A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Tinto, a big porphyritic hill at the meeting-point of Carmichael, Wiston, Symington, and Covington parishes, Lanarkshire, flanking the left side of a detour of the river Clyde, and culminating 7¼ miles SE of Lanark, 2¾ WSW of Symington Junction. Standing alone, and dominating like a king over the Upper Ward, it is the loftiest of the ' Southern Heights of the Central Lowlands,' and attains an altitude of 1655 feet above the Clyde at its base, and 2335 feet above the sea. Its base is 6½ miles in length from E to W, and 2¾ in breadth from N to S; and it rises at first slowly, afterwards more rapidly, to a massive domical summit. It figures very conspicuously throughout a great extent of landscape, and commands a view along the Clyde to the Grampians and Goatfell, together with side views to the Bass, to Cumberland, and to Ireland; it consists of eruptive rocks overcapping Silurian and Devonian rocks; on its SE skirt is the fragment of the ancient castle of Fatlips; and its summit is crowned by a huge cairn of probably the ancient Caledonian times. Long a beacon post and a place of Beltane fires, it took thence its name of Tinto, signifying the ` hill of fire; ' it is believed to have been also a scene of ancient Caledonian heathen worship; and, as to either its grand appearance, its antiquarian associations, or its fancied connection with popular myths, it figures in many old-world rhymes, one of which (` On Tintock tap-there is a mist,' etc.) is finely moralised in Dr John Brown's Jeems the Doorkeeper.- Ord. Sur., sh. 23, 1865.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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