Normans Law, Luthrie and Balmeadowside

To the southwest of Balmerino is Norman’s Law, rising to two hundred and eighty-five meters, comprising the most prominent outcrop of the eastern end of the North Fife Hills. From the summit there are sweeping views over the long reaches of the Tay Estuary from Newburgh to Dundee. Although the Law itself is relatively unproductive it provides a convenient central point for describing a number of important collecting areas in northeast Fife.

Indeed, the rich farmland and small rounded hills that surround it contain probably the most numerous and richest collecting sites in Scotland. Agates from these areas are usually distinctive and different sites provide contrasting types. To the north east of the Law, numerous examples of unusual, generally uncoloured agates can be found on the farmland. These stones have bold fortification patterns trending into characteristic stalactitic structures and some reach up to 80mm in diameter.

To the east is the long established collecting area of Luthrie. Fields in and around this village have been known to be productive of intricately marked examples for at least a hundred years. As with all collecting it is important to obtain permission to search in farmers’ fields before entering private property. Failure to follow this simple courtesy can lead to problems and the owners of the adjacent farm of Balmeadowside, a previously popular, well known and prolific source of beautifully patterned agates in rich browns and red do not currently allow collecting on their land.

Norman's Law with the Tay estuary behind

For that reason the specimens below from Balmeadowside are not the best examples from this excellent locality. To the southwest lies a small but previously productive site at Dunbog Examples of an unusual sagenitic agate (Macpherson H. G., Agates, British Museum (Natural History) 1989) were found in an old railway cutting here in the 1970s. Although this has subsequently been filled in, fortification agates can still be found in local fields.

 

Norman's Law

 

Luthrie

 

Balmeadowside
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