NS4280 : The summit of Pappert Hill

taken 5 years ago, near to Auchencarroch, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

The summit of Pappert Hill
The summit of Pappert Hill
For trig point details, see NS4280 : Pappert Hill trig point S4984.

In the present wide-angle view, a cold mist remains in place over Loch Lomond, though it had, by this time, disappeared from most of the low ground nearby.
Pappert Hill

The summit of the hill is agglomerate, igneous rock produced by volcanic activity in the Carboniferous Period. The slopes below that are of sandstone, the Kinnesswood Formation (see LinkExternal link at BGS for details).

W.J.Watson, in his book "The Celtic Place-Names of Scotland" (1926), cites Pappert Hill as an example of a place-name containing a Celtic element meaning a copse or grove (Welsh "perth", Gaelic "peart"). Among the many other examples cited are several places in Gaul once called Perta, the town and county of Perth in Scotland, another Pappert Hill in Lanarkshire, and a Pappert Law in Selkirk.

A charter of confirmation dating from 1609 sets out the boundaries of Dumbarton's Common Moor, and one of the places on the boundary was "the hill called Braikloch", which, to judge by neighbouring place-names, was at or in the vicinity of present-day Pappert Hill.

Corresponding to what is now called Pappert Hill, an 1801 estate plan shows two adjacent summits, collectively labelling them the "Pappert Hills"; an 1826 estate plan likewise shows two summits in that area, but makes a distinction between them: the one to the southwest is called "Brakeloch Hill" (the estate plan thus identifies that summit, correctly or not, with the "Braikloch" hill of the 1609 charter), while the one to the northeast is called "Pappert Hill". See Link for further discussion.

The difference in the naming of the hills on the 1826 plan, as compared with that of 1801, may be the result of developments in the Great Moor Case, a very protracted legal dispute about the boundaries of Dumbarton's Common Moor; see Link for details.

In the first half of the nineteenth century, the area that is now labelled Nobleston Wood on maps was known as the Muir Fair Park.

A spring called Pappert Well is located near the summit of the hill. Its water percolates upwards through sand that is easily disturbed; at some time before 1930, a sign was set up beside the spring with the words "Use me but abuse me not, or hell fire will be your lot". There also used to be an iron drinking ladle chained nearby.

A drove road Link used to ascent the slopes of Pappert Hill, beginning at Bonhill Quarry Link at the foot of the hill.

The lower slopes on the south-west of the hill are occupied by housing that is sometimes collectively called New Bonhill, but which is divided into several separately-named but contiguous areas: Pappert (named after the hill), O'Hare (named after a local councillor), Ladyton (the name of a farm, itself named from the early ecclesiastical associations of that area), Braehead (that name, though it pre-dates the housing estate, is simply topographic), Redburn (after the Red Burn), and Nobleston (also named after a farm).

[Long ago, certain parts of Bonhill were named after the families who owned them: (1) Bonhill-Lindsay; (2) Bonhill-Noble, the name later being represented by Nobleston Farm (now gone), and then by Nobleston in New Bonhill; and (3) Bonhill-Napier, the name later being represented by Napierston Farm, which survived until recently.]

A later addition was the Beechwood and Wheatcroft Estates (Beech Wood is the name of an adjacent area of woodland).

The upper slopes on the south-west of the hill are labelled Nobleston Wood on present-day OS mapping. There have long been plantations there. Much of that area is now part of Pappert Well Community Woodland: see Link for pictures. There are several entry points to the Community Woodland, and three main routes to the summit of Pappert Hill.

There is a trig point with flush bracket number S4984 on one of the summits of the hill. The line of the old drove road mentioned above continues ENE of there, crossing the moor: it leads past the Common Kist, over the Hill of Standing Stones, along the Lang Dyke, and then crosses a burn by means of the Common Ford. See Link for pictures of that route, and for links to the other named features.

The summit itself occupies a clearing in Nobleston Wood, and gives fine views to Loch Lomond, the valleys of the Leven and the Clyde, and many distant peaks.

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NS4280, 46 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Friday, 25 November, 2016   (more nearby)
Monday, 5 December, 2016
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Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4235 8019 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:59.3218N 4:31.7291W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4235 8019
View Direction
Southwest (about 225 degrees)
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