Tuesday, November 22, 2011

An honest to gosh mystery.

Saturday I couldn't wait to drive Kait to work.   Once I'd dropped her off, I was going to set off on an adventure.  I love adventures !

I'd just learned about  mysterious stone walls in the Bayers Lake area.  After a lifetime of never having heard about the  Bayers Lake Mystery Walls, I heard about them twice in a 24-hour period.  That seemed like a sign that I was meant to go find them.  And that's exactly what I set out to do.

 I thought the location might be remote.

Remote ?  Hardly !   The site is reached by parking on a cul-de-sac in a massive industrial park.

I thought the walls might be inaccessible and difficult to find.

Instead, after walking about 200 metres down a gravel road, this easy-to-see path, led me into the woods,.

up a pretty path. Quite suddenly we found ourselves standing by one of the Bayers Lake Mysteries -- the ruins of a five-sided building !

I'd brought Trey along for company and safety, as I thought going into the woods on my own might be too much of an adventure !

Many paths criss-crossed the forest floor, and Trey and I explored them all.  It wasn't long before we found a path that  led to the Mystery Walls.

Do you see them down there ?  Click the photo for a better view.

What on earth are they doing here ?   These aren't walls that were built to keep livestock in.

They extend along the edge a rock outcropping for 200 metres and stand over two metres high in places. Surely they are not a fortification.  Approach from the rear is easy and besides, what attacker would be put off by a wall that's barely head height ?

What the heck were these walls built for ?  And who built them ?

Though the area has been designated a Nova Scotia "Special Place",  and is protected from development for now, little archaeological work has been done on the Mystery Walls.  Estimates put their age at 200 years.  Some, rather romantic theories, suggest they pre-date Columbus's discovery of America.

While Bayers Lake is now easily reachable by vehicle, in early days, the site would have been very remote as it's over 25 km from peninsular Halifax.  The walls weren't close to ANYTHING that would provide a reason for their existence.

And yet there they are.
And that's not all that's there.
There are steps.

There are steps that lead to the top of an outcrop of rock, and at its base is what appears to be a fire pit.

And  nearby is a carving on a rock ...

I would have walked right past it, if I hadn't seen it  illustrated in a book, and been on the look out for it.  One more mystery to add to the collection.

So there you have it.    My Bayers Lake Mystery Walls adventure.  

I'm happy to report that I have learned of a site in the Bedford area that has petroglyphs.
I think I feel another adventure coming on.


  1. tres fascinating !!
    cheers from les Gang at 29 Black Street

  2. Well, well!! Very fascinating.

  3. There you go! Hope this works. Love tyhe post, take me there please!

  4. This is a fun mystery. The best kind! Looks like you guys had fun.

  5. Fascinating post Sybil. I have never heard of the Bayers Lake Mystery walls. They were obviously used a lot if they built steps too!

  6. Hi Sybil: I'm using email rather than the comments box as I'm one of
    those people having issues with the drop down partial page version of
    blogger comments.

    About the "Mystery Walls" - if you take a look at the photos you have
    made and imagine the second and third growth forest removed so that
    your line of sight can take in a panorama across the neck of the
    peinsula and across both Hfx Harbour and the Northwest Arm you will
    realize this is an excellent observation and signalling post. Point
    Pleasant Park was a far different spot too while it was an active
    military enclave and no vegetation was allowed to compete with libne
    of sight. Somewere in a dead hard drive I have a watercolour sketch
    done between 1827 and 1832 by a British Army Officer Alexander Cavalie
    Mercer - the National Archives and also the NSARMS have extensive
    holdinbs of his work which appears to have been made at this spot.
    Couple with that the fact that much of Nova Scotia at one time was
    eiuther cleared for cultivation and went back to forest when
    subsistence farming went out of style and also that there was a
    subsidy being offered for parts of the early 19th century for erecting
    stone boundary walls with the larger stones removed from farms being
    cleared and the stage is set for A) a lengthy stone wall up in what is
    now a forsaken spot - BTW - the Halifax Common at one time had a wall
    running across it from the Willow Tree to where Cogsell Street starts
    near the armories. and B) contemporaneous emplacements for an
    observation post and some sort of shelter from the weather - makes
    sense to me. The site is also no more than 3 or 4 km from peninsular
    Halifax so a military obsevation post is not far fetched at all.
    I'm waiting to hear what Terry Deveau has to say these days about tis
    area as he has been non-invasively studying and documenting this site
    for some years now.
    I'm enjoying checking your blog - you visit so many great places.

  7. Hi DearRosie, the steps really don't go to the walls or the building I found there. The steps go up by a rock face. They seem to connect, nothing to nothing. It adds to the mystery.

    You will see that I've posted an email I got from "Janet" as she was having trouble posting on my stooopid comments page. She has better, less mysterious ideas about the walls.

  8. Thanks, Susan, Von and Lynne. Can't wait to do more exploring. It makes retirement seem a little less ordinary.

  9. Petroglyphs hey? Can't wait to hear all about it.Retirement is never ordinary - so much to do, each day is different and full of the unexpected.Enjoy!

  10. Fascinating, but has anyone entertained the idea that they were built by someone with a serious case of winter-time cabin fever?

  11. We looked all over and for he life of us, couldn't find them. We're clearly in the wrong place. Can you eleborate on where they are?

    1. Hi Julien, it's at the end of Lovett Lake Court in Bayer's Lake. Just park on the Cul de sac and follow the path. In about 100 ft it will curve up to your left. Let me know if you find it OK. Have fun.

  12. Hi there

    Loved the posting on the mystery wall. I explore a lot of areas around the province and post them on a site called trailpeak.com. Maybe it can help you find some new adventures cheers Ben

  13. I have seen other stone structures in Halifax which are very similar. They are also at least the same age as the Bayers Lake walls. I also know of other structures in Halifax which people besides myself have not discovered yet and haven't been explored even by me. I believe these ARE from before Columbus accidentally thought he landed in India (Columbus did not discover America, he thought he was in India, hence why the islands are celled the "West Indies" and why they called the people "Indians" which they're not). I also believe these are remnants of Miqmaq cities long forgotten about.


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