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Sunday, 12 September 2010

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Culvennan Fell

It's Saturday the 11th of September 2010.
Todays walk is a new one.It's a circular taking in Culvennan Fell north of Kirkcowan.It's in an area not far from civilisation,but somehow remote because of the rugged terrain.

There are twenty of us as we park the cars just north of the A75 on the three lochs road.Showers are forecast,but it looks good at the moment.

A short distance south.I think the farmer had the right idea if the spacing between the words had been greater distances.
Now we leave the tarmac and take to the route of an old Military road to the east.
These ruins must have been a stopping off place.

This from
This is part of a fascinating military road that was built by Major Caulfeild in the 1760s. The road originally stretched 105 miles from Bridge of Sark to Portpatrick and much of the old road is under the A75. There is a far larger section* from Ardachie into Glenluce that is not under the A75, but that is not as easy to find anymore, so this is the only part known to be readily walkable.

Unlike all other military roads built in this period, this road was not built for the Hanovarians to gain advantage over the Jacobites but to aid troop movements to Ireland. Roads existed here before the military road was built, so what happened was that those roads were reconstructed and realigned in places. Indeed it has been suggested that much of this road followed a Roman road.

At Ardachie farm the road veers in a north easterly direction.

After a couple of kilometres or so we cross the Carseriggan road into the Mark plantation and take a look at Shennanton House.It's a grade A listed building dating back to 1908,and can be hired out.A short 3 day break for just over £4000 isn't a bad price if there are enough of you.

I spoke to a man who was heading into the woods with a camouflage platform hoping to bag some venison for supper.
Interested ? take a look here

We continue rounding the Shennanton estate passing this old galvanised aeroplane shelter and the Mark of Shennanton Steading.This is another listed building,the technical details are here Mark of Shennanton

Reaching the River Bladnoch we take to the fields north.It's still quite cloudy,but when the sun does come out it's very warm.
Some of the Galloway Hills are still under cloud.

We were watched carefully through this field of prime stock.We also watched carefully!

I've been around of this stretch of the Bladnoch before.I'd been looking for the confluence of the Black Burn and the Bladnoch.Ring of Barfad

Much of todays walk meant negotiating swollen burns.Shorty, our walk leader today, is at pains to insist they weren't like this on the recce...

...Just look at the length of his legs !

I assume the farmer uses these vessels for animal feed.I remember seeing cast iron pots like this in my youth.The foundry at the rear of John White and Sons,Auchtermuchty where I worked had cast vessels of all shapes and sizes.Contrary to popular belief, amazingly we still have a few foundries in Scotland.

Now we're leaving the river towards Carsbuie.A frisky herd of young steers provide a Western touch as they re-enact a scene from Rawhide for us.

Crossing the tarmac road,we take a muddy track through Stony Park plantation.Now into open countryside it's nearly time for lunch.

We're overlooking Barfad Loch.
Beyond the boathouse is an enclosure that needs further investigation....'s a site of pilgrimage and probably a lasting memorial to someone.
The large stone in the middle has what may be a font carved into it,and there were a couple of wreaths underfoot.Very intriguing.

Lunch over and we head north of the loch.

Heading west we join what once was a fairly substantial road judging by the stone underfoot.
We're rounding Killymuck (coille nam muc = the wood of the pigs) hill here.

Crossing obstacles has been quite a feature of todays walk.There's more to come !

A dead slow-worm with half it's body missing is found.Chief suspects would be a buzzard or a pine marten.

Now we reach the ruins of a farmstead at Shennock.
Our walk leader recounts an anecdote from working around here some time back.
Now we begin a steady climb through forestry.

We emerge onto Culvennan Fell and a beautiful view over to Wigtown Bay.

A short climb takes us to the trig point.

At 214 Metres,this is the highest point in the Machars.It's only 700 feet but there are some great views from here.

Landmarks are identified and pointed out....

...over to the south-west the Mull of Galloway and Knock Fell (our walk in a fortnight) are bathed in sunshine.

After an enjoyable break we begin a zig zag descent.

Above is a collage of pictures from my last venture onto these fells.There's an abundance of drystone enclosures around here.

Here we come across what appears to be Neolithic burial cairns,much the same as can be seen at Cairnholy.There appears to be a lot of stuff around these fells not documented.I think a good metal detector might turn up some really exciting finds.

Now we're heading over the interestingly sounding Haw Hill with Culvennan Fell behind us.
Down below Haw Hill is somewhere needing more exploration,it's the ruins of a township called Crunlae.

A narrowish deepish burn is the last obstacle on todays walk... didn't exactly go to plan.
Faces have been obscured to prevent embarrassment.Ha ha

It's been a very good and interesting walk.I'll certainly be doing some more exploration round here.
As usual the company was the best....with the exception of the following trespasser.It had attached itself to my right underarm.

Serves me right I suppose.
I'd been badgering the ladies when the call of nature came,to watch out for the little blighters.

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