Knockan Crag

(Knockan Cliff)

Described as one of the world's most important geological sites, Knockan Crag is located near Elphin in the Assynt district of west Sutherland, Highland Council Area, some 11 miles (17.5 km) north of Ullapool. During the Caledonian mountain building period some 480 million years ago, internal pressure split the earth's crust along gently sloping faults, forcing other rocks upwards and westwards over younger rocks. This "overthrust", known as the Moine Thrust, runs up the west coast of Sutherland and is clearly visible at Knockan. The feature baffled 19th-century geologists until Ben Peach (1842 - 1926) and John Horne (1848 - 1928) put forward an explanation of its origin. The site was designated a National Nature Reserve in 2004. Knockan Crag is owned by the government environmental agency NatureScot which opened an interpretation centre here in 2001.

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