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


King Coil's Grave


Nearest Town:Prestwick (10km WSW)
OS Ref (GB):   NS447263 / Sheet: 70
Latitude:55° 30' 20.18" N
Longitude:   4° 27' 33.41" W

Added by Rhiannon

Discussion Topics0 discussions
Start a topic

Show map   (inline Google Map)


Add folklore Add folklore
..Ayrshire--divided into the three districts of Cuningham, Kyle, and Carrick--seems to have been the main seat of the families of the race of Coel, from whom indeed the district of Coel, now Kyle, is said traditionally to have taken its name. There is every reason to believe that Boece, in filling up the reigns of his phantom kings with imaginary events, used local traditions where he could find them; and he tells us "Kyl dein proxima est vel Coil potius nominata, a Coilo Britannorum rege ibi in pugna c├Žso" and a circular mound at Coilsfield, in the parish of Tarbolton, on the highest point of which are two large stones, and in which sepulchral remains have been found, is pointed out by local tradition as his tomb.
From The Four Ancient Books of Wales by William F. Skene [1868], online at

Lots more here in the 'History of the County of Ayr' v1 by James Paterson (1847).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
16th August 2006ce
Edited 23rd June 2010ce

When King Fergus defeated and killed Coel, King of the Britons, he was buried in a mound topped with stones - which is now in the grounds of Coilsfield House. There are many different spellings of his name, which presumably all derive from the same figure: Cul, Coel, Coil, Cole... (maybe deriving from the celtic god of war?)

Robert Burns knew this version of the rhyme:

Our auld King Coul was a jolly auld soul
and a jolly auld soul was he
Our auld King Coul fill'd a jolly brown bowl
and he called for his fiddlers three
Fidell didell, fidell didell quo' the fiddlers
There's no lass in a' Scotland like our sweet Marjorie
(from Westwood's 'Albion')
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
21st April 2004ce
Edited 21st April 2004ce