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Thursday, 27 January 2011

A short recce-The Bell Monument carpark to Shalloch on Minnoch farm

Wednesday the 26th of January 2011
It's not a bad day,so I'm going to take a quick look at the approaches to Shalloch on Minnoch.
This is the beginning of one of many alternative routes to the summit of the afore mentioned hill,and I'm only looking at the non-climbing section.

I park at the David Bell memorial car park.He was a local writer and avid cyclist.
It's close to Rowantree Junction, where apparently a pub and a toll once stood.One road going to Barr and Girvan,and the other going via Stinchar Bridge to Straiton. 
Quote "It was in this location that a body was once found, giving the place the name of the Murder Hole. In his novel about droving in the Galloway area, The Raiders, author SR Crockett "stole" the location and moved it close to Loch Neldricken, north of Glen Trool."

A short walk along the road brings me to the forest road  that'll take me down to Laglanny.
There's a new house under construction.The contractors I spoke to said the last house had burned down.

Continuing on I take a panorama of the 'Awful Hand' as it's called.

This panorama is also in full screen at Panogio at The Awful Hand

Now the road runs alongside the Water of Minnoch.
Over the bridge it seems there's a fairly new forest road.I don't know how far it goes.My route is to the right.

Although the farm track is well defined,at a bend in the river it's been washed away.I've a feeling it's been a while since the farm was in use.

Here's the farm with rounded top of Shalloch on Minnoch to it's left.Here's something I didn't know,Shalloch on Minnoch is the highest hill in Ayrshire.I'm out of D & G here.The track now runs alongside the Shalloch Burn.

This is a great idea,all entrances to the main buldings have been bricked up,and only pigeon hole sized openings left for the birds and anything else that flies.

I carry on up stream.The stile's nearly rotten so I don't chance it.The path is still discernible,but the bad weather's taken it's toll and has given way in places.

Now I reach the bridge one is supposed to cross going this route.The iron girders are solid and won't move.The wooden walkway is all but rotted away.It is crossable,but only by shuffling with one foot either side.Eighty percent of our walkers wouldn't even consider going near it.
If we do decide to come this way it'll be by another method of crossing the burn.

I continued another few hundred yards up the same side.There's still some semblance of a track.
If the burn isn't in spate,there seems ample rocks to afford a crossing.There's a fair to middling flow today and I managed to cross,but it wasn't easy,we'll have to make sure Shorty comes along.

This was as far as I was going today,so I retraced my steps back to the farms outbuildings.
There were remnant's of a sheep dip,the head of a three iron and a steel rail structure.
I began the renovations by re-attaching the sheep dip gate.

Back at the main house I switched the flash on my camera and took the above photo through one of the pigeon holes.This picture will certainly bring back memories to those of you of a certain age.It does me !

As I head back to my car there's a snow shower descending on Kirrereoch and the Merrick.
Soon be summer..............................................

N.B For Russell:- Hi Russell,not good looking at the bridge as you can see.But I'm sure it's do-able.
Paddy Dillon gives a route in his book via Cornish Hill.
The last time the Ramblers climbed it (I pulled a muscle) they started closer to Stinchar Bridge at the start of the forest and up along the slopes of Cairnadloch.


  1. The old bridge (or what is left of it) does look quite dangerous!

    Nice pictures.

  2. I've read the Raiders, it's a good going tale in a Stevenson vein. Nice to see one of the locations. I recon mr Crockett gave the area such a good shuffle, I hardly recognised anything.

  3. Thanks, Jim. Bridge looks too dangerous for me. - But fact that you got across river in January shows it must be more do-able in summer.
    What a great thing the internet is. - Your blog + Alec and Bob's Blue Sky Scotland and others certainly help pass the long winter nights. All the best, Russell

  4. It's certainly not for the faint hearted Maria.

    I've got the Raiders Sandy,but I only use it as a reference the sound of it I could be giving out misinformation.I think I'd better start double checking my facts.

    My pleasure Russell.


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