In the Deep Dark Wood: The Kirk Stone

Kirk StoneThe Kirk Stone © Leslie Barrie and licensed for reuse.

We may never see it, but hidden is the pine forest in Carsphairn parish, Kirkcudbrightshire, is the Kirk Stone, which is a possible field preaching site

According to the entry for the Kirk Stone in the OS name book for Carsphairn parish:

‘A large granite stone on the farm of Lochhead, and situated about 10 chains east of Dinnins It is traditionally handed down by the people of this locality that sermons had been preached here during the Scottish persecutions hence the name “Kirk Stone”.’

Map of Kirk Stone

Congratulations has to go to Leslie Barrie for photographing such an inaccessible site. Before the recent forestation, the stones would have been obvious local landmarks. They may be visible again in the near future due to felling.

Kirk Stone Carsphairn

The Kirk Stone is located close to Starr in Straiton parish in Carrick, Ayrshire, which is a known hiding place of the Society people at the beginning of 1685.

Kirk Stone Loch DoonThe Kirk Stones © Leslie Barrie and licensed for resue.

According to the OS Name Book in 1849: ‘Kirk Stone. A large granite stone where sermons are said to have been preached during the religious troubles of the 17th century.’ (OS Name Book 1849.)

The Kirk Stone lies close to the boundary between Kirkcudbrightshire and Ayrshire, the kind of border location classicaly used by the Society people. It also lies on a track from Starr. It is perhaps possible that James Renwick preached here either in 1684, or 1685.

On the nearby hill of Meaul is a stone which allegedly marks the killing of John Dempster.

Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved.

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~ by drmarkjardine on May 23, 2013.

9 Responses to “In the Deep Dark Wood: The Kirk Stone”

  1. Mark, there is a very similar Covenanters preaching rock at the roadside above Fortissat House in Shotts.

  2. Just found your post whilst researching history of Fortissat House – I live there now, so this was interesting info!

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