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Tail Burn

Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork


21/03/2013 - Iron Age bank and ditch beside the Tail Burn, marked on the OS map as the Giant's Grave. According to the noticeboard and Canmore there seems to be various theories as to the use of this site. Believed to be for defence but some now think it could have been a site for pagan pilgrimage, due to its view of the impressive Grey Mare's Tail waterfall. This is a must visit just for the scenery alone. From the top of the bank the view down the glacial shaped valley of the Moffat Water is quite beautiful. The Grey Mare's Tail is one of the nicest waterfalls I've seen. It's quite easy to imagine this place as one of pilgrimage.

Grey Mare's Tail and the Giant's Grave gets a mention in Walter Scott's poem, Marmion (published in 1808)

"Where deep deep down, and far within
Toils with the rocks the roaring linn;
Then issuing forth one foamy wave,
And wheeling round the giant's grave
White as the snowy charger's tail
Drives down the pass of Moffatdale."
thelonious Posted by thelonious
24th March 2013ce
Edited 24th March 2013ce

Comments (2)

We were gonna visit Moffat yesterday for a birthday meal. The road over the Devil's Beeftub was closed due to big snowdrifts - so we didn't. You are a brave soul to venture out in the Baltic Blasts which have been ripping us in this part of Southern Scotland. The Grey Mare's Tail is beautiful. The area between Megget, Tweedsmuir and Moffat is absolutely awash with sites, settlements, cremation cemeteries etc. The 4,500 year old Rotten Bottom Bow was found quite close to Tail Burn.

I recall a fishing trip to fish Loch Skeen high in the hills above the Grey Mare's Tail about 20 years ago. We walked in from Talla Linnfoots. When we got there (early on a June morning) Loch Skeen was completely frozen over! Unfishable! We sat drinking our flasks of Tomato Soup while my brother's Springer busied himself gnawing bones which it had dragged from deep in a peat bank. I often wonder about those bones...

It is a fascinating area of Scotland.
Howburn Digger Posted by Howburn Digger
24th March 2013ce
Saturday was a bad day, not surprised to hear the road over was closed. We went for a walk near Douglas and it was pretty grim to be honest.

I like your story about Loch Skeen. The walk across from Talla Linnfoots looks good. It's a great area.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
24th March 2013ce
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