History of Glasgow, Vol 1 Robert Renwick

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History of Glasgow, Vol 1  by  Robert Renwick

History of Glasgow, Vol 1 by Robert Renwick
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HISTORY OF GLASGOWCHAPTER IPREHISTORIC CONDITION OF GLASGOW AREA — SITES OF EARLY DWELLINGSBY a gradation of ancient sea beaches which can be traced along the Clyde valley in the vicinity of Glasgow, the occurrence of successive upheavals of the landMoreHISTORY OF GLASGOWCHAPTER IPREHISTORIC CONDITION OF GLASGOW AREA — SITES OF EARLY DWELLINGSBY a gradation of ancient sea beaches which can be traced along the Clyde valley in the vicinity of Glasgow, the occurrence of successive upheavals of the land is fully established, and it is obvious that during some part of the remote period immediately preceding the last of these elevations the estuary of the Clyde at Glasgow was several miles wide, covering not only the lower districts of the city but extending to the base of the Cathcart and Cathkin Hills, and probably receiving the waters of the river not far from Bothwell.

That this district was then inhabited by man seems to be placed beyond reasonable doubt by the discovery of canoes in the Trongate and other localities far above the present level of the river, but all of them covered by strata of transported sand and gravel.

One canoe was unearthed in 1780, when excavations were being made for the foundation of St. Enochs Church - another was found at the Cross, when similar preparations were in progress for the erection of the Tontine buildings- one was got in Stockwell Street, near the present railway crossing - and another was dug up on the slope of the Drygate. All these canoes were formed of single oak trees roughly scooped out, fire having been employed to burn out the interior, and werealtogether of the most primitive kind of construction, 1 a description which likewise applies to a number of other canoes that were found on the lands of Springfield and Clydehaugh on the south side of the Clyde.

These latter canoes, discovered during operations for the widening of the harbour between 1847 and 1849, seem to have been deposited at a much later period than those found in higher ground. No change in the relative positions of land and sea had apparently taken place between the time when they were swamped or settled down in the channel of the river till they were again exposed to the light of day. The St. Enochs Square canoe was 24 feet below the surface, and there was found within it a polished stone hatchet or celt, one of the instruments which may have been used in its construction, though it seems as much adapted for war as for any peaceful art.

2During long ages which succeeded the final settlement of sea and land level, the Clyde, running through a tract of1 A fifth canoe, discovered in 1825 when opening a sewer in London Street, was built of several pieces of oak, and exhibited unusual evidences of labour and ingenuity (Daniel Wilsons Prehistoric Annals, p.

35).2 Ibid. A sketch of the celt, given by Mr. Wilson, is here reproduced. All the canoes discovered in the higher grounds on the north side of the river were destroyed, and no sketch of their appearance or record of their dimensions has been preserved. Representations of two of the canoes found at Clydehaugh, as shown in Scottish History and Life, are here reproduced : No. i measured 14 feet in length, 4 feet i inch in breadth, and i foot ii inches deep- No.

2 was 10 feet long, 3 feet 2 inches broad, and i foot deep.For fuller information and interesting speculation on the prehistoric subjects alluded to in the text reference may be made to Ancient Sea Margins, by Dr. R. Chambers, pp. 203-9- Daniel Wilsons Prehistoric Annals, pp. 34-37- Macgeorges Old Glasgow (1880), pp. 248-62- John Buchanans narrative in Glasgow : Past and Present (1856), iii. pp. 555-79- Transactions of Glasgow Archaeological Society, ist Series, I.

pp. 288-90 - II. pp. 121-30. In the last of these Archaeological Societys papers Mr. J. Dairymple Duncan gives an account of the discovery at Point Isle in 1880 of a canoe which crumbled to pieces in the hands of those who attempted its removal.



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