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Sunday, 30 September 2012

Wigtownshire Ramblers Culvennan Fell September 2012

Saturday the 29th of September.
Lofty is today's leader.
This is a walk we did two years ago.
Once I get Lofty's report I'll publish it below.
Thirteen of us today. We start on the Three Lochs road north of Kirkcowan. 
Another account of this walk will appear on my good friend Gordon from Ayr's Blog

This place is very interesting.
It's an old farmstead that goes by the name of Drumbuie and looks like there's a lot of history about it.
There's a stone in the wall marked 1734.
There's a genealogy page which says a Moravia Charteris was born here, a possible descendant of Malachy King of Ireland.
And there's also a tree (I think that's a picture of it on my last post of this walk) called 'The Boy Tree', where a young 11 year old Peter Douglas was murdered by a tinkler or tinker called Alexander Cochrane.
Details are found in Andrew McCormick's 'The Tinkler Gypsies' (pages 134 to 139) or have a quick look HERE 

These dead trees are at the back of Drumbuie

Our next point of interest is in the grounds of Shennanton.
Several theories were put forward to what the enclosure above was used for.

Views over to the Galloway Hills from the River Bladnoch.
The flock of Texel's all had what looked like mud spots on them.

Here's a rare looking work of natures art

Sheep, precarious crossings and the Black Burn.

Looking for anything on the Black Burn, I came across a government document about the proposed Glenchamber Windfarm near Glenluce. Now I've never been anti windfarm, but I'm sure we have enough in this area now. This proposal was rejected by the local authorities, but somehow the Scottish Government believe they have the right to disregard the wishes of the local people.
Here's the link to that document should anyone wish to read it.

                                 Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals

Lunch overlooking Barfad Loch

Another look at the enclosed memorial on the loch side. The wreath, bottom right looks well weathered now.It may be in memory of a McKie who were resident at Barfad. 


Mud. The hill we go past is called Killymuck.........quite appropriate !

A carpet supplied by the Stationmaster gets us over the barbed wire.
Here we head into the Shennoch Plantation.
Shennoch:- from the Gaelic Sean, old and cognate with the Latin Sen-ex

The final climb to Culvennan Fell.

Culvennan Fell. Vent breccia. Breccia with generally angular clasts adjacent to the margin of a diorite intrusion. Finely laminated fine sandstone clasts are typical of the host sediments. Coarser-grained white sandstone clasts, sometimes rounded, are exotic.

Don't ask me, I know nothing about geology.!

One triangulation pillar and one flush bracket

The group picture.

The trig point is 213 mtrs, the cairn is 215 mtrs.
The Ayrshire Blogger is less than 2 mtrs

Over the fells

I think this may be Chanterelle, apparently edible and delicious.

A wide ranging view east.

We have a feeling that this is a prehistoric site (not the sheepfold), but there's nothing on the O.S map.

The last leg of a nice nine mile hike.

Shorty's report will appear here later.

Wigtownshire Ramblers – Saturday 29 September 2012

Thirteen ramblers assembled on the Three Lochs road just north of the A75 on a morning that promised crisp autumn weather.  Dark clouds to the north suggested something else but the group headed off in good spirits along the old Military Road.  Some sections were wet and muddy but the solid base created under the direction of General Caulfield in the 1760s provided a good foothold.

They soon reached the old farmstead of Drumbuie.  There they paused to inspect the unusual archway which served the courtyard of the old house.  A stone gave the date of 1734 which predates the Military road.  The group continued eastwards along the road which soon reached a tarmac section which took them to Doonhill Wood.  From there they squelched through a gateway and followed the edge of the wood over a low hill below the main power line.  From there they took to the attractive woods around Shennanton House.  In the woods they found an unusual dyked enclosure about 4 metres square with the sides sloping down to the south.  There was no entrance into the enclosure nor any obvious structure inside.  There was much speculation as to its purpose.

The ramblers skirted the main gardens and emerged onto the road at Shennanton Sawmill.  They followed the road past the home farm and as far as the Bladnoch bridge.  There they took to the fields and followed the course of the river northwards.  As they went along a couple of shots were heard and, fearful of disturbing a shoot, they proceeded carefully until it became clear that the noises were only a pair of gun dogs under training.  Burn crossings added to the entertainment and they soon reached the road again.  After crossing the road they entered another wood and soon reached their lunch stop overlooking Barfad Loch.

Lunch was curtailed by a sudden sharp shower so the ramblers donned their wet weather gear and headed for the old track which crossed north of the fells.  The rain soon stopped but the track got wetter and the presence of cattle made the going a little difficult.  The route crossed a fence into the forest and the going got easier.  There was a short pause at the ruins of Shennock farm where the walk leader recounted a tale of an army exercise where the unsuspecting shooting tenant was confronted by a troop of armed soldiers supported by small Scorpion tanks.  He felt somewhat out-gunned.

After leaving Shennock the ramblers followed the little used forest road to the top of Shennock Fell.  The main users seemed to be red and roe deer which had left many tracks in the muddy sections.  The group then cut through the trees and emerged onto the open moorland.  A short climb led them to the cairn and trig point on the top of Culvennan Fell.  There were excellent views in all directions with odd features picked out by patches of sunshine as the clouds scudded over the sky.  A pair of diggers were working away on the summit of an adjacent hill but it was not clear what they were up to.

The group descended the southern side of the fell and then a short rise led them to the summit of Crunlae Fell.  After admiring the views over the Machars and Wigtown Bay they continued on down following a well-used sheep track.  On reaching the lower ground they found evidence of several ancient structures.  One had the appearance of a chambered cairn and another seemed to be the outline of a building but there was nothing marked on the current maps. 

The route then followed a rough path over green fields and bracken knolls with boggy sections and deep burns between them, after which they re-joined the Three Lochs road and regained the cars.  It had been an enjoyable but testing walk of 9 miles.

The next event, on Saturday 6th October, is the popular walk around Newton Stewart.  Meet at the Breastworks Car Park in Stranraer at 09:30 to share transport.  The walk will start from the Riverside Car Park in Newton Stewart at 10:00. (Grid Ref: NX 412 653)  New walkers are always welcome.  For any queries, please contact the walk leader on 01671 403351.


  1. the shot of that dead bending tree is so stuck in my mind.

  2. Certainly looks like some kind of barrow or longhouse. I'll get my sister to have a look at the shot for you when i next see her.

  3. I was having trouble with blogger yesterday Jim, and lo and behold my (quite lengthy) comment was thrown off - it's not here!!
    Well, loved this walk and pics!!

  4. Jim loved this post, so much to take in. Especially the tinkler story & a link to the on-line book, yay thank you I have been wanting to rea that for an age! The site you query certainly looks intriguing, it would be interesting to know if it is an ancient site, strange it wasn't mentioned on the map.

  5. I agree Aguilar, it's like some kind of portend, warning of impending doom.

    I'm sure it must be prehistoric Scarletti (and Ruthie), it's adjacent to an area full of prehistoric sites around New Luce.

    Hopefully your blogger problems are resolved Rose, maybe I'll get a walk in the Hunter Valley one of these years.

    Glad to see you celebrated your birthday in style Ruthie. Yes, I downloaded Andrew McCormick's book a couple of years ago from Archive dot org.
    It's a great reference to the past.

  6. Another interesting walk. the area's full of prehistoric sites so the odd one has to be not on the map - It's strangely a bit more exciting to find something that seems ancient without being told it's there to find first. I found an unmarked cup and ring marking once - maybe I'm just easy to please though.
    Apprently edible and delicious isn't quite definate enough to risk testing.

  7. Natures art is always beautiful, I like how you capture it.

    Whenever I see your blogs, I wonder what & how things would look like back then, the 1700s etc. The history of your area is incredible & always of interest.

  8. Now I know what a Texel is.You certainly packed a few links into that post Jim.I had to open multipule windows for the first time as my computers running slower than normal.
    Interesting history.

  9. Totally agree about the mushroom Sandy especially with my colour deficiency.

    Michael, we're quite lucky here in South-West Scotland as far as the written word is concerned.
    Back in the 18 century we had more scholars from this area than almost anywhere.

    Cheers Bob, glad you liked the links, I aim to please.


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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