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Corserine and Pals

Corserine and Pals


by Gordie12 » Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:06 pm

Route description: Corserine and the Rhinns of Kells, Forrest Lodge

Corbetts included on this walk: Corserine

Donalds included on this walk: Carlin's Cairn, Corserine, Meikle Millyea, Milldown

Date walked: 10/09/2016

Time taken: 5.8 hours

Distance: 22.9 km

Ascent: 1298m

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Re: Corserine and Pals

Postby Caberfeidh » Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:56 pm

Another tale from that region is that Robert Bruce had left his hunting hounds on the island castle at Loch Doon. Highland mercenaries in the pay of Edward Longshanks (not everyone saw things Bruce's way; he was a bit of an upstart with a poor claim to the throne) took the dogs from the castle and hunted Bruce through the hills. At the foot of the Nick o' the Dungeon they caught up with Bruce and his men and there was a skirmish but Bruce and his men escaped away down the glen towards Clatteringshaws. There was a ruin on the way where they halted for the night, this is still referred to as Bruce's Wa's (walls). I remember seeing them thirty years ago but I don't know if they are still there. As they were ruins even in Bruce's day I imagine they'll be in a bit of a state by now.
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Re: Corserine and Pals

Postby Tinto63 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:39 pm

A great thread, and lovely, usually quiet hills except for the main drag up Merrick. And I do like Caberfeidh's tales of this area.

I wonder if he (or anyone else) knows the origin's of the 'Nick of the Dead Man's Banes' between Craigwhinnie and Benmeal. NX563687 (right at the top of Landranger 83)?

I found reference to this in Graham Robb's recent book of the Cols and Passes of the British Isles and other than being the site of human remains cannot find any other information.
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Re: Corserine and Pals

Postby Gordie12 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:23 pm

Caberfeidh wrote:Another tale from that region is that Robert Bruce had left his hunting hounds on the island castle at Loch Doon. Highland mercenaries in the pay of Edward Longshanks (not everyone saw things Bruce's way; he was a bit of an upstart with a poor claim to the throne) took the dogs from the castle and hunted Bruce through the hills. At the foot of the Nick o' the Dungeon they caught up with Bruce and his men and there was a skirmish but Bruce and his men escaped away down the glen towards Clatteringshaws. There was a ruin on the way where they halted for the night, this is still referred to as Bruce's Wa's (walls). I remember seeing them thirty years ago but I don't know if they are still there. As they were ruins even in Bruce's day I imagine they'll be in a bit of a state by now.


Thanks Caberfeidh - don't suppose you know why Loch Dungeon was so named?? Checked various websites but couldn't find anything.
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Re: Corserine and Pals

Postby Gordie12 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:24 pm

Tinto63 wrote:A great thread, and lovely, usually quiet hills except for the main drag up Merrick. And I do like Caberfeidh's tales of this area.

I wonder if he (or anyone else) knows the origin's of the 'Nick of the Dead Man's Banes' between Craigwhinnie and Benmeal. NX563687 (right at the top of Landranger 83)?

I found reference to this in Graham Robb's recent book of the Cols and Passes of the British Isles and other than being the site of human remains cannot find any other information.


All being well I'll find out about Merrick tomorrow - weather looks promising.
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Re: Corserine and Pals

Postby Caberfeidh » Sat Sep 17, 2016 3:27 pm

Gordie12 wrote: don't suppose you know why Loch Dungeon was so named?? Checked various websites but couldn't find anything.


No, I've never come across a reference to how or why that name came into use, not for Loch Dungeon or Dungeon Hill, nor the Long Loch or Round Loch of the Dungeon. The place names of Galloway are strange and ancient, unchanged from the Middle Ages or earlier.

Tinto63 wrote:I wonder if he (or anyone else) knows the origin's of the 'Nick of the Dead Man's Banes' between Craigwhinnie and Benmeal. NX563687 (right at the top of Landranger 83)? I found reference to this in Graham Robb's recent book of the Cols and Passes of the British Isles and other than being the site of human remains cannot find any other information.


Again, I have no notion of this place name; I had not heard of it before, despite spending some time close by years ago. Canmore gives no clue. Perhaps it was a battle site, or ancient burial ground. I'd love to know. It puts me in mind of half-forgotten legends and muttered traditions spoken of around bothy fires in hushed tones, and old ballads left over from the time of the Border Reivers...
reivers#r.jpg


As I was walking all alane
I heard twa corbies makin' mane;
And tane ontae the tither did say,
“Where shall we gang and dine the day
Where shall we gang and dine the day?”

“In behind yon aul fail dyke
I wot there lies a new slain knight;
And naebody kens that he lies there-o
But his hawk and his hound and his lady fair-o,
His hawk and his hound and his lady fair.”

His hawk is tae the hunting gane,
His hound to fetch the wildfowl hame;
His lady has ta'en anither mate-o
So we may make our dinner sweet-o,
We may make our dinner sweet”

“Ye'll sit on his white hause-bane
And I'll pike out his bonny blue een;
With many a lock of his golden hair-o
We'll theek our nest when it grows bare-o,
Theek our nest when it grows bare.”

“Many a one for him makes mane
But nane shall ken where he is gane;
O'er his white bones when they are bare-o
The wind shall blow for evermare-o,
The wind shall blow for evermare.”

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Re: Corserine and Pals

Postby SecretSquirrel » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:07 am

Caberfeidh wrote:
Gordie12 wrote:Loved the story Caberfeidh but as it was you (no offence intended) I had to check a few websites to see if you were on the wind-up.......... turns out you weren't.


No offence? NO OFFENCE ??? Ooooh, none taken I'm sure... I'll have you know I'm as honest as the day is long. (The longer the daylight, the less I do wrong! ) :shock:


:lol: :lol:

Cracking report Geordie and loads of interesting history from Caberfeidh. I love hearing the history around the place names I've visited.

Carlins Cairn is pretty much a 'must-do' when on Corserine. As you said, its enticingly close. Good to see you made the real top on Meikle Millyea ... I missed and only visited the southern top :roll:
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Re: Corserine and Pals

Postby Gordie12 » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:48 pm

SecretSquirrel wrote:
Caberfeidh wrote:
Gordie12 wrote:Loved the story Caberfeidh but as it was you (no offence intended) I had to check a few websites to see if you were on the wind-up.......... turns out you weren't.


No offence? NO OFFENCE ??? Ooooh, none taken I'm sure... I'll have you know I'm as honest as the day is long. (The longer the daylight, the less I do wrong! ) :shock:


:lol: :lol:

Cracking report Geordie and loads of interesting history from Caberfeidh. I love hearing the history around the place names I've visited.

Carlins Cairn is pretty much a 'must-do' when on Corserine. As you said, its enticingly close. Good to see you made the real top on Meikle Millyea ... I missed and only visited the southern top :roll:


This route was the highlight of doing this group of Corbetts and it was so quiet - didn't see anybody the entire day (and it was a Saturday). Luckily I read your report so realised there was the additional Donald of Carlins Cairn to include without much extra effort.
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Re: Corserine and Pals

Postby Bert Barnett » Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:24 am

Like you I followed the signs that take you to the broken fence and the horrendous ground ahead. That was no mistake, that is where the signs directed. I also knew that the path was to the right, but getting there was very hard in all that long grass. I will be speaking to the MCof S, because there should at least be a sign to show that the path is 200 metres to the right, but better stilll some alternative to reach the (broken) original stile.
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Re: Corserine and Pals

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:33 pm

Bert Barnett wrote:Like you I followed the signs that take you to the broken fence and the horrendous ground ahead. That was no mistake, that is where the signs directed. I also knew that the path was to the right, but getting there was very hard in all that long grass. I will be speaking to the MCof S, because there should at least be a sign to show that the path is 200 metres to the right, but better stilll some alternative to reach the (broken) original stile.


Thanks for that Bert.

I must admit after following the nice shiny walkers sign I expected more than a couple of lumps of wood resting against the fence as the method of clearing the barb wire but at least it wasn't too high or difficult. I'm always careful with this type of fence as when I was about 8 I was out for a walk with my mother and she slipped when trying to climb over one of those fences and ripped her hand open.

And after clearing the fence, it was a tough 10 minutes but it didn't spoil the day, a great walk.
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Re: Corserine and Pals

Postby Caberfeidh » Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:13 pm

I went to investigate The Nick O' The Dead Man's Banes, but it is a long drive from Caberfeidh Towers, and it was late in the afternoon by the time I got to the end of the public road. I took a chance and tried driving up a forestry track, only to meet the local hill-farmer on a quad who advised me I was on a dead end and kindly escorted me back to the viaduct. Next time I can find a person crazy enough to come with me, I'll try again. I don't fancy it alone, the Galloway Hills are spooky enough without being at a place called The Nick O' The Dead Man's Banes on my own.... :shock:

viking-graves.jpg
The Nick O' The Dead Man's Banes...
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Re: Corserine and Pals

Postby Caberfeidh » Sun Oct 16, 2016 2:04 pm

I've recently been reading George MacDonald Fraser's excellent history of the Border Reivers, "The Steel Bonnets". I wonder if it was a battle involving these bandit~ warriors who rode and fought all over Galloway for centuries, or if it was Sawny Bean's midden... :shock:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Steel-Bonnets- ... ald+fraser
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