Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Red Rock Canyon in Southwest Scotland

Digging the Pond

Pond digging can be fun, especially when it comes to smashing rocks to remove them.

So far, son has dug out quite a bit of the stone-filled soil and then he and H began smashing the rocks that were too big to dig out.

Most of these are just your common, garden rock, grey in colour, but one, in particular, has proven to be very, very stubborn. The trouble with this is that it's right in the centre of where we're digging the duck pond.

We have dry stone walls along the entire length of our garden, both sides, (does that make it a walled garden?) so the size of rocks we are digging up during the process of creating our microholding have been on the large side at times. But this thing was a monster - until today!

Today, we reached a new layer of rock after 'the monster' had been smashed to pieces with a mallet.

However, this monster is not the smooth, hard grey rock that's all around us, instead, it's bright red rock - huge, jagged boulders that sheer off in razor-edged chunks, even when smashed with a hammer.

I'm assuming that the deep red colour is a result of high iron content, but I'd really like to know what sort of rock this is that we're digging. It's so red that it stains your skin.

A sharp whack with the hammer doesn't chip and smash this, it sheers it vertically. It's not that I'm normally interested in rock formations in any way, shape or form, but the shade of red is quite stunning to say it's just some old boulder we're smashing up whilst making our duck pond.

If there is enough of it, this would look great as a feature surrounding the edge of the completed pond. But I would still like to know what type of rock it really is.

I'm also wanting to know what's beneath it, as the ground below is err... not there! Beginning to wonder if we're excavating rather than pond digging.

Any suggestions about the origins of our micro red-rock canyon, please post a comment. I'll be very interested to find out what, exactly, this is - and what's below it.

Watch this space.


  1. The way it's shearing off in vertical strips suggests it's more akin to slate. That's exactly how slates are made in the Burlington Slate mine.

    Oh well you could start the Frugaldom Slate Company and re-roof the shed.

    I'll not say what could be under the giant rock....I've been watching too many horror movies recently!

    Sue xx

  2. Looks like old drainage tile ?

    1. The photo doesn't reflect the size of the rocks, lizzie, and we don't have any drains etc. here. It turned out to be just a huge chunk of red rock that was splitting when hit. :)


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