The volcanic rock across the Bathgate Hills is more than 330 million years old. One of the features carved out millions of years ago is what we know today as The Knock.
The Knock is situated between Ravencraig and the Silvermines area of the Bathgate Hills.
The Knock is approximately 310 metres high and is one of the highest points in the Bathgate Hills. The Cairnpapple Hill Trig Point to the West of the Knock is only slightly higher at 312 metres.
The Knock offers brilliant views eastwards to Rosyth, the Forth bridges and even Arthur’s Seat can be seen on a clear day.
At the summit of The Knock is a geographical orientation disc added to the summit in 1936 which gives 360 degree indicators to areas around Scotland. The disc was designed by Scottish Surveyor John Mathieson (1855 – 1945).
History of The Knock
The Knock previously lay on private land and during World War One the tenant of Knock Farm attempted to block access to the hill. They claimed that damage was being done by the public to the area at The Knock.
The Bathgate Railwayman’s Assocication protested against access to The Knock being blocked to the public. But due to The Knock being outside the council boundary at the time, the protest failed.
The situation was resolved in 1936 when the The Knock was gifted to the people of Bathgate by landowner D.M Sutherland, as a memorial to his parents and brother.
The late Ian Hossack from Bathgate who did a lot for the town of Bathgate has the following information about The Knock. This is available on the Bathgate – Then and Now Facebook page:
“Gifted by Lt Colonel David M Sutherland in 1936 in memory of his father Donald T Sutherland, his mother Isabella Dawson and Robert D Sutherland his brother. The family were drapers /tailors /clothiers in Bathgate. His father was Provost of Bathgate 1881-1893 and his brother Provost from 1914-1920 (Robert was also chairman of the Bathgate and District War Memorial Committee and personally sought donations from the business people of the town) David was a Captain in the local regiment the 10th Royal Scots at the start of the Great War and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel – he was mentioned in dispatches.. Sutherland Crescent is named after the family. David’s service is remembered on the Great War remembrance plaque in St John’s Church.
On 16th December 1941 David M Sutherland died at his house, Cloisterfield, in Balbardie Road. At his own request there was to be no mourning or flowers at his remembrance service in St John’s Church. His ashes were scattered at the Knock.”
Ian also mentions to never call it the “Knock Hill” – it is “The Knock” (from Gaelic cnoc = hill).
When visiting there is a plaque at the foot of the Knock that reads:
GIFTED TO BATHGATE
IN MEMORY OF
D.T. SUTHERLAND, PROVOST 1881-1893
Mrs ISABELLA DAWSON or SUTHERLAND
AND OF THEIR SON
R.D. SUTHERLAND, PROVOST 1914-1920′
How to get there
Under 3 miles from the M8 motorway, and barely 100 metres from the car park, the panorama from the view indicator is wide-reaching.
Off minor road 2 mi northeast of Bathgate, G.R.: NS 991711
No public transport within 1 mi | Car park at G.R.: NS 990711
From the car park it’s a 2-min walk to the summit on a steep and rocky hill path.