Sunday, 10 June 2012


The streets of Glasgow may not be paved with gold, but what they are paved with is stone from the quarry at Castletown, as are the streets of Edinburgh. In fact the stone made it all the way to Melbourne, among other far-flung places, shipped out of the tiny harbour of Castlehill. At its height, there were 500 men working at the quarry, but sadly it closed in the 1920s due to competition from concrete, but the memory of the trade lives on in the form of the Flagstone Trail, which starts west of the harbour near the Heritage Centre. The Centre occupies a site which was formerly part of a farmstead on the Castlehill Estate, and its displays cover not only the flagstone industry, but other local activities and traditions. One of the locally grown crops, corn, used to be processed in the Castletown Mill, built in 1818. This is now disused and in a state of ruin, and is one of the sights along the Trail, along with the remains of the quarry, a dam, a water-sheel and a cutting yard. The village itself has a history dating back to the Iron Age, as evidenced by the presence of a broch nearby. One of its most imposing buildings is the Drill Hall, now used as a community centre.

Map of the area.

© 2003, Bob Jones, via Wikimedia Commons

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