North Ayrshire Heritage Trails

North Ayrshire Heritage Trails

North Ayrshire Heritage Trails

Crocodile Rock and Little Cumbrae

North Ayrshire Heritage Trails

North Ayrshire Heritage Trails

The Garrison, Isle of Cumbrae

North Ayrshire Heritage Trails

North Ayrshire Heritage Trails

Millport, Cathedral of the Isles

Cumbrae - Explore Cumbrae

Lion Rock; geology imitating life

This is a fine geological feature of Cumbrae. Lion Rock is a dyke of Labradorite which has intruded into the existing Old Red Sandstone. The last ice age glaciation wore down the softer sandstone to expose the dyke which has been weathered to a shape similar to that of a lion.

Together with a nearby dyke called Deil's Rock they were known as the Keppel Walls and individually as Heatherene Keipel and Houllon Keipel.

After the ice age the dykes would have been at sea level as the land levels in this part of Scotland were much lower. Once the weight of the ice litted the land rose to form the raised beach and sea cliffs that you can see all round Cumbrae. This raising of the land started approximately 8000 years ago and is still happening; it is called isostatic rebound.

Other interesting geological features in Cumbrae include -

These are found just south of Westbourne Cove in the exposed rock at the shore. These rock features are the fossil record of colonies of algae that flourished in warm shallow seas.

Sea Cave
At Red Craigs a cave was formed by sea-action in the cliffs and of course there is associated tales of smugglers.

Victoria's Face
Also at Red Craigs when looked at from a certain angle the profile of Queen Victoria can be traced against the sky.

Glead Stane
A glacial erratic found at the very top of the island. Even though it's at a height of 417 feet (127m) it's still worth the climb it see it.

There are two springs on note on Cumbrae and, following the strange Scottish habit of calling springs wells, are known as the Wishing Well and the Millport Mineral Well. The Wishing Well is on the east coast of the island and flows almost straight into the Clyde. The Mineral Well is near the top of the island on the road up to the Glead Stane.

Useful websites

Other Lion Rocks

Looking at Lion Rock from the north.
Queen Victoria's profile on the cliffs at Red Craigs.
Opening of the Millport Mineral Well by Lady June, wife of Lord Inverclyde, in 1928.
The Wishing Well flowing into the Firth.
A family having a rest and a refreshing drink at the Millport Mineral Well.
The Glead Stane at the top of the island.

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