Ayrshire Towns and Parishes

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Prehistoric Man in Ayrshire

by John Smith



IN the Fenwick (pronounced ' Finic,' meaning ' fine corn land ') district there are the remains of few antiquities, but perhaps many are hid away under the mosses.

We have in this locality the remains of three dinans, or little forts.

I am indebted to Mr. Linton for pointing out to me the site of a dinan on the east bank of the Carmel Water, a short distance above Rowallan Castle at one time the seat of the Muirs and near the farmhouse of Dinnans. When this little fort was being obliterated, an urn was got by a person of the name of Gilmour.

The next dinan is a mound in the valley of the Fenwick Water, 2 furlongs down from Laigh Fenwick village. [south side of Fenwick Village]. It measures 23 paces long by 7 feet 6 inches high, but a large part of it appears to have been cut away by the stream.

The third dinan, a small fort in pretty good preservation, is situated on the south side of the Hareshawmuir Burn, on the farm of Langdyke. Here a large trap dyke crosses the burn, and on the risk and summit of this dyke the fort is situated. This fort is 13 paces in diameter, and surrounded by a turf-and-stone wall, which on the land side is still 8 feet high. Owing to the intractable nature of the rock, no attempt had been made to construct a ditch. It looks as if it had at one time been partly dug into.

The farmer on Langdyke has two small stone celts got on the lands.

On the west side of Carmel Water, at the head of the reservoir, and a short distance to the south of the site of Polkelly Castle, there is a remnant of a mound 3 feet 6 inches high. Mr. Fulton, of Fenwick, remembers when it was much larger, and to him I am indebt d for a knowledge of it.

I have a vein-quartz muller I picked up from a heap of stones which had been gathered from a field. It had been very much used, and is bruised all over the surface (Fig. 178).

Mr. John Howie has two flints' found on Lochgoin. They are very fine and large for Ayrshire -in fact, the largest that I know of having been found in this shire. Both are figured in the 'Scottish National Memorials.' One is a spear-head, 4 3/4 inches long by 2 1/2 inches at widest part. The other is called an ' adzehead ,' [axehead] and measures 5 1/8inches long, by 2 1/8 inches wide.

FIG. 178.- Quartz Muller, Fenwick.

In the Hunterian Museum of Glasgow there is a very fine large celt of fine-grained, light-coloured stone. It is 11 1/2 inches in length, 3 1/2 inches at the broadest part, which is near the cutting edge, and 9 1/8 inches in girth at the thickest part. It was found at Fenwick, and presented by the Rev. William Boyd. I am indebted to John Young, LL.D., the museum-keeper, for bringing it under my notice.

The remaining castle of the district was Roberton [castle], which belonged to the Cunninghames, but has now been completely rooted out.

The old Finic Lade is carried for a bit along the side of the stream.

Dunton Cove is hollowed in the rocky side of one of the hill streams.








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