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South Ayrshire: Latest Posts

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Dinvin (Hillfort) — Links

Canmore


Some incredible aerial shots of this stunning hillfort on the canmore site.
Howburn Digger Posted by Howburn Digger
26th July 2011ce

Knockdolian (Cairn(s)) — Folklore

I can't find a story for the hill of Knockdolian itself, but I was here in the summer, and it's the most stupendous landmark, looking just like the nearby giant limpet-shaped island of Ailsa Craig from some angles. I liked the hill a lot and I imagine the views from the top would be marvellous. It's topped by a 'grass covered cairn .. composed of large and small stones, with rock outcrop protruding in places.. 2m high.. a few large kerb stones are visible', according to the info on Coflein. But here's some local stoney folklore:
An old family once lived in a house called Knockdolion, which stood on the banks of the Water of Girvan in Ayrshire. There was a black stone at the end of the house, and a mermaid used to come and sit on it, combing her hair and singing for hours on end. The lady of the house could not get her baby to sleep because of the loud singing of the mermaid, so she told her men-servants to break up the stone. This they did, and when the mermaid came on the night that followed she found no stone to sit upon. She at once flew into a rage, and cried to the lady of the house:-

Ye may think on your cradle-
I think on my stane;
There will ne'er be an heir
To Knockdolian again.

Not long after this the baby died. He was the only child in the house and when his father and mother died the family became extinct.
A harsh punishment but you mustn't go messing with stones.

From 'Wonder Tales from Scottish Myth and Legend' by Donald Alexander Mackenzie (1917).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
24th October 2010ce

Stonefield Park Road, Doonfoot (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Back To The Old House - 24 October 2010

Back in Ayr for the weekend. I was born here and my parents (177 years between them) still live in the house I grew up in. I really hadn't thought of there were any sites I could visit or photograph while I was visiting. But of course memory sometimes drags one up...
A dazzling sunny October Sunday meant a wee drive up to the top of the Carrick Hills for the most incredible views of Arran. The crystal clear skies meant we could see cars and houses on the island far across the Firth of Clyde. Driving back into Ayr along the coast road I suddenly remembered Stonefield Park! My OH had her camera - Oh Yes! In my early teens, my best pal used to live in the street next to the stone and it was our rendezvous point where we'd meet up on our bikes. Thirty five years later, I pulled off the Doonfoot Road and found this old stone just where I'd last left it.
It stands on a wee patch of grass with a few nice trees around it in a very quiet street. The actual site could hold at least two house plots and is worth its weight in gold in a rather exclusive and very expensive area of Ayr's housing. I think we are very lucky this six footer wasn't bulldozed back in the sixties when the nearby bungalows were built.
The stone is quite cheese - holed on one of its faces. There is a certain phallic element when viewed facing North . There is absolutely no landscape context in which it is possible to view this stone, but it really does give the little street a quality which no other street in Ayr has.
Howburn Digger Posted by Howburn Digger
24th October 2010ce

Stonefield Park Road, Doonfoot (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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24th October 2010ce

Craigie (Hillfort) — Folklore

Canmore describes how there was a fort covering the summit of this hill - only the south side is easily approached because the other sides are so steep. It's just over 200m NNE of the parish church, where there was once a stone:
A large stone, popularly called the "Witches' Stone," stood upright, near the church, in a field on Lodge-house farm.* The tradition is that a witch flying with it, to demolish Craigie Kirk, her apron strings gave way, and it fell down on the spot which it afterwards occupied. It was in all probability a druidical remain; probably a rocking-stone. It stood upon three stones, so high that a man could crawl under. It was destroyed in 1819, to build houses. The farmer's wife, it is said, took some antipathy to it, and would not give her husband rest until he consented to have it removed. A person of the name of Jamieson, and an assistant, were employed to blast it, which was accordingly done. When broken up, it filled twenty-four carts. Such was the feeling of sacrilege occasiioned by the removal of the stone, that it was observed the farmer's wife became blind, and continued so for eight years, when she died. Jamieson, who blasted it, never did well afterwards. He drank and went to ruin.
Further warning not to Mess With Stones.

*Now called Lodgebush, according to the Canmore record.

Also, the source of this ('History of the County of Ayr' by James Paterson, 1847) next says:During the era of smuggling, Craigie hills are known to have been the depository of a large share of the contraband goods landed at Troon and other parts of the coast. The broken nature of the crags afforded many secure places of secrecy. The old worthies who took part in this exciting trade have scarcely yet all died out.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
24th October 2010ce

Garleffin (Standing Stones) — Links

RCAHMS - Canmore


Canmore has the sorry story of these stones, which were moved gratuitously and repeatedly in the 1990s. Now only two of the original eight remain.

Tradition had it that a battle was fought here and the stones were to mark the place where the chieftains fell.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
20th August 2010ce

Stonefield Park Road, Doonfoot (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Links

Geograph


This stone's been surrounded by modern houses (but at least it's been spared). It's almost 2m high. Photo by Mary and Angus Hogg.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
20th August 2010ce
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