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, May 09, 2008

Cultivation rigs Darngarroch Bridge

Field Report 09 May 2008

Click to enlarge photos.

With my sister in law Kay and using map references from RCAHMS, visited Grobdale of Girthon area (on Laurieston/ Gatehouse of Fleet road). Due to adminstrative error - forgot to print last page of notes - although we had GPS (thanks to brother Ian) and found a sheep shelter plus two larch trees on Ewe Hill at NX 614 639, could not locate the adjacent hut circle - even though shown on map.

Since it was rough going over the hillside, rather than check out other locations on Ewe Hill, Nick of Knock, Benowr, Craig of Grobdale, decided to check out the most easily accessible location beside Darngarroch Bridge next to road. The RCAHMS info on this is pasted below.

This second location was very rewarding - able to walk for 500 metres through a series of small enclosures bounded by the grassed over remains of dykes and to make out the undulating traces of rigs. Most of the area is still functiong pasture for sheep, the short cropped grass stands out as vivid green patches against the yellow/ brown of the surrounding hillside.

Darngarroch Bridge
Type of Site: Burnt Mound; Field-System; Rig
NMRS Number: NX66SW 30.00
Map reference: NX 6190 6300

NX 6190 6305 Enclosures; Rig
On the NW-facing hillside above the head of Grobdale Lane and to the NW of the public road, are a burnt mound and at least 3 enclosures co ntaining rig. The enclosures are shown as "Old Fences" on the first edition OS six-inch map of Kirkcudbrightshire (1848-50, sheet 37 and 38).
Visited by RCAHMS (PJD) 2 May 1990.

Darngarroch Bridge
Type of Site: Enclosures; Rig
NMRS Number: NX66SW 30.02
Map reference: NX 6190 6305

There are at least three and probably five old enclosures extending for 600m along the lower NW slopes of McGhie's Seat below the public road; at the NE end of the group, near Darngarroch Bridge, the enclosures have probably been partly destroyed by the road. The surviving enclosures lie largely within a modern field which is used as pasture. Some of the stony banks defining the enclosures have been reduced to their foundations, while other sections still stand to 0.5m in height, especially at the lower or NW end of the group, where the banks run through boggy ground. The width of the ridges varies from about 3.5m to 5m.
Visited by RCAHMS (PJD) 2 May 1990.


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