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Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Fell of Barhullion 7th March 2010

Although I was over in Antrim while this walk took place,I think it's a good idea to blog each walk if I can get the report.
The author of this weeks report is from the South Rhins,and is by far the most readable of those of us who write walks reports.Her detailed observations, and in particular the natural aspects of the walk, are always interesting, educational and a joy to read.

The pictures posted are from the last time we did this walk in October 2008.
2008 Walk

Ramblers’ report Saturday March 27th.

The picnic site at Back Bay in Monreith was the meeting point for eleven ramblers on Saturday. The sun was shining and there were numerous golfers at play when the road to the Gavin Maxwell monument was taken.

The sculpture by Penny Wheatley of an otter commemorates the local boy whose family estate was to be covered by the route of the day’s walk.

A cliff path took the walkers to the edge of the village and with a fresh wind behind the Clarksburn track was followed to Barhallion.

At the cairn, with the remains of the Iron Age hill fort in the foreground, there were splendid views to Wigtown Bay and the Mull of Galloway.

The open ground across the top, covered in gorse and rough grass was obviously a favourite place for roe deer which skittered away as the walkers crossed over to the ruined farm buildings on the north east slopes.

Drumfad farm road was followed to the Clachan of Myrton where a lovely green lane shaded by beech trees, and with wild garlic just coming into leaf along the margins, led to a field which was the chosen lunch stop – alongside Drumtrodden standing stones.

Two stones of these magnificent remains of a culture dating from two thousand years BC, stand three metres high, with a third lying prone between them.

The White Loch of Myrton lay along the next stretch of the walk, with views across the water to the old ruined Myrton castle, built about 1500, among the trees. It was here that James IV stayed whist travelling on a pilgrimage to Whithorn. The newer grand house, built in 1799 by Sir Herbert Maxwell who wrote Memories of the Months, was passed, and a spectacular sight of acres of skunk cabbage came into view. These amazing plants created a bright yellow vista as far as the eye could see. Herons were nesting in the trees and butterbur flowering along the path.

Sir Herbert Maxwell was a naturalist with special interest in forestry and in the midst of the next field was a grove of monkey puzzle trees, planted as part of his experiments to test their value for timber.

More standing stones near Blairbuie Farm were not studied closely, except by two big bulls grazing in the field. The large ‘Wren’s egg’ is a glacial erratic boulder. Following a farm track a fishing pond was passed using an old ingenious method of keeping algae down. Barriers filled with straw filter the water; and as the straw starts to decompose, the growth of algae is inhibited.

The burial place of the MacCullochs and Maxwells, both sometime owners of the estate, was visited next.

Kirkmaiden Church is situated right on the shore, a beautiful gem of a building with many old graves from 1700s. One of the most interesting is a memorial to Commander Thurot of the French navy who was drowned in 1760 in Luce Bay , after a sea battle between three French and three British ships.

Front Bay was reached by steps and the cars regained after a walk along the beach. This had been a walk full of interest, sunshine and good company.

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