Finnich Glen is where the Carnock burn has cut through red sandstone rock to produce a steep, narrow ravine. The sandstone gives the water of the burn a reddish hue. Its popular name has become the Devil’s Pulpit. Originally, this was the name just given to a particular mushroom-shaped rock within the ravine.
The site has been admired and commented on for hundreds of years (and long before its current fame, after its appearances in the Outlander TV series). Access is dangerous. A visitor centre is planned. This will help manage current accessibility issues.
In the First Statistical Account (1795), it was described as follows:
‘It consists of a high rock, over which the water of Carnock precipitately falls, and, by the work of many ages, has cut out for itself a deep and winding passage. The projecting rocks, on both sides the water, are wild beyond description. Nearly meeting at the top, in some places, they widen below into beautiful curvatures, naturally hollowed out in various directions. The romantic appearance of the rocks is set off to advantage by trees and shrubs hanging, in great profusion, over the clefts. The rivulet dashing over the precipice, and rumbling through the deep-worn channel; the united harmony of a great variety of the feathered tribe; and the dark shade, which perpetually rests upon a great part of this.’