Cairnsmore of Fleet

A mountain massif of volcanic origin rising to the east of Newton Stewart in Dumfries and Galloway, Cairnsmore of Fleet is designated as a National Nature Reserve. It has two summits - Minnigaff (711m / 2331 feet) and Kirkmabreck (656m / 2152 feet), each named after the old parishes in which they fall. The former summit is marked by an Ordnance Survey triangulation pillar installed in 1936, part of a primary network established to enable the re-triangulation of Great Britain.

The mountain is at the centre of an mass of granite injected into surrounding Silurian sedimentary rocks, which principally comprise greywackes and shales. These sediments have been metamorphosed by the heat of the granite. Other similar igneous complexes lie to the north and east at Loch Doon, Cairnsmore of Carsphairn and Criffel.

Cairnsmore of Fleet features in John Buchan's novel 'The Thirty Nine Steps'. Several plane crashes in the 1940s and one in 1979 are commemorated with a plaque close to the summit of Minnigaff.

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