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Carsphairn Trail

Carsphairn to
Carsphairn

Walk No: Glenkens 64

Start: Cars can be parked outside the Church at the south end of the village. GR NX 563932.

Finish: Cars can be parked outside the Church at the south end of the village. GR NX 563932.

Nearest Town: Carsphairn

Notes: A short linear walk through the village of Carsphairn looking at its heritage.


• Distance: 2 miles


• Height Gain:
• Approx. Time: 1hours


• Relevant Map:
Difficulty: Easy

• Terrain: Almost level roads. Short track and field section.
• Toilets: Situated by The Heritage Centre.

• Refreshments: Available in village.

Route Description
1. The present church built in 1815 replaces an earlier one which had been destroyed by fire. The church houses a central Communion Table, one of the few in Scotland; and various plaques, one being in memory of John Loudon McAdam, of “tarmac” fame; and another to the memory of Carsphairn’s Covenanting Minister, John Semple. Outside there are graves over 300 years old. One, near the gate, is of a famous covenanter and others are of leadminers and people from farms that no longer exist.

2. A little further along and on the opposite side of the street behind the Greystones Bar and Restaurant lies a large boulder. Legend has it that the Devil was upset when the Parish of Carsphairn was formed in 1640 and a church built around the present site, that he hurled a rock from the top of Cairnsmore, with the intention of destroying the church, but it fell short and landed behind Greystones.

3. The present primary school was built in 1823 although records show that a school was in existence before then. Interestingly, in 1848 Latin, French, Greek, Arithmetic and Writing were taught, and the headmaster’s salary was £34 per annum.

4. Further along the street on the same side there is a house with a plaque built into the gable end. This used to be the United Presbyterian Church built in 1894 which joined with the United Free Church in 1900. In 1929 it joined with the Church of Scotland and in 1930 the building closed when the congregation moved to the present Church of Scotland.

5. Continuing, at the north end of the village is the Heritage Centre, opened in 1992, which is built on the site of the village petrol station. The building opposite is the Lagwyne Village Hall.

6. A quarter of a mile or so beyond the village towards Ayr, there is a cottage on the hill on the right. Beside it, stands the ruins of Lagwyne Castle, formerly the home of John Loudon McAdam, the celebrated roadmaker. He was actually born in Ayr but the family moved to Carsphairn and he was nearly burnt to death when the house caught fire when he was about six years old.

7. Further along the same road and just before the bridge across the Water of Deugh there is a track leading off right past a cottage. Off to the left of the track, which goes on up towards Cairnsmore of Carsphairn, is the Green Well of Scotland. This is the site of several legends: firstly, that a pot of gold was stolen from Lagwyne Castle and the thief threw it into the Well, although it was never recovered. Secondly, that a man collected gold dust from the Gold Wells of Cairnsmore and built a smithy nearby for converting the gold into coins. When the Excise Officers went to see him he threw his coins and apparatus into the Green Well. A gold coin has been found there so these stories may have some truth.

8. Return to the road and cross over the bridge then turn left along the farm lane towards Holm of Daltallochan. Just beyond the farm buildings in a field on the right is a stone circle comprising thirteen irregularly shaped boulders which have nearly all been misplaced but now lie in an rough oval. In the same field there is a burial mound, which is reputed to have been the burial site for the dead after a battle near Dalmellington.