Shaping the Landscape: Stonebyres Falls

Giant rock steps over which the Clyde tumbles

Stonebyres Falls, sometimes called Stonebyres Linn, is the fourth Falls of Clyde – the others being located in the Scottish Wildlife Trust Falls of Clyde Nature Reserve further upstream. They are best viewed from the Clyde Walkway in winter when the trees are not in leaf.

The present day River Clyde exhibits a wide range of channel types, from high energy, to bedrock floored streams and gently flowing, meandering, channels. The high-energy character of the Clyde can be seen in the rocky waterfall and gorge section of Stonebyres Falls. The rocky streambed at the falls displays a range of features including potholes and plucked blocks that are indicative of the main erosion processes by which rivers cut channels into resistant rocks.

Stonebyres Falls are formed of two rock steps – the upper being 3 metres high and the lower 15 – 18 metres high.

The Devonian period (417 – 354 million years ago), also known as the Age of Fishes, since several major fish lineages evolved at this time. Sea levels were high and the global climate was warm. During this time, Scotland lay at the heart of a large continent, and was located geographically in the arid belt to the south of the equator. There were no land plants during this time – early Devonian rocks are dominated by fluvial sandstones and conglomorates made up of pebbles and cobbles. Pebbly horizons of early the early Devonian period can be seen in the sandstone beds of Stonebyres Falls.

The upper section of Stonebyres Falls, looking east. A small cylindrical pothole, partially filled with water, can be seen in the left foreground. These cylindrical erosional features are formed in bedrock river beds by the grinding action of grains carried in an eddy (circular current) of water.

The geological sites and features of the Clyde and Avon Valley tell a dramatic story of the development of the landscape over 400 million years, from ancient sandy streams, river deltas, swampy forests and glaciers. The rocks and rivers of this story shaped the heritage, and remain a source of power, havens for woodland and wildlife, and places of recreation and creative inspiration today.

Travel through time to reveal the hidden history in the rocks and landforms by exploring the other ‘Shaping the Landscape’ museum items below, and visiting the Shaping the Landscape Exhibition at New Lanark. Read the full report by clicking on the ‘Shaping our Landscape Trail Report’ link under ‘Find Out More’, or below. Whilst many ‘Shaping the Landscape’ sites are accessible to walkers, some sites are inaccessible, but featured as museum pieces to help demonstrate the development of the Clyde and Avon Valley.

 

You Might Also Like...


Shaping the Landscape Exhibition, New Lanark

Shaping the Landscape Exhibition, New Lanark

Explore the new Clyde and Avon Valleys geology exhibition

Shaping the Landscape: Black Hill and Stonebyres Quarry

Shaping the Landscape: Black Hill and Stonebyres Quarry

Hill formed from cooling magma providing great geological look out

Shaping the Landscape: Threepwood Quarry

Shaping the Landscape: Threepwood Quarry

Stoop and room workings to extract high quality sandstone

Shaping the Landscape: The Nemphlar Channel

Shaping the Landscape: The Nemphlar Channel

An ancient dry valley formed during the last ice age

Shaping the Landscape: The Falls of Clyde

Shaping the Landscape: The Falls of Clyde

Dramatic falls show the power of ancient glaciers

Shaping the Landscape: RSPB Scotland Baron's Haugh

Shaping the Landscape: RSPB Scotland Baron's Haugh

Created by mining subsidence, now a haven for wildlife

Shaping the Landscape: Lower Nethan Gorge

Shaping the Landscape: Lower Nethan Gorge

Ancient river deltas and swampy forests

Shaping the Landscape: Cartland Craigs & Cleghorn Glen

Shaping the Landscape: Cartland Craigs & Cleghorn Glen

A deep gorge, a castle and the highest bridge in inland Scotland

Shaping the Landscape: Chatelherault and the Avon Gorge

Shaping the Landscape: Chatelherault and the Avon Gorge

A quintessential part of the area's mining history

Shaping the Landscape: Morgan Glen & Millheugh to Fairholm

Shaping the Landscape: Morgan Glen & Millheugh to Fairholm

Subtle valleys exposing the stone through which the river cuts

Shaping the Landscape: Stonebyres Falls

Shaping the Landscape: Stonebyres Falls

Giant rock steps over which the Clyde tumbles

Shaping the Landscape: Sampson's Slingstane and Fiddler Burn

Shaping the Landscape: Sampson's Slingstane and Fiddler Burn

A mysterious boulder perched on a steep sandstone cliff

Shaping the Landscape: Thank the Rocks for the Trains

Shaping the Landscape: Thank the Rocks for the Trains

How geology led to the first local train lines

This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions.

By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device. Learn more about our privacy Policy. Learn more

I understand

At the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) we are committed to safeguarding your privacy and maintaining the security of your personal information. The purpose of this Privacy Statement is to explain to you what personal information we collect and how we may use it.

We will not sell your data, share it with other third parties without your permission and we promise to keep it safe and secure.

Read more about our Privacy Policy