Author: George Gardner...

There are two aspects of our local geology that are of interest. The first is Loudoun Hill which dominates the landscape at the head of the Irvine Valley.

Volcanic Plug

Loudoun Hill is the remains of a massive volcano which spewed out lavas that now form the hills which lie between Darvel and Eaglesham. What is left of the volcano is a volcanic plug – this would have been part of the volcanic vent. The volcano dates from the early stages of the Carboniferous Period, around 340 million years ago about 40 million years before the Coal Measures were formed. So there is not much chance of a volcanic eruption happening now! The volcanic rock forming the hills is called basalt and the rock found in the volcanic plug is known as dolerite.

Much, much, later, almost all of Scotland was covered by ice during the Ice Age. When the Ice Age came to an end around 10,000 years ago lakes began to form from the melting ice and sand and gravel was deposited in the lake beds and around their edges. One such lake stretched from Loudoun Hill to beyond Drumclog. The sand and gravel deposits have been quarried for many years. The sand quarries that lay to the south of Loudoun Hill have been closed for some time, but the deposits beyond Drumclog are still being quarried.

Loudoun Hill Station

The old photograph shows the old Loudounhill station which was located here mainly to transport sand from the nearby quarries. The Darvel to Strathaven line station was closed in 1939.