Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bayers Lake Mystery Walls, Halifax ,Nova Scotia Canada

Reader Michael E. writes in:

These walls have been a mystery since their founding some 17 plus yrs ago. Since there has been no postings of the Bayers Lake Mystery walls in the Rock Piles site. I think its time that it was brought to light. It’s part of

NEARA Special Event in Nova Scotia

August 8 - 13, 2007


Hosted by NEARA's Nova Scotia Chapter

Six days of Field Trips and Adventures in Nova Scotia!

Featuring: Oak Island, the Yarmouth "Runic" Stone, the Bayers Lake Walls, the Chain Lake Ruins, and the Bedford Petroglyphs

These walls were mentioned in a book by William S. Crooker, an
unpublished archaeology report by Stephen A. Davis (on file at the
Nova Scotia museum), and a Halifax Herald article by Parker Robinson
on November 10, 1990.

Chronicle-Herald Saturday, November 10, 1990

Halifax-area ruins stump archeologist
by Parker Robinson

Mysterious old rock walls and foundations uncovered near Halifax
have temporarily stumped a local archeologist and museum curator
who are unable to explain the origin of the structures.

Saint Mary's University archaeologist Stephen Davis visited the
ruins last Tuesday with Nova Scotia Museum official Bob Ogilvie
and the man who reported the finding, Bedford resident Jack MacNab.

The winding, metre-tall walls and basement foundations have left
Dr. Davis scratching his head as to who built the wall - which extends
up to 500 metres - why it was made, how and when. He says the ruins
could date back to the founding of Halifax.

"It's quite a mystery," Dr. Davis said Friday. "It just doesn't make
sense, it's not industrial yet it doesn't appear to have been used for
long term domestic stuff. I have no real idea what it is."

The location of the site will not be revealed until archeologists and
museum staff have conducted a more thorough investigation of the area.

Mr. Ogilvie, curator of special places, is investigating who owns the
thickly vegatated land the ruins lie on. If the land is slated for
imminent development, an attempt may be made to halt such proceedings
until a thorough evaluation is done of the area.

Dr. Davis says the construction style of the walls is Celtic, likely
built by someone of Scottish or Irish descent.

"It's a massive structure, the wall is incredible," said Dr. Davis.
"It's very well made. And other curious things are a couple of gates -
one of them is directly in front of a steep slope."

Mr. MacNab came upon the ruins in late October after being tipped off
to its existence by a local aerial survey company.

"I went to the area they said they were in," said Mr. MacNab, who
contacted The Chronicle-Herald after he found the ruins. " I couldn't
find them and was on my way back when I practically walked right into
a foundation.

Mr. Ogilvie said he expects to know whether development will be taking
place in the area of the ruins by next week.






The site is a Protected Area which does indicate that the
Museum takes it seriously as a possible antiquity rather than just
some old farm walls of no importance.
People seem to be respecting that and not digging for treasure there
or vandalizing the walls.
This might be a good forum to compile what information we do know
about these structures and try out some various hypothesis against the
When I sort through the possible uses for these structures none of
them seem to make a lot of sense.

Agricultural... Poor farmland on rocky forested hill. Possibly some
agricultural potential in the small floodplain near the rail crossing.

Livestock Pen ... Why build good stone wall to put sheep in at night
when a simple wood and brush structure would do? The walls seem to
just peter out at the southen end allowing any predators easy access.

Defensive... Poor defense strategy to build a defensible wall that has
easy access to a hill that overlooks it.
Playfort for training soldiers? Doesn't have to make military sense then.

Industrial.... ??? Could 5 sided structure be gunpowder storage with
good drainage and a low roof?

Ceremonial ?? Is this some early church or site of worship?
At least it doesn't have to be very logical for religious use.

Why the nicely formed gate? why enter there?

Why is the 5 sided structure 5 sided? First thing I thought was
it would be a good shape for a witches house but it is not a regular
pentagram beloved of the occultists.

The 5 sided structure had apparently low chest high stone walls. What
was roof made of?

What is the structure within the 5 sided structure? Haerth seems
plausible but there doesn't seem to be sufficient stone nearby to
re-construct a chimney out of.

Why build the 5 sided structure on sloping bedrock? why not find a
flatter place or more traditional stone supports on soil? Drainage
might be a possible answer.

What is the relationship of the small cottage-like foundation to the 5
sided structure. Granite steps lead up the hill to ?

The site itself has not much special about it to recommend it as
either a discrete hideout or a watch place for harbour traffic. Many
better spots for either could be found within a few km.

Is this the complete site as we now know it or is it only a piece of a
once larger complex parts of which are now destroyed or yet to be found.

I'm glad to see member Kris and friends are doing a good job searching
further afield for additional clues. The idea of a good stepladder
shot sounds useful. The triangles found by Kris's friend do seem to be
natural formations to me. I can locate some other similar triangle
holes in the slates and whins of the Halifax formation at several
places near the harbour. That type of rock seems to fracture like that
even if cross bedding is not involved.

The only additional evidences I have found are the locations where it
appears some of the wall stones were quarried, or at least broken off
the hillside. I assume others have found these too. North of the 5
sided structure and off the side of the access road is where they can
be found.
No sign of drill holes or tool marks visible to me.

These are the questions that in my mind still make these structures
Mystery walls.

Interesting hollowed out formation in the bedrock at the Bayers Lake Walls site.

Stairway to open bedrock ,foundation below.Stairway to open bedrock, north of the wall.150 metre Rock wallRock wall collapsing over time.More of the rock wall.More of the wall
The 5 sided wall structure.

Inside the 5 sided wall structure.


pwax said...

Thanks Michael for these pictures. They are probably the first the "outside world" has seen of these structures.

greatmuin said...

Hi Peter
Thank you for posting this very important site here in Nova Scotia.Very happy to send you these recent photo's of the Bayers Lake Walls.Lots of interesting questions on these "Mystery Walls". Very much still a Mystery.

Anonymous said...

Terry Deveau included photos of this site in his presentation at the NEARA Spring '07 conference. In addition to the stone walls, pentagonal (5 side) foundation, and stairs leading to foundation, a raised causeway roadbed with stone retaining walls was founded crossing a wetlands. There are three important observations about this site - (1) It is an excellent state preservation. The stone walls are still in good shape, the foundation has only minimal damage. (2) there is little to no real soil accumulation inside of the foundation. (3) The stone work in causeway, stone walls, and foundation is well finished, the work of master stone masons. The stairway leading to the foundation is of rather poor quality strangely enough.

The excellent preservation and the lack of significant soil accumulation in the foundation would suggest this site dates from the mid to late 19th century or even the early 20th century. A time period well known for wealthly estates and summer residences. There are the remains of a number of summer residence estates in New Hampshire. The vast majority of them had expensive estate stone walls . Some estates in New England also had networks of carriage roads (examples - Maudslay Estate Newburyport, MA; The Rockfeller estate on Mt Desert Island, ME, etc) The foundation which has puzzled many people, may have very simple explanation, It is built on a small knoll with what appear to be good views, has stone masonry work identical to that in the stone walls, and has a stairway leading to it with "landscaped" feel to it. Outdoor picnics, carriage rides, etc were a important part of Victorian era social life. The foundation could be the remains of a bandstand style structure used for picnicing or other social events.

The sides of the stone walls lean inward at an angle, a technique to used to keep the center of gravity towards the center of the wall. I have seen examples of this technique on farm sites in central New Hampshire. Not much is know about the technique, but the examples I have seen seem to date from the 19th century.

James Gage

Anonymous said...

I agree with James on his visual analysis of the photos. I also think that if one looks at the "hollowed out" area carefully, tool marks will be found. A geologist should be brought in to determine just what was hollowed out.


ladybug said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Webconomist said...

There is, apparently, some Masonic connection to these walls. Given the evidence of Templar/Masonic activity in Nova Scotia over many hundreds of years, maybe it is. Or isn't. As a Mason, I looked for clues. And found none.

Today, the valley these ruins overlook is filled with a modern retail park with Wal-Mart, Home Outfitters, The Brick and the usual fast-food suspects. But there is a fertile stream below in the valley. This was also an active Miq-Maq area as well. Perhaps it was a trading/meeting spot?

chad said...

Well i was there and got some pictures of what seems to me is a snake. I am not a rocket scientist but if you look closer at this rock abrassion you may see that there are a uniform pattern of what appears to be chisel marks or something of the sort. I took pictures zoomed in and took it home and blew it up on my laptop. Seems quite evident to me where I think this may go. Anyways, Thanks for reading and being interested curious to think what others think of this idea.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been out to the stone walls for a few years now... I'll have to go back and have a closer look. I think it must have been a look-out post along an old trail that went out from Halifax near the golf course toward Lakeside.. with that pathway going just below where this look-out post/foundation is, with a stone wall along the edge of the ridge as a bit of protection/cover.

Here's another mystery...

Just wondered if you have any information on who went to all the effort to put the biggest rock in the area around Peggy's Cove up on iron pegs?

Never seen it?

It's true.

I've walked around it myself and wondered at how or why someone would go to the effort to lift such a huge rock... it must weigh 40 tons! Maybe more!! It's typical of all the other erratic rocks in the area... nothing special about it... the size and shape of a cargo van perhaps.

It's only about 6 or 8 inches off the ground! When you look under the rock, you can see the quite small iron pegs/legs that hold the rock up. The peg-legs are about an inch and a half across and quite rusted. They may have been round or square, but are so rusted, it's difficult to tell.

Even when you are walking up to the rock, you can't see the legs You have to get down and look under the rock to see them and how precariously the rock is sitting ontop of it's legs.

Anyway, I'm hoping you or someone out there can fill me in on what it's all about.

Want to see it for yourself?

It's about two hundred metres off the road toward the ocean. From the road, there's a bit of marshy area in front of it. It sits almost on top of a fairly high knob of a hill. There is a similarly large rock in the marshy area below. You can see Peggy's Cove very well from the rock, so you must be able to see the rock clearly on the horizon from Peggy's Cove... probably the biggest rock you can see from there when you look back toward Halifax... Maybe a kilometre from the Cove as the crow flies.

Curious to hear your reply..

Anthony Colbourne

linda said...

I have a picture of that rock, always wondered about the little "legs" under it... next time I will take a closer look, they show up very well in pictures.

Jack Mac Nab said...

Hi, I'm Jack Mac Nab the person who discovered the Mystery Walls. One reason for the walls to be built where they lay is due to a fresh pond within the confines of that general area. There may have been another stuture up where the highway is now. Perfect magnified view of McNab's Island and any ships entering the Harbour. By taking a secreat pathway it will take you back to Bedford Basin. Its not as far as you may think. Messages would be takin back to that area to warn of enimies coming into attack them. Will say more later. These wall where not built to ward of the natives, as far as I can see. Jack Mac Nab Nova Scotia

Jack Mac Nab said...

I was told by a professional a few years ago that it has been determined the Mystery Walls were a 1940s Quarry operation. I'm not going to knock there exstensive study of the site. The problem I have is why would anyone go all the work to build such a huge rock wall with a narrow gateway. Over the years I tried to figure out who would want to build walls like these. They are build on high ledges, then drop off into lower areas, then back up to higher ledges. When you look a how they ard built on the higher ledges, there was no need to drop down to lower areas, when they could have continued all along the higher ledges with no problem.
Its also is interesting to follow the wall until its peters out into just a few small rocks. From that spot you can keep on walking until you come to what appears to be a spring-fill-pond. That pont I beliave is one reason for the Mystery site being located there, a good source of drinking water.
If it was not a Quarry site as mentioned, then who would have built it?. I have concedered over the years, the Vikings, Prince Henry Sinclair, The Monks,Celts, Eygptians etc. The Walls clearly don't make sence.
I was very pleased to see the walls that I discovered and named the Mystery Walls on your Website. It brings me great pleasure that the whole world now has a chance to look upun these walls.
At the time when I found the walls had been looking for tow or three years for walls, petrglyghs, dolmens etc. (Mind you I found many interesting things in the Bedford area.) I had a tip about these walls and where they might be found. I tried a couple of times to find them. On about my third try it was a very wet day, it had just stopped raining. Got out of my car started to work my way throught the bushes rocks and trees. I was just about to give up, I turn around to go back to the car when all of a sudden I started to see what appeared to be a man made wall. What happened is that I had just walked past them, without seeing them. I made my way to the walls, climed up on one section of the walls and when I say how big they where I could not believe my eyes. I thought I had just traveled back in time on a Time Ship. I walked along the walls until I was on a high location, I could not beleave it when I saw the next section of wall was way down at the bottom of this natural rock-face. So I climb down to this lower section, continued to follw it until as I recall had to climb up again to a higher section. Then I folowwed that section until I came to this narrow gateway. I could see that someone went to great lenghts to build this gateway. (You would have to see it first hand to grasp the workmanship that went into the whole wall) I continued until the wall ended.
Then I decided I would make my way back to the car so I could regain my bearing and regain my sanity. I did not have to walk to far until I came a clearing. Well low and behold I thought the Heavens had just open-up. Here I was looking upon what appeared to be a very large foundation of rocks for a big house. I then walked inside the foundation area and decovered what appeared to be the location of a very large fireplace. I also so when to the area that appeared to be the doorway. The was a large slape of rock on the outside area, it appeared to be a spe. I figured it would take about four strong men to place it thier. Then I decided to head for home. Once back in the car up on the highway, I took one final look at McNab's Island situated at the mouth of Halifax Harbour and I said to myself 'the world should know about this place'. (And so now almost 20 years laler the world is getting to know about the Mystery Walls.)
If you would like to learn more about what I'm doing now, go to Google: jack mac nab (The guy singing Bud the Spud is not me.) There are several referances about me, and check out 'The Story of the Week.' Thanks

Jack Mac Nab said...

Hello friends, I thought I would drop you a new note. I was excited when I sent in my first two messages into your site.For me this is a break through to see the "Mystery Walls" on the net.
In my last note I had mentioned there was a slap-of-stone near the the entrance-way of the house, and that it would take about four men to lift it. I missed spelled the word 'step.'
Fot the longest time I did assume that "Sinclair and his men built these strutures." As a mater of fact I have just finished a book that I started in and about 1991.It is named:Sinclair's Transalantic Voyage."(and the discovery of Salmon River,Colchester County,in 1398)(Truro area) I may release parts of this book, on the enternet during the coming winter months. I have personally made a variety of new discoveries in the "Zeno Narrative" the "Zeno Map" along with the Ancient "Mi'Kmaq Legends." If you have any open questions about what I have to say over the coming months.
I hope to place more information on jackmacnab Linkedln site as soon as I figure out how to develope it. You can leave messages there if you wish. Thanks Jack Mac Nab

Anonymous said...

Could this site also be of similar origins as the castle found in New Ross?

Book: A Casle In Nova Scotia by Joan Hope


Anonymous said...

Tried searching Bayers walls in canadiana.org and surprisingly had one hit. Page 272 of the book below. A court case between Bayers and Walker over boundaries in 1859. Apparently, the wall was built beside a road that existed in 1763.
Since I am not from the area, I have no idea whether the two areas are connected.

Trevor said...

The link above offers a wealth of information. It appears that the wall was constructed as a boundry line between two properties and there was a road connecting blockhouses. I assume the 5 sided building was a former blockhouse, not an uncommon style for buildings of that nature. The wall being used as a boundry line would certainly explain it's odd route... but what is not clear (lack of evidence) is if the wall was there before or after the boundries were defined.

This link has a lot of info... http://books.google.ca/books?id=6AcwAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover

Trevor said...

I think it's interesting to note that in February 1873, A. Hendry says "I know the remains of an old blockhouse east of the stone wall which forms the west boundry of Bayers' land."

This was 1873 and he said 'remains of an old blockhouse'. Old indeed.

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me where exactly these rock walls are? In relation to Bayer's Lake, I mean? I live near BL and would love to see the formation, but I've sifted through all the info I can find and it's always just generally described as being "near" Bayer's Lake...

Unknown said...

I was just there today. http://youtu.be/73qsAqdXBPM

terry s. said...

I found silver Templar coins there 25 years ago when metal detecting...it's probably Masonic.

Webconomist said...

It would be cool if you did find Templar coins therte Terry S. but some evidence would be helpful, such as a picture of them? Such a discovery would be profound but without evidence must be discounted as simple "heresay" wouldn't you agree?