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Thread: Town Loch

  1. #1

    Default Town Loch

    Town Loch is in Dunfermline, Fife

    More information to follow

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    St Andrews
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    375

    Default

    Not exactly "in" Dunfermline, it lies at the town's Northern side. It's a smallish lowland loch, with a raised banking at the West end to contain it.

    (very) old maps show the loch to be there more than a couple of hundred years ago, albeit with a reduced area/altered contour, so I think the banking must have been introduced to lift the water level rather than to create the loch.

    In my day (around 45-50 years ago - I was raised in Dunfermline) it was a shallow dead-dog loch, much frequented by the town's scruffs. There was an extensive section of banking completely covered with ash piles from the Townhill brickworks.

    Nice, eh?

    That's all in the past now, thankfully.

    The loch was drained about (guessing here) 15+ years ago, the banks landscaped, and a waterski centre built. Waterskiing remains the loch's main function. The loch bottom was raised to provide a linear "island" in the loch's central line to provide a divider that runs East/West, presumably to give a sort of circuit for the boat/skiers to chase around?

    If you go when there's no ski boats out I'm sure it might be a reasonable paddle.

    There might be safety issues if you try to paddle during ski sessions?

    Possible put-ins are visible on the satellite image that I'll attempt to incude with a following post.

    It'd probably be best to check for local by laws that may have been created to keep the loch clear for skiers? For all I know such could override the Access Code.
    That shall float upon the river,
    Like a yellow leaf in Autumn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    St Andrews
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    Here's an aerial view of Townhill Loch



    Fingers crossed here, not too used to including pix...
    Last edited by MagiKelly; 18th-January-2008 at 10:47 PM. Reason: image tags
    That shall float upon the river,
    Like a yellow leaf in Autumn

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    On the edge of a large city by a large loch
    Posts
    534

    Default

    As Gone fishing grew up across the road from me in the same street, we both know The Town Loch very well (half a mile or so away the loch is), but let me add a little more history.

    Town Loch was at one time called Moncur Loch (Next to the village of Moncur-now Townhill-the home village of my family) and is indeed a freshwater loch. It at one time was the water supply for Dunfermline as waterlogged wooden pipes were recently found during excavations leading from it towards Dunfermline Abbey. Sadly the springs that once fed it have all dried up and it is fed by surface run off from 4 very small burns. The famous Lyn Burn that wnds through Dunfermline comes from this loch.

    The reason the Loch was built up and sluices put in was to supply a reliable head of water for the silk mills that once worked in Dunfermline (the silk for the Queens wedding was made here). In fact one of the feeder leads from this loch actually goes right under Gone fishings old house! (I bet he never new that!).

    During WW2 the navy taught it's sailors from Rosyth Navy Base how to swim in the loch as it had two things that were condusive to this. A hot water supply from a small coal fired power station that used the water in the loch-all the hot water wa spumped back in the loch and because of the very real danger of enemy sea planes landing on the loch, it had two cables across the middle supported by rafts to prevent their landing.

    I've canoed on the loch but please be aware that the west end bay (Wellwood end bay) is a local nature reserve. The loch is a lovely short paddle with plenty bird life to watch and swans to feed.
    Expand your mind there's plenty space for it...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    St Andrews
    Posts
    375

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by woodsmoke View Post
    In fact one of the feeder leads from this loch actually goes right under Gone fishings old house! (I bet he never new that!).
    So I could've done a bit of just by digging down from the cellar then?

    Ian
    That shall float upon the river,
    Like a yellow leaf in Autumn

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