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Sunday, 28 October 2012

Wigtownshire Ramblers New Luce Circular October 2012

Sunday the 28th of October 2012
Today's walk is a circular walk from New Luce. This Sunday walk came about because of the cancellation of the training weekend originally planned.
Today's leader is Shorty, I'm deputy walk leader and we recce-id this walk on Wednesday.
Because of the poor weather today, I'll be putting in some pictures from the recce.
Shorty's report will follow.
We're a group of eight intrepid walkers on this wet morning. (It looked like we'd be a group of nine, but that dropped to eight before we began.)   

Bully just outside New Luce on the recce (He was in the same place today)

A partridge holding pen.

Above is Balmurray, Artfield Fell Windfarm, and a filled in mine shaft.
The rain eased occasionally, but my camera stayed much of the time in it's case.

Another picture from the recce. There are definite markings on this stone.

Again on the recce, I could zoom across to the Mull of Galloway.

Today it is wet as we look around the mine ruins.

Atop one of our half a dozen small summits.

This is the steel bridge over to Quarter Farm. 
On the recce I'd been looking for the makers of this steel I found it. It was built in Scotland by the Lanarkshire Steel Co Ltd

To shelter from the wind and rain we'll lunch somewhere among these ruins.

I was nicely sheltered for lunch, but we need to move on again. There's not much information about this ruin ?

From now on the going gets much easier. We came across these feeding blocks. I guess they'll soon be antiques. "WALTER GREGORY & CO LTD Crawley, West Sussex 
History: Walter Gregory & Co Ltd was established in Crawley, West Sussex, during the late nineteenth century to supply animal health products to farmers in the west of England. The company was acquired by Upjohn Ltd in 1966 and dissolved in 1993. 
Records: Pharmacia & Upjohn Ltd, Davy Avenue, Knowlhill, Milton Keynes MK5 8PH "

More pictures from the recce.
After passing an old cairn we pass by Barlure farm.................

.............a couple of fields later we've an awkward drystone wall and the lovely Ward Burn to cross.

This train was photographed on the recce, we saw it today but from a distance and just a fleeting glimpse.

Back in New Luce i spot a few curios............ interesting knocker and a flush bracket number 11886

We finish the day with a warm welcome for tea/coffee, scones and cake at the Kenmuir Arms

Here's Shorty's report.

Wigtownshire Ramblers – Sunday 28 October 2012

Nine ramblers met at the New Luce village hall just as the kirk bell was ringing.  It was a dreich morning with low scudding clouds and desultory rain.  One member decided that he believed the weather forecasts and set off homewards.  The remaining group walked through the village and turned up the farm road leading to Barnshangan farm.  A few finches hopped around the roadside hedges and sheep grazed unconcerned in the fields.  Otherwise the group had the world to themselves.

At Barnshangan they turned northwards up the old track leading to the old lead mines.  As they progressed the track became wetter and less well defined but the group soon reached the remnants of the mines.  A series of banks, ditches and pits covered a wide area.  The workings extended to the top of the low hill.  From there there were views over the valley of the Cross Water of Luce and the surrounding countryside.  The large windmills at Artfield Fell to the East and Arecleoch to the North were turning in the steady breeze.  It was noted that the proposed windfarms at Glenchamber, Carsecreugh and Glenkitten would soon form a complete arc around the horizon.

The group then zig zagged northwards over the moors, avoiding the worst of the bogs over the low hills of Craigiegower and Big Milldown.  They continued following cattle tracks over squelchy mires and low hills until they could look down on Quarter Farm, once known as the Dougaries, on the far bank of the Cross Water of Luce.  They descended steeply to the Quarter Bridge.  This turned out to be constructed from Bailey Bridge sections made from Lanarkshire steel, probably of post war origin.  The river was pouring forcefully below the bridge with some dramatic eddies pulling at the banks.

After a short pause the ramblers set off up the farm track towards the Barrhill road. They turned northwards up the road and crossed a cattle grid.  When they reached the next area of firm ground they turned off the road and made their way up to the ruined house at Cairn Side where they sought shelter below the walls to have their lunch.  Cairn Side had been a substantial house with well-built outbuildings and a garden but old maps indicated that it had been derelict for more than a century but some walls stood up to the top of a second storey.  There was speculation as to why it had been abandoned as it had apparently only been in use for about fifty years.

Once lunch was completed the group made their way up to the top of Craigbirnoch Fell.  The views from here were dramatic in spite of the weather.  To the north they could see Beneraird, the objective of next week’s walk, and Knockdolian, another favourite hill.  Southwards they could make out the sea in Luce Bay and just the suggestion of the Mull of Galloway.  After a brief pause they descended the fell and made their way across the very soft ground towards Barlure farm.  With some relief they soon reached the hard ground above the farm and continued through the fields past the farm and southwards towards the railway.  A train trundled southwards towards Stranraer; a rare event.  After traversing a dyke and crossing a small burn they clambered back up to the fields which they followed, under the stern gaze of a flock of sheep, back to the county road.  A short walk down the road brought them back to the village.  The group repaired to the Kenmuir Arms where they were made very welcome in spite of their damp condition by the host and staff.  The group enjoyed excellent tea and cakes and a warm fire before dispersing.

The next walk will be on Saturday 3rd November.  It will be a fairly strenuous walk in the South Ayrshire hills between Ballantrae and Glenapp. Meet at the Riverside Car Park in Newton Stewart at 9:00 a.m. or the Breastworks Car Park in Stranraer at 9:30 a.m. to share transport.  The walk will start from the crossroads on the A77 above Glenapp (NX 095 790) at 10:00 a.m.  If meeting at the start or for any other queries, please contact the walk leader on 01292 441268. New walkers will be made most welcome.


  1. what a fun group you have! you are blessed to share your interests like this. what little adventures you must find by taking the time to notice.

  2. Thank goodness you did the recce Jim for the photos that day. Just love the ruins we get to see and glad you all have your priorities right with a cuppa and cake to finish up. :)

  3. Like the penny farthing Plant pot.
    You must breed them keen down there jim to get so many turning up for a wet day.Good fun though.

  4. Hi AnnMarie, on some of our walks we know little about the area, and we find out later we might have missed some interesting piece of local history. We know the next time.

    Yes Rose, picture wise I was a bit short in the rain, and it's not the same when you doctor a photograph (Although, some professional photographers have recently been in a lot of trouble for airbrushing.

    Would have liked the penny-farthings to have been authentic Bob. I always consider a rainy walk being good for the soul.

  5. nice little knocker. and the horns on that sheep are so cool looking!

  6. Hi Aguilar, the knocker and clock are at the cobblers. I didn't take a picture of the dozen or so 'Lasts' that were outside the door.
    The sheep is a typical Scottish Blackface Ram


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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