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Saturday, 11 December 2010

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Shennanton to Penninghame December 2010

Updated Monday the 13th of December with the press report in italics.Wonderfully written.

It's Saturday the 11th of December 2010.Todays walk is a linear from Shennanton to Penninghame.
I'll initially do a short account of the walk,then expand it later,by adding the press release which will make good reading.The walk leader today is the 'Weaver' and she writes the most wonderful reports.

The photographs will be a mixture of shots from both the walk and the recce.
So here we go.

There's eighteen of us as we meet at the layby just by the A75 at Shennanton.
We begin by taking the minor road from the layby by Holm of Glasnick.

Whizz is out in the field today.On the recce he was smiling at us as we went by.

After leaving the cars at the lay by on the A75 there were two bridges to view. The old bridge is now a romantic ruin but when built in the early eighteenth century it used cutting technology to carry the Old Military Road across the Bladnoch, providing an eight foot wide carriageway, granite cutwater angles and segmented spans. In the mid nineteenth century this was superseded by Shennanton New Bridge which in turn has been replaced by one across the modern A75.

We cross over the river Bladnoch.Doesn't the ice and frost brighten it up.

We've been here quite recently.This is the entrance to Shennanton House 

A quiet country road was followed to the entrance to Shennanton House where the entrance railings with grouped arrowheads and cyclopean support walls are listed buildings designed along with the house by Henry Clifford in 1908. A walk along the driveway and then by an enclosed track bordered by a beautiful beech hedge gave good viewing of the arts and crafts style house, where the cyclopean walls of the gateway were echoed on the house front.

Pisa has it's leaning tower.Shennanton has it's leaning shed.We didn't get close enough to the house to take good pictures.I'll have to get a closer look sometime.

After passing the sawmill and Shennanton Mains farm we cross the Bladnoch again.

Soon the tarmac road was replaced by a very straight track which led over the Bladnoch once again by a bailey bridge. The river was still frozen along the edges giving a cold paddle for the heron whose contemplation of the waters was interrupted by the walkers. A flock of goldfinches swirled above whilst the waters washed over a set of stepping stones which no one braved in this cold weather.

Thanks to Scoop for the above picture.
Who's that idiot on the ice ?

This was the thickness of the ice on the recce.

The track led over the moorland to lonely Loch Eldrig, a fishing loch, where the forest was entered, the ground hard with frost and the sun appearing to give good views of the near hills as Glengrazie was approached.

Passing Eldrig Loch here.The hills were nice and clear on the recce.They're quite hazy today.

A log on top of a stump.Our forestry man tells us it would have information markings on it.All I can see is a face.

It may be thawing,but the ice is still heavy and thick.)As I write this on Sunday morning the overnight frost isn't clearing.The freeze is back)
Here we're crossing the Challoch/Knowe road at Glenrazie.

The high point of the walk was reached, a hill of just 116metres where the OS trig point was hidden in the woods and covered with moss but the ramblers sought out the flush bracket here for their records.

Now we're in the Penninghame estate and little detour off the path brings us to the Glenrazie Trig Point S8288.It's complete with a Flush Bracket.

Reaching Penninghame Pond,a break is taken for lunch.There's an inch or two of water on top,but there's still 3 or 4 inches of ice underneath.
I tested the ice with no problems.

Lunch was next on the agenda, taken by Penninghame ponds. These ponds have been made accessible for wheelchairs with car park and picnic table. The water was only half frozen and so there were wonderful reflections from the trees to enjoy whilst lunching.

Time for a happy group photograph.
(I've been wondering whether I should, like a number of other Bloggers,write the text above the image.It seems the world is split on where it should be...probably alongside would be the most ideal.I'll leave mine as it is at the moment.)

We bumped into familiar faces on the recce.Good to see you folks.

Same pond,but different views.

The run off on the recce was quite a light flow,with plenty of icicles.

Sulwath Connections and the Fisheries trust have worked on the Castle Burn, which flows from the ponds, creating a fish ladder for the ascending salmon to spawn and planting trees alongside to protect the banks.

On walk day the flow is more copious.

Now were on the path through the woods.What a perfect family the sign depicts.There's not too many would fit that picture these days.
(If you are that family,I apologise !)

Now we're approaching Castle Stewart.
This from Scottish Places 'A former stronghold of the Stewarts in Dumfries and Galloway, Castle Stewart lies just west of the River Cree, 3 miles (5 km) northwest of Newton Stewart. It was named after Colonel William Stewart who made a fortune as a mercenary soldier fighting under Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. On his return to Scotland he bought the estate which was then called Calcruchie.'

The walk continued along the river to Castle Stewart the home of Dr Kenneth Delbray of the Hope and Kindness Trust, a charity involved in education projects for Tibetans. The castle was built in the sixteenth century by Sir William Stewart but is now only a shell surrounded by some extraordinary buildings which caused much interest amongst the walkers.

Someone mentioned the Castle was in the ownership of the Clan Stewart.There's restoration work ongoing.It's quite a fascinating layout.

I wonder who thought of using a line from a Burns song.
It's from  'The Minstrel at Lincluden',and you can hear it read on a BBC page here.
Juliet Cadzow

Now on the last stretch of the walk we head back westwards....

The last leg of the walk led across the fields and through a ford to where cars were waiting to enable the group to return to the start after an easy but interesting walk on a pleasantly mild and sunny day.

...there's still a lot of ice in the puddles.Shorty found that out.The bottom right picture is one I've zoomed the heron.I took the next picture on the recce,It may be the same bird.

'Two in flight' might be a good title for the above picture.

There's some prime stock in this rolling countryside.........and there's the cattle.Ha ha

A view I've taken often, finishes the walk.
It's been another pleasant walk in the best company.


  1. Keep it up I very much enjoy your Blogs Great Pictures Jim .Kent

  2. Good to hear from you Jim.We were all pleased to have you walk with us (albeit a wet one) earlier this year.
    Look forward to your next visit.


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