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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Wigtownshire Ramblers Carsegowan September 2012

Saturday the 22nd of September 2012
Todays walk is one we did last December.
We've parked up in the farmyard at Mains of Penninghame.
Thanks to the farm owners for their hospitality in allowing this.

As usual the report will follow the images.
(A great idea I got from my good friend Gordon the Ayrshire Blogger)

The local 'Bully'

There's only one small hill to climb today, but the bracken's high.

Climbing White Hill

Views to the north.

Twenty three of us today.
(Thanks to Scoop for a number of today's pictures)

Now here's a nice border collie

Local author Dennis Sawden

Incorporation Runner Mills

Carsegowan Moss


Alongside the A714

Drystane dyke stile

Disused Newton Stewart to Wigtown Railway

Headstones at Clachan of Penninghame

Last stretch.

Wigtownshire Ramblers Walk Report

A bright but crisp sunny morning saw twenty three walkers gather in the Mains of Penninghame farmyard for the walk. Thanks must go to the farmer for the parking arrangements.
The walk started by following a farm track south to the Wood of Auchleand. A friendly wave was given to anglers at a popular fishing pond. 
A short distance along a forest road a rough track was taken to ascend White Hill. After surmounting an awkward ditch and dyke and long wet grass the hill top was reached via a cattle grazing field.
A short break was taken to enjoy the wide panoramic views across Wigtown Bay and north to the Galloway Hills. The sunshine made this a great day for photographs.
A gradual descent brought them to a farm track. A herd of cattle decided to precede the group along this track. A farming member of the group was dispatched to herd them together to allow the group to pass. This transition was successful but muddy and Auchleand Farm was reached.
After passing through Auchleand Farm a solid track was followed to reach the main Newton Stewart to Wigtown road. Here another short break was taken to talk to the farmer and to learn of a cattle track that could be used on future walks, taking out the need for walking along the busy A714 road.
 Now the busy A714 was followed in single file for almost eight hundred yards north before turning in to Carsegowan Cottage. Here a delightful surprise greeted the group.
Having learned of this walk taking place, Dennis Sawden, the author of the book “Carsegowan Moss Explosives Factory”, gave the group an outdoor presentation of history, facts, plans and photographs of the former ICI plant. After the enthralling talk, Mr Sawden was thanked profusely and the group continued into the works.
Now the walk went through the northern end (Unit2) of the ruins. The largest concrete structure they passed was identified as 'Incorporation Runner Mills' within which nitrate, sulphur and charcoal were mixed by rotating rollers set in a metal bowl. Bunkers, Press Houses and Magazines were amongst other structures Identified.
After completing a circuit, lunch was taken by the old Home Guard quarters.
After lunch the group made their way to Carsegowan moss. This raised moss is one of only a few left in Britain. The surviving bog is blanketed by sphagnum mosses and heather amongst which lichens, bog asphodel, cranberry and sundews can be found. Various plants were identified, and the elusive sundew was photographed. The walk leader also mentioned the RAF plane crash on the edge of the moss in 1942 which resulted in the death of all five crew, two of who are interred in Kirkinner graveyard.
Leaving Carsegowan, a track alongside the old railway line took the group up to Bishopburn Bridge from where they followed the old road running parallel to the A714. The A714 was crossed at Causeway End where the minor road north west was taken.
A short way along this road a stile over a drystane dyke accessed a grassy field which led to the disused Newton Stewart to Wigtown railway track. The track was now followed to reach the old graveyard at the Clachan of Penninghame.
Headstones, some dating up to 300 years old with familiar local names were viewed. It was noted from certain headstones that in many cases there was continuity of ownership of farmland and property.
Back on the minor road they continued north to the T junction at Barwhirran Croft where a depression in a field goes by the name of Foul Hole. Half a mile west the Mains of Penninghame road was taken back to the walk start.
Enjoyed by all, the day was capped with a visit to the Cinnamon Café in Newton Stewart for tea and scones.
The next walk on Saturday the 29th of September is a 9 mile B+ walk around the Wigtownshire moors including Culvennan Fell.
Meet for car sharing at the Breastworks, Stranraer 9.30am, Riverside, Newton Stewart 9.30am or the walk start on the Three Lochs Road, Kirkcowan (NX 231 563) at 10am. For further details or if going to the start please phone walk leader 01671 401222. New members are always welcome  


  1. great history, fabulous views, and a happy bunch of hikers! Oh, and is bracken fern classed as a weed over there too?

  2. Looks a lovely day and a big crowd Jim.You certainly get good turnouts down there rain or shine.

  3. Thanks Rose, bracken is generally a weed here in Scotland. We have it in abundance.

    I'm not sure if it was my charisma or the sunshine Bob, I'd guess the latter.

  4. Sundew in the wild - I'd like to see that - I'll bet I've just not been keeping my eyes open enough!

  5. There's a lot of Sundew on the Silver Flowe Sandy.


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