The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian




<b>Knockdolian</b>Posted by markj99Image © markj99
Nearest Town:Girvan (15km NNE)
OS Ref (GB):   NX113848 / Sheet: 76
Latitude:55° 7' 17.08" N
Longitude:   4° 57' 34.46" W

Added by Rhiannon

Discussion Topics0 discussions
Start a topic

Show map   (inline Google Map)

Images (click to view fullsize)

Add an image Add an image
<b>Knockdolian</b>Posted by markj99 <b>Knockdolian</b>Posted by markj99 <b>Knockdolian</b>Posted by markj99


Add fieldnotes Add fieldnotes
Re-Visited 27.02.20

I summited Knockdolian many years ago but lost the photos so I had a good excuse for a second visit.
The short steep walk more than compensates the effort required with fantastic 360 degree views including Ailsa Craig to the NW.
Approaching Ballantrae from S, I crossed the Stinchar Bridge and turned right beside the old castle. After 3 miles on the B7044 there is a sign for the Knockdolian Hill path. It is possible to park beside a wood a quarter of a mile beyond this point. Retrace your steps and start the steep obvious ascent up a grass field leading onto a ridge towards the summit.
I was expecting a stonier cairn however the grass cairn at the summit looks like a natural knoll. There are no kerb stones, as noted in Canmore ID 62028 (go to Links), just a few rock outcrops.
Posted by markj99
1st March 2020ce
Edited 25th July 2020ce


Add folklore Add 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


Add a link Add a link

Canmore ID 62028

Knockdolian Cairn
Posted by markj99
25th July 2020ce