A study of the composition and zoning patterns of detrital garnets from Ordovician greywackes from the Northern Belt of the Southern Uplands terrane of Scotland reveals characteristics of the metamorphic sources very similar to the Dalradian Supergroup of the Scottish Grampian terrane. The radiometric cooling and uplift ages of the Dalradian metamorphic zones and the depositional ages of the Southern Uplands greywackes support the hypothesis for local provenance. Detrital metamorphic garnet, identical to Dalradian garnet, has also been identified in the Upper Ordovican sandstones of the Highland Border Complex. These observations do not support proposals that the Grampian, Midland Valley and Southern Uplands terranes were exotic to each other in the Late Ordovician time. These new results, together with a review of published age dates, clarify the Late Ordovician palaeogeography for this part of the Laurentian margin. The distances between the Grampian, Midland Valley and Southern Uplands terranes may have been similar to the present day. It is concluded that large rivers flowed out of the uplifting mountainous Grampian terrane and across the Midland Valley into a Southern Uplands trench during the Late Ordovician time. The main orogeny (i.e. mountain building) in the Grampian terrane was therefore post-Cambrian, producing the first high mountains and resultant flysch in the Caradoc.