Binn Hill Quarry

The Binn of Glenfarg is situated about 7 miles south of Perth and is the remnants of an old volcano. The farmland here has been a prolific source of “float” agates comprising mainly grey-banded specimens. Many of these have distinct well defined markings arguably superior to agates found elsewhere in Scotland. A few partly coloured examples also occur as float but these tend to be an occasional rather than a common find.

Binn Hill Quarry 2003 Binn Hill Quarry 2007

More colourful examples occur in Binn Hill Quarry near the top of Binn Hill. This is currently being used for landfill! The quarry is slowly being filled with the contents of refuse lorries, which arrive every few minutes to discharge their load, but there is a continuing requirement for large amounts of rock to act as capping. Supplies of this capping rock have been extracted on a regular basis and piled near the entrance and removed, as landfill operations required resulting in regular exposure of new material. Enlightened management has provided access to these rock piles, under strict regulation and with appropriate safety equipment. However, in the winter rain and wind, this exposed site often provided a challenging environment for collectors.

Within the newly excavated rock beautifully marked agates have been found. However, numbers are relatively small and localized with a majority of the rock being barren and the distance between agate nodules often measured in metres. Time, persistence and dexterity with heavy hammers and chisels is required for their collection.

On one memorable trip to Binn Hill in 1999 I found an exceptional fragment of beautiful stalactitic and banded agate in the heap just about to go into the crusher. Try as I might I was unable to find the rest of this remarkable noduleā€¦at least I was able to “rescue” a small fragment! Hopefully these quarrying operations will continue along with the enlightened attitude of the quarry operators to allow collectors in in the future?

 

David Anderson at Binn Hill Quarry in 2007

 

 
Binn Hill fragment but where is the rest of it?  

 

 

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