than the sedimentary rocks.

Much of the lower ground is covered by glacial till from the last ice age. Glacial meltwater channels are identified in places as at Deer Hope and the deep cleft of Green Cleugh between Hare Hill and Black Hill.[2][3][4]

The peaks include: