Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Revisited: The odd metal post base in Carntyne’s Hogarth Park

I took the opportunity of a spare moment, and an almost dry day, to wander along to Carntyne’s Hogarth Park and try for a closer look at what appeared to be an odd metal post base near the pyramid near the medical centre. Just as well, as it was already turning cold, wet, and windy on the way back, getting ready for Storm Doris to arrive.

Before heading for the object itself, I walked the perimeter in case any further examples lay nearby – nothing was found.

Forgot to take a scale, so a discarded bottle had to stand in, and give an indication of the size.

Base size indication

Base size indication

The top has an internal conical or tapered thread.

Internal conical thread

Internal conical or tapered thread

Below this threaded section, flats for a square wrench have been crimped into the tube, presumably to allow whatever was screwed above to be securely tightened without torquing the base below, possibly damaging it.

Square wrench crimp

Square wrench crimp

Looking down into the tube, it can be seen that this is not solid, and there is a large opening at the bottom.

Significantly, this seems to extend far below ground level – the longest stick I could find nearby was about 1 metre long, and did not meet any resistance when inserted into the hole.

Internal view

Internal view

Referring back to the first view (with the bottle for scale), I did take some tools to clear what I thought was just going to be some grass/earth over a concrete base, but this proved to be completely wrong.

As can be seen in the pic, I cleared the grass only to find there was no concrete below the earth. In fact, it appears to carry on with nothing solid below – probing with stick suggested at least another 0.5 m of earth.

Digging would seem to be the only way to find more – and I’d probably get ‘lifted’ if spotted doing that in a public park.

It’s probably a drill pipe from a land survey

Thanks to a suggestion (from Ray) in the comments below, it looks as if this is just an abandoned section of drill pipe.

And that, sadly, means it has no real connection to the history of the original site.

Looking at land survey drilling rigs, this matched one of the drill pipe sections illustrated, with the narrower drill pipe leading to the larger diameter drill collar, as seen in this illustration:

Drill parts

Drill parts

Sizes vary, but photographs of drill operators with various pipe sections showed this was a typical example.

And does, thankfully, explain why I had the constant niggle and feeling I had seen something similar, but could just not place it accurately enough to identify it.

Since my original conclusions lead to another find nearby, I’ve just left them below.

Conclusions – probably not…

These initial conclusions probably rank more as ramblings now, but since they still provide some more info and another nearby find (by the long gone rail track), they might as well stay.

I had two thoughts based on this little info:

I had wondered about the possibility of an old gas light if the base proved to be hollow, as was found, but this seems unlikely. Why only one, and why there?

On the other hand, the old gas lights were fed from below, via hollow poles which connected to the gas supply below ground, to the lantern on top.

And a conical, or tapered, thread IS used for connection under pressure.

The only support for this might be the presence of a path that seems to lead there (the pyramid can be seen in the background, but this path does not lead to it) – but this path might not even date from the same period, so it not really any help since I can’t find it on any maps either. It also just seem to come to an end at the bend, and does not lead to base, some 30 m away.

Hogarth Park path and pyramid

Hogarth Park path and pyramid behind

My second thought is based on maps of the area, which show an unnamed Chemical Works on this land c. 1900.

This ‘post base’ could in fact be the top of some tank or container left over from the works, hence the hole and unknown depth.

Possible rail connection?

By chance, I came across a third option, and almost fell into it!

A rail track passed about 30 m to the west, as evidenced by this view of the long cleared track, now with a tree in the middle.

Carntyne rail track cleared

Carntyne rail track cleared

The reason I wonder if it may be connected arises from the spot I took the above pic from – where I almost went down a hole covered by undergrowth (cleared away for the following pic).

It looks like a manhole, adjacent to the path of the track, now with no cover, leading to some sort of culvert, now filled with rubbish.

Exposed rail track hole

Exposed rail track hole

Closer view confirms manhole or access.

If you’re wondering why more of the undergrowth wasn’t cleared for better pics – I couldn’t!

I’d only taken some very small hand tools to clear what I thought was just some grass overgrown on the base – but trying to shift the earth found there meant that by the time I’d found this manhole… I had developed some huge blisters on my hand from the earlier effort. At least I had secateurs, and had been able to cut the thorny stuff away (after thanking it for stopping me falling down there while it was hidden).

Carntyne former rail track manhole

Carntyne former rail track manhole


February 22, 2017 - Posted by | Civilian, photography | , ,


  1. IT looks like a drill section. The thread I’d to add the next length of tube, the had flats to lock them in place. Not sure why they would be left in the ground unless to vent gas in the ground. Drilled a deep series of holes on a site in Bridge of Allan for a ground sourced heat pump, all were 105 metres deep, so that could go down a long way!


    Comment by Ray Melville | February 22, 2017

  2. Hi Ray,

    Now THAT does make sense, and more than my limited thoughts based just on the history of the area itself.

    I’ve seen the drilling rigs suggested on land around the area, but never close up, so never saw the sections in detail.

    Given the use of the land as a Victorian chemical works, there is little doubt exploratory drilling would have taken place to determine the level of contamination, if any, before it was cleared for use as a public park,

    If a section got stuck or jammed, then I’m sure there would come a point where it was uneconomic to attempt recovery, either risking damage to the drilling rig, or taking too long. Same problem with digging it out.

    As this piece was almost flush with the ground, the operator probably decided to leave quietly. 🙂


    Comment by Apollo | February 22, 2017

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