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Sunday, 22 May 2011

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Anwoth Circular May 2011

Saturday the 21st of May 2011.

My short walk in the Glasserton area on Thursday somehow brought back the pains in my right calf again,so I wasn't sure of walking today.A crepe bandage obviously helped since I completed the walk.Feeling tender in both legs now,but I'm sure I'll be fine.

The press report this week has been written by the walk leader (The Weaver) and will be at the bottom of the post.(She's awfully good with words)
We've done this walk a couple of times before.Last time was a year ago to the day.

Anwoth Bush o' Bield

Pictures added 17th January 2013
I was asked where I took the picture of the 'Bush o' Bield plaque, and I couldn't remember. 
Anyway here's Google's Street View to the rescue. Reading the passage below the house standing was either adjacent to the manse or is a new build.

Samuel Rutherford
The passage below is from an 1884 biography by  the Rev.ANDREW THOMSOND.D., F.R.S.E.

Of Rutherford's manse of Bush-o-bield, not even a stone remains. But there are those still living who remember its site and its ruins. It was an old house even in his days, built in baronial style, having belonged to an Anwoth family of rank, and containing more space than the simple pastor needed. It stood on a gentle eminence, with a garden behind producing sufficient vegetables for culinary purposes, and abounding in the rose, the honey-suckle, the balm, and other flowers in which our fore-fathers delighted. The Anwoth people of the last generation used to tell of gigantic hollies which lined the front of the house, while a green field gradually sloped down to the level, along which a tiny burn found its way to the Fleet not far off. The church was so near that when the pastor heard the first sound of the bell from its little belfry, he had ample time to don his Geneva gown, and, passing calmly through an intervening copse, to be in his place at the appointed time, to read out the first words of praise.

Passing Anwoth Old Church

Bluebells and Wild Garlic

Coming out of Killiegowan Woods

Over fields to Killern Cottage

Hopeful young angler on Ornockenoch Loch

Passing Ornockenoch Loch
(A good name to practise rolling your R's)

Approaching Upper Rusco with the Clints of Dromore in view

A long forest road upwards

Below Kenlum at the old mine entrance

Mine exploration
(Thanks to a fair and fine fellow walker for the above fotos)

Kenlum Hill climb

It's a cloudy summit

Descent to Kingslaggan

Rounding up the strays

Anwoth Old Church 

17th Century Gordon Family Memorial

(Dumb Senseless Statue of Some Painted Stones-Samuel Rutherford)

Ramblers walk Saturday May 21st Anwoth circular.

Despite a gloomy weather forecast 18 ramblers turned out for a bluebell walk at Anwoth on Saturday. Leaving the cars in front of the new church, the road north was followed to the entrance to Killiegowan woods, where the walkers shadowed a deer, running before them onto the narrow grassy path.

The bluebells were still flowering in strength, but they had now been joined by the unfurling fronds of bracken, wild garlic, yellow tormentil and purple orchids, producing a profusion of colour.

The woods were followed to the point where a gate gave access to a field of cattle. A rough track now led towards Killern where the Pulcree burn accompanied the quiet road to Ornochenoch Loch, the stately home of several swans. The waters being disbursed over the reservoir dam, through a pipe leading uphill, led to some astonishment.

The road deteriorated into a field track leading uphill to Woodhead where the views over to the Clints of Dromore and Cairnsmore were admired. With a sharp swing to the south the forest road now led more steeply uphill, along the shoulder of Scaur hill, slowing the walkers and causing some of their wet weather gear to be discarded. Early welsh poppies brightened the shale verges and frequent stops allowed the views to the north to be surveyed as they opened out.

Lunch was eventually taken by an old mine where the forest road ended. As torches had been brought, the short adit could be explored. The interior was dripping slowly, building up stalactites and giving the beautifully hewn walls of the tunnel a white shiny surface.

Now the weather worsened and a slight drizzle accompanied the very steep climb to the top of Kenlum (305m). The path led up the side of a high dry stone dyke which gave shelter from the cold wind which was steadily increasing. The mist closed in and the views out across Fleet Bay to the Solway and the Isle of Man were non existent.

Little time was lost when the ramblers reached the summit. A heathery ridge led downwards and soon grassy slopes and deep gullies brought the company to Kings Laggan and the Old Military Road leading back to Anwoth.

Bluebells were once more in much evidence as the often muddy track was followed past an old deer park and eventually to the beautifully kept cottage garden across from the old church at Anwoth.

The rain was now coming down steadily and there were few volunteers for a wander around the interesting grave stones and monuments in the churchyard. One momento mori which took the explorers’ fancy was near the east end of the church. It has inscribed upon its sides epitaphs to three members of the Gordon family. The words are hard to decipher, but the old wording of the virtues and expected glorious afterlife of these ladies, caused some amusement.

The weather had been unexpectedly good for most of the walk, but it was a wet group which regained the cars. However, all agreed that the walk and company had been exceptionally pleasant.

Next weeks’ walk, on Saturday 28th May, is a B, 6mile Girvan – Byne Hill circular.
Meet for car sharing 9.00am Riverside, Newton Stewart, 9.30am Breastworks, Stranraer, or 10.00am Girvan South car park, NX 183 965. New members are very welcome. Please phone walk leader if going to the start. 01776 870 441


  1. The walk I did on Saturday with my group was very similar to yours with Bluebells and churches being the main focal points. Aye and we all got drookit at the end too.

  2. Cheers Gordon,the bluebells are on their last legs now.High winds and a power cut this morning.
    I see a few old buildings in your blog,they make great memorials to the past don't they.I saw some being knocked down at Glasserton last week.No doubt to be replaced by something modern,hopefully tasteful.

  3. Hello. Found your blog while researching the history of our house, Bush O'Bield at Anwoth. I am currently doing a light restoration of the name plaque in your photograph. We moved here in December 2014. We're retired and like walking so wondered if we could possibly join your group to benefit from your local knowledge (and perhaps add a tea stop next time you're in Anwoth!).

  4. Hello Jim. Found your blog when researching the history of our new house, Bush O'Bield, Anwoth. I see it created some interest to your group some while back. As retired people, interested in walking, we wondered if we could perhaps join your group and benefit from your local knowledge (and perhaps add a tea stop next time you're in Anwoth!)

    1. Hello Paul, can you email me at and I'll let you have a few details.


Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

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