Lomond Hills

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

This edition is copyright © The Editors of the Gazetteer for Scotland, 2002-2022.

It has taken much time and money to make the six-volumes of Groome's text freely accessible. Please help us continue and develop by making a donation. If only one out of every ten people who view this page gave £5 or $10, the project would be self-sustaining. Sadly less than one in thirty-thousand contribute, so please give what you can.

Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry Arrow

Lomond Hills, an isolated ridge of hills on the borders of Kinross-shire and Fifeshire, NE of Loch Leven. From the E shore of Loch Leven the hills pass northwards, north-eastwards, and eastwards for a distance of 6½ miles through Portmoak, Strathmiglo, and Falkland parishes, and between the basins of the Eden and Leven. The W and N fronts are steep and rocky, the E and S smooth and gently sloping, while the top is a flat plateau, on an average about 1250 feet high. Of the section that trends eastward the principal tops are West Lomond (1713 feet), East Lomond (1471), and a point between, often called Mid Lomond, (1186). The section trending N and S is known as Bishop Hill, and has two tops (N, 1292 feet; S, 1492). This latter, though sometimes counted not to belong to the Lomond chain proper, does so in reality, being only separated from it by the deep and narrow glen that has been cut by the Glen Burn on its way to join the Eden. The hills form conspicuous landmarks all over Fife, Forfarshire, and the Lothians. and command extensive and beautiful views. Sir David Wilkie, a Fifeshire man himself, used to admire the Lomonds very much, and talked of them as his ` own blue Lomonds. ' The ridge presents in some parts a face of regular columnar basalt, and elsewhere it is formed of sandstone, limestone, coal, and interbedded volcanic rocks. The NE and E portions are well wooded. Besides Glen Burn, Maspie Burn, rising between East and Mid Lomonds, and some other small burns flow to the Eden; and Arnot, Lothrie, and Conland Burns to the Leven. The boundary line between the counties of Fife and Kinross passes along the hollow between Bishop Hill and West Lomond. South of Mid Lomond is a small lochan known as Miller's Loch. On the top of West Lomond there is a cairn, and on the edge of the Glen Burn, below Edge Head, on the SE shoulder, are the remains of a hill-fort. There are also hill-forts E by S of Mid Lomond and on the very top of East Lomond. Bishop Hill was in 1852 the scene of extensive search for gold, particularly about the limestone quarry known as Clattering Well. Overlying the limestone, which is richly fossiliferous, is a bed of ochre, in which round masses of iron pyrites occur, and these were eagerly carried off as lumps of the precious metal. East Lomond Hill was one of the great stations during the Ordnance Survey; and Carlyle in his Reminiscences (1881) thus describes a visit he and Edward Irving then paid to the top: `Another time military tents were noticed on the Lomond Hills (on the eastern of the two). " Trigonometrical Survey, " said we, " Ramsden's theodolite and what not; let us go. " And on Saturday we went. Beautiful the airy prospect from that eastern Lomond far and wide. Five or six tents stood on the top; one a black stained cooking one, with a heap of coals close by-the rest all closed and occupants gone, except one other, partly open at the eaves, through which yon could look in and see a big circular mahogany box (which we took to be the theodolite), and a saucylooking, cold, official gentleman diligently walking for exercise, no observations being possible, though the day was so bright. No admittance, however. Plenty of fine country people had come up, to whom the official had been coldly monosyllabic, as to us also he was. Polite, with a shade of contempt, and unwilling to let himself into speech. Irving had great skill in these cases. He remarked-and led us into remarking- courteously this and that about the famous Ramsden and his instrument, about the famous Trigonometrical Survey, and so forth, till the official in a few minutes had to melt; invited us exceptionally in for an actual inspection of his theodolite, which we reverently enjoyed, and saw through it the signal column-a great broad plank, he told us, on the top of Ben Lomond, sixty miles off-wavering and shivering like a bit of loose tape, so that no observation could be had. We descended the hill re factâ-Ord. Sur., sh. 40, 1867.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better