Extensional tectonics and incipient rifting on the north side of the Iapetus suture were associated with eruption of (mainly) mildly alkaline olivine basalts. Initially in the Tournaisian (Southern Uplands Terrane), magmatic activity migrated northwards producing the Garleton Hills Volcanic Formation (GHVF) across an anomalous sector of the Southern Uplands. The latter was followed by resumption of volcanism in the Midland Valley Terrane, yielding the Arthur's Seat Volcanic Formation. Later larger-scale activity generated the Clyde Plateau Volcanic Formation (CPVF) and the Kintyre lavas on the Grampian Highlands Terrane. Comparable volcanic successions occur in Limerick, Ireland. This short-lived (c. 30 myr) phase was unique in the magmatic history of the Phanerozoic of the British Isles in which mildly alkaline basaltic magmatism locally led to trachytic differentiates. The Bangly Member of the GHVF represents the largest area occupied by such silicic rocks. The most widespread lavas and intrusions are silica-saturated/oversaturated trachytes for which new whole-rock and isotopic data are presented. Previously unrecognized ignimbrites are described. Sparse data from the fiamme suggest that the magma responsible for the repetitive ignimbrite eruptions was a highly fluid rhyolite. The Bangly Member probably represents the remains of a central-type volcano, the details of which are enigmatic.