Continued from Part 1….
So, Alex and I, after a few visits to a Riverside location not far from the Priory, had uncovered the large stone slab which allegedly covered the mythical Blantyre Tunnel.
We had scraped the soil off the sloping slab, which was found exactly where Patrick McAleenan had told us it would be at. I’ve marked up this map to show the exact location, which as you can see was about 70 or 80 yards south of the Priory itself. The riverside location was directly across from the castle, so the discovery had high hopes and was very exciting for us.
Whilst the stone looked as though it was covering something, the adjacent rock formations were giving us concern. They too, also were slightly angled and very soft, the sandstone falling out as we hit it with picks (much the same as Tommy Hawkins would have done when he carved into the rocks at the Priory itself). The natural rock formations rose out the ground prominently forming angles, which appeared man made, but couldn’t possibly have been. Natural straight lines.
We turned our attention to the stone slab itself. It was the right height, but we were now dismayed as the sides of it proved that the “slab” was tieing exactly into the natural rock profile, proving it was likely an extension of the rock itself, rather than something that had been put there. i.e it was part of the rock formations, not man made.
Both Alex and I look back on this adventure with fond memories. It wasn’t pointless, as we got to tell Patrick about it via this story. Could it be that as a boy Patrick saw the exposed,sloping stone and had been told by his peers or his elders that it covered something mysterious? All said and done, Alex and I plan on returning for one more visit, just to be 100% sure, but at 90% sure, that’s enough for me to be able to post this as a tale of “how we nearly found the Priory Tunnel!”
My exploring days in Blantyre are FAR from over.
On social media:
Thomas Barrett Paul I remember walking along the Blantyre side of the Clyde, is this still possible?
The Blantyre Project It is (just) but a tough walk with fallen trees and the path seems to abruptly end now near the priory, forcing a cross woodland and uphill jaunt to get back out. The dig location was below the path.
Thomas Barrett An adventure then Paul must do it again in the good weather if we get it.
Christine Wallace Great posts!
Kenny Mallan I think it exists…. It’s more exciting to think of it still out there ….. Get it found! Lol
The Blantyre Project will keep at it! lol. It was written in an account in the 19th Century that there was a tunnel there, but I don’t believe it connects the Priory to the Castle. I’m sticking with my theory that the 1947 bing collapse covered whatever people remember.
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after looking at the map and pictures around ground zero, I note that the oval ‘smooth’ stone (that was mentioned) is in fact a good example of a Concretion in sandstone. there are three on the rockface, so please don’t go digging them out as they are natural geology, plus I do own an EarthCache describing the geology here. learn more about Concretions from Wikipedia, and google geocaching.