Ayrshire Towns and Parishes

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Prehistoric Man in Ayrshire

John Smith




IN the Stewarton district there are three mounds In perfect preservation. The Moot Hill, on High Castleton, opposite Lainshaw, stands on rising ground, and the view of the Annick Valley to the south-west is extensive and fine. Cairn or Carn Duff, to be noticed presently, is seen from it. This mound measures 89 paces in circumference at the base, is 12 feet 6 inches high, the top being not quite level , and 14 paces in diameter.

The Chapel Hill on Chapelton, near the Annick Water, stands on sloping ground, and is 20 feet high on the low side and 7 feet on the high side. The top is flat, and 22 paces in diameter, and the sides are exceedingly steep, and it is perhaps the best preserved mound in Ayrshire, enclosed, and evidently taken great care of, there being a modern stair up to its base. The view from it down the Valley of the Annick, with its green sloping banks and cultivated fields , is a very pleasant one. It appears to have been repaired some fifty years ago.

Bonshaw (Bollingshaw) Mound, called the Hut Knoll, is placed on rising ground a short distance to the east of the Glazert Water. It is 18 paces in diameter at the bottom and 9 at the top, being 8 feet high. Round the east side are placed some boulders, and penetrating the base of the mound on the same side are two penns [culverts] built of dry stones, a unique feature in an Ayrshire mound (Fig. 163). The view from it is limited , as it is placed in a hollow.

A short distance to the south is Stacklawhill, a mound-like hillock, and interesting as having its three syllables of equal significance,

Carn Duff, situated on the summit of rising ground to the east of Castleton Moot Hill, has been nearly removed. Under it, about 1810, there were got three urns. This being a named cairn, no doubt some notable of the name of Duff was cremated, and had his ashes interred here. What remains of it is 20 paces in diameter and 3 feet high, but it has been very much dug into. The view from it is extensive, especially towards the north and south-west.

FIG. 163.-Hut Knoll, with Two Built Penns and Boulders round East Side, Bonshaw.

FIG. 164.-Fullwood Stone Celt.

Two celts, small of size, one of them being in my possession, were got at Stacklawhill at a depth of about 4 feet, and Middleton, the drainer, who got them, informed me that numerous fragments of ancient pottery were got in the drains at the same place, in a low-lying field to the west of the Glazert Water, just opposite the Bonshaw Mound, He had a large earthenware bowl which he got from one of these drains.

At Gallowayford, near Kennox, two urns with flint arrowheads and 'Druid's glass' were found in 1850, as we are informed by the writer of the New Statistical Account of the parish.

At Fullwood there was picked up in a field a small well-made celt , 4 3/4 inches long by 2 1/2 wide. It is figured in the Ayr and Wigton Archreological Coilections, vol. iii., and is a very neat one (Fig. 164).

The castles of the district were those of Corsehill and Auchenharvie, which belonged to 'the Cunninghames.

Auchenharvie Castle  (NS363443)

There is a mineral well at Bloak, which was discovered, by pigeons frequenting it, in 1800.







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