Making History: The Covenanters Preacher Stone at Whitelee Windfarm
Can you help make history? Can you find and photograph the ‘Covenanters Preacher Stone’?
‘Little is known about this stone. It has been suggested that it is a boundary stone indicating the meeting point of four parishes: the Ayrshire parishes of Loudoun and Fenwick, the Renfrewshire parish of Eaglesham and the Lanarkshire parish of Avondale. Whether there is a definite link to the Covenanters is unknown.’ (East Renfrewshire Council Website.)
The Covenanters Preacher Stone is said to be located at OS Grid ref NS 588 451, which is close to turbine 64 in the Whitelee Windfarm. The OS ref suggests the site lies by the Glen Water.
The stone is clearly a boundary stone and is located where the boundaries of Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Renfrewshire meet. The list of parishes on the council’s website is not correct. The location of the Preaching Stones is where the parishes of [East] Kilbride (Lanark), Loudoun (Ayr) and Eaglesham (Renfrew) meet.
Border locations like those were often used by the Societies, not only for the cover that the hills and muirs provided against detection by government forces, but also as convenient meeting places for Society people from multiple shires.
Sites with a known connection to the Society people do lie close to the Covenanters Preacher Stone. It is possible the stone was used for field preaching in connection with the Societies’ convention site at Myres.
The Society people certainly used other ‘three shire’ sites, or locations close to them, in the 1680s, especially around the bounds of Lanarkshire.
Renwick’s Preaching at Black Loch/Whin Bog lay close to where the shires of Lanark, Stirling and Linlithgow meet.
The preaching site at Cairnhill, or Wolf Hole Craig, lies where the shires of Lanark, Peebles and Edinburgh meet.
There is also a suggestive cluster of sites in the area around where the shires of Lanark, Peebles and Dumfries meet.
If you find it, please let us know where it is and photograph it. Even if you do not find it, please let us know where you searched. Either post below or use my contact email here.
Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved.