Photographer's Note

Wanlockhead is a tiny, almost deserted and rather bleak village nestling in the Lowther Hills, at the head of the Mennock Pass, which form part of the Southern Uplands in Southern Scotland. Despite being in the Lowlands of Scotland, it is Scotland's highest village at 1,531 feet (467 m) above sea level, higher than any Scottish Highland village.

Together with its neighbouring village of Leadhills, Wanlockhead was a major centre of lead mining in Scotland, the deposits first having been exploited by the Romans. But the need for lead in Britain declined sharply in the 20th Century and lead mining finally ceased here in the 1950s.

However, in addition to lead, this area has also been a source of zinc, copper and silver as well as some of the world's purest gold at 22.8 carats. In fact, the Scottish Crown, which can be viewed in Edinburgh Castle, was made from gold mined at Wanlockhead.

There is still some gold to be found in the small streams and rivers which flow near this village and visitors and tourists can not only visit the Lead Mining Museum here but can also spend a day panning for gold in the nearby streams. Most people find very little or no gold whatsoever but, just a few weeks ago, a Canadian visitor found a single nugget of gold weighing 18.1 grams and worth around £10,000! So maybe we 'll be seeing a Gold Rush in Wanlockhead! You can read about it on the BBC News website here.

This picture was taken last month on a wet and dreary day when I was out for a walk here with friends and it shows a row of old miners' cottages which have obviously been renovated and restored some time in the past.

You can see a larger version of this photograph on "beta" TE here.

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Additional Photos by John Cannon (tyro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1986 W: 427 N: 7659] (30513)
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