Graptolites at Dobs Linn


Saturday, 2 September, 2023    


Leader John Robson
Field Information 


National Trust for Scotland Car Park Grey Mare’s Tail NT 186145

Small charge unless NTS/NT member

A708 very limited roadside parking NT 196 154

Travelling from the South – Head North on M6 > M74 to Moffat. Follow signs for Selkirk on A708 North-East for 10 mile. Grey Mare’s Tail NTS car park on lhs.
Depending on numbers, it may be possible to car share and reduce the walk-in, by parking on the roadside – 100m from the Linn.
Rough fell-side, stoney ground, crossing small streams, potentially slippery in wet weather. Walking stick may be advantage. Option to clamber short distance up a very steep grass slope for closer view of the Ord/Sil Boundary ‘Golden Spike’.

1.5ml out-and back route (3ml total)  with 350ft ascent

Attendees are advised to dress appropriate for Scottish hills with changeable weather possible. Advise waterproofs & warm clothing to be carried.

Bring packed lunch.

The site is in a narrow mountain gorge. No facilities are available. Nearest café/toilets are at Moffat, or the Glen Café, at St. Mary’s Loch (may have limited opening) 5 mile toward Selkirk.

Advance reading
  1. There are two very similar on-line guides

Dob’s Linn – an excursion by S. Henry Williams and James D. Lawson. From: Geological excursions around Glasgow & Girvan 1992,_Moffat_-_an_excursion

Dob’s Linn – an excursion by E.N.K. Clarkson and C.M. Taylor. From Scottish Borders geology: an excursion guide 1992

  1. There is also a BGS publication:

Moffatdale and Upper Ettrick valley – Classical Areas Guide Webb, Rushton, White 1992

  1. Other excursions in Annandale to view classic graptolite localities are less accessible, but for possible further interest for those wishing to explore other sites, these include Hartfell Score NT 097 117 and Glenkiln Burn NY 007 895

Graptolites: Ordovician and Silurian biostratigraphy – an excursion – MediaWiki Glenkiln burn excursion

  1. Establishing the Ordivician / Silurian boundary:

v.43 (1988) – Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Geology – Biodiversity Heritage Library (


Dob’s Linn – the Ordovician-Silurian Boundary Stratotype, S. H. Williams, 1988, pp17-30

International Union of Geological Sciences

Jiayu Rong, Michael Melchin, S. Henry Williams, Tatyana N. Koren, Jacques Verniers. Episodes 2008;31:315-8

Report of the restudy of the defined global stratotype of the base of the Silurian System

by Jiayu Rong, Michael Melchin, S. Henry Williams, Tatyana N. Koren and Jacques Verniers   Episodes, Vol. 31, No. 3 September 2008