Last of the Westland Whigs

In the late 17th century, the 'Westland Whigs' were the radical descendants of earlier Covenanters who had defied the absolutist rule of Stuart kings in south west Scotland.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The problem - see below

The image below shows one of several similar'filed markings' I have found through researching the Galloway Levellers. It is of a sloping field on Ernespie Farm, just outside Castle Douglas on the Old Military Road at OS grid reference NX 773 634. The question is - what are these markings?

Although most can be seen on sloping ground, similar markings can be found on very shallow slopes, e.g. just outside Kirkcudbright between Black Morrow/ Moray Plantation and Auchenflower NX 686 492. Broader 'rigs' (if that is what they are) can be seen on Ardwall Island at NX 572 495

Piers Dixon of RCAHMS has formally identified upland rigs near Loch Stroan NX 640 700 and Laughenghie NX 625 663.

Some, at Furbar and the Buchan,, Castle Douglas can be associated with 17th century crofts from tacks found in Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court Deeds [1623-1700].

If not some form of cultivation - spade formed? - they could have been created by cattle/ sheep, but they are very regular and parallel.


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