Letham Glen Nature Trail

Point 10



Distance (m)


# Steps


Point 10

You can take a short detour along this path. At the end, take a look down the slope. Can you see the 18th century millstone half way down? It was used to crush ochre to make pigment for paint.

Paint mines in the Glen
Ochre is a soft rock that can be used to make paint – usually yellow or red, or a colour in between. A rich seam was uncovered in the area in 1802. The rock was extracted from pits and open-cast mines, ground with water in large millstones and then dried to form a fine powder. It was once fashionable in Fife to paint the outside of houses with ‘canary’ ochre. But fashions changed at the end of the 19th century, and the mines closed due to lack of demand. You can still see houses painted with ochre in the village of Culross in West Fife. This video will tell you more.
Play Video
Skip to content