Sunday 23 March 2014

Run along the Water of Girvan

A pleasant run today on the CBF250 along the Water of Girvan (or River Girvan) in South Ayrshire on a sunny, but cool day. The river is only 28 miles long but took me through some nice scenery with a few interesting discoveries.

The mouth of the river as it enters the Firth of Clyde
Girvan Harbour
A few miles inland at Old Dailly are the ruins of the 14th century church. This was abandoned in 1695 and seems to have been left untouched for three centuries.
There is also something unusual inside the ruined kirk. There are a pair of large smooth stones secured to a wall. There are several theories as to their purpose.

Two large smooth blue/grey boulders lie within the walls of the old roofless church and are thought to be Charter Stones dating back to ancient times when such stones were granted to communities in lieu of written charters and one reference refers to Dailly as a ‘Blue Stone Burgh’.

There are several traditions attached to the Old Dailly Blue Stones, one that in ancient times they were Sanctuary Stones and if wrongdoers, debtors in particular, placed their back against them they could not be apprehended.  

Yet another tradition claims that the stones are possessed with mystical powers capable of bringing good fortune to those who touch them and in some cases they have the power to cure certain illness and give a feeling of well being.

The larger of the two stones weighs between 290 and 320 pounds and the smaller between 260 and 280 pounds in weight.   Their smoothness and shape make them difficult for person to grip and over the years they have become an attraction for those wishing to display their strength.

Some the gravestones look ancient (note skull & crossbones)
Old cast iron road sign
Tranquil countryside at Aird Bridge, east of Dailly

Drumgirnam Bridge, 1799.
I like the "smiley face" keystone. "Comic mask" according to Historic Scotland
Old street water pump in Crosshill
Near Kirkmichael
Cloncaird Castle
The river starts from Brandan Loch, a reservoir. There is a rough track round the loch - The CBF is ok for some trail riding but I was too far from civilisation to risk a puncture or a crash.

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