Making History: Can You Find Lost Historical Sites in #Scotland? #History

Neil Oliver at Gameshope

Can you find lost historical sites connected with the famous Covenanter Alexander Peden? This is a chance for you to make Scottish History by finding and photographing them. Many of the lost sites, below, may, or may not, still exist. That is the mystery that needs resolving. That is the challenge …

Readers of this blog have already rediscovered and photographed lost Covenanter sites such the Peden Stone near Auchensoul Hill, the Peden Stone at Linthills, Peden’s Point near Dalry, The Deil’s Well and The Deer Slunk. So can you.

I am an expert on the Covenanters of the Killing Times and I do not know if the sites, below, are still there. All of the clues you will need to seek them out and photograph them are listed here. I truly hope you can help solve these mysteries. If you can, my contact details are at the end of this post.

Pedens Well

Peden’s Well (near Ballantrae, Ayrshire)
Peden’s Well lies to the east of Auchenflower, near Ballantrae in Carrick. The well does not appear on modern OS maps, but did appear on earlier maps, (see image above). The well appears to have been, or still be, a spring sited in the woods to south of the Water of Tig and to the west of the Meikle Glen. Full details about the well can be found here.

Map of Peden’s Well

Approximate location of Peden’s Well

Can you find and photograph it?



Nick of Liberty

Peden’s preaching site at Nick Of The Liberty (near Ballantrae, Ayrshire/ New Luce, Galloway)
A recently rediscovered “lost” field preaching site of Alexander Peden possibly with a standing stone. This is certainly one for the more intrepid walker. The Nick Of The Liberty lies to the east of the hill called Beneraird. It is possibly best approached via the road/path passing Kilwhannel, near Ballantrae, if coming from Ayrshire, or the path north of Lagafater Lodge, well to the north of New Luce, if approaching from Galloway. For the full story and details of the Nick of the Liberty site, see here.

Nick of the Liberty is a flat patch of moss between the hills. Although unlisted on the Canmore database, a standing stone stood there near the head waters of the Main Water of Luce. It is possible that Peden preached there, as it may have been a feature which people attending a preaching could have been directed to and met.

The standing stone at Nick of the Liberty stood near
NX 144 785
214434, 578508
-4.90757, 55.06626

If anyone could find and photograph the Nick of the Liberty (that certainly exists), or the standing stone (which might), it would be a great service to history.

Map of Nick Of The Liberty

Some kilometres to the north-east of the Nick Of The Liberty is another Peden site.



Peden's Mount

Peden’s Mount (near Colmonell, Ayrshire)
Another one for those who like a long walk in the country. Peden’s Mount is marked on the map, but is not photographed due to its remote location. It certainly exists. The following story probably relates to Peden’s Mount.

Map of Peden’s Mount

The full details of Peden’s Mount can be found here. Can you find and photograph it?

Rossetti in Bennan's Cave

Bennans Cave (near Old Dailly, Ayrshire)
A lost Covenanter’s cave somewhere on the Penwhapple Burn below Penkill Castle that reveals the love lives and affairs of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. This cave probably entirely lost to a small land slip, but the cave was quite small and it may have been overlooked. The full story of Bennans Cave can be found here.

Map of approximate location of Bennans Cave

Suspected approximate location of Bennans Cave

Peden’s Pulpit (near Failford, Ayrshire)
Peden’s Pulpit’ lay in Coilsholm Wood and somewhere down the River Ayr from Peden’s Cove. The well-known Cove lies about 1km down the River Ayr Way from Failford, so the Pulpit, which seems to lie down stream from the Cove, should be in the wood beyond the Cove. The Pulpit has been described as a ‘ledge of rock’ in Coilsholm Wood ‘that overlooks a level piece of ground which is enclosed by lofty banks and precipitous cliffs’ and that ‘the green sward’, an area of short grass, below the pulpit was large enough to a body of hearers. A pleasant walk down the River Ayr Way probably passes close to the pulpit. Peden’s Cove lies on The Way. For the full story and details of Peden’s Pulpit, see here.

Map of River Ayr Way

Does Peden’s Pulpit still exist? Can you find and photograph it?

Peden’s Tree (near Sorn, Ayrshire)
Peden’s Tree was described a few years ago as an ‘enormous holly tree’ which stood on the ‘edge of a bluff’ on the Glenlogan estate. It was also described as ‘multi-trunked, and each trunk is of great girth. Many of them are very old indeed.’ Is it still there? It could be. For the full story and details of Peden’s Tree, see here.

Cameron’s Trough (near Sorn, Ayrshire)
While near Sorn, it may be worth seeking out Richard Cameron’s trough, a large stone trough where the field preacher is said to washed for the last time before the Battle of Airds Moss in 1680. The trough was last mentioned over a century ago as located on the farm of Meadowhead. For the full story and details of the trough, see here.

It may still be there. Does it still exist? Can you find and photograph it?

If you find and photograph any of these sites, please get in touch via jardinesbookofmartyrs [at] or via my twitter account @drmarkjardine. Full credit for any discovery will be given to you.

Good night and good luck,


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Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please link to this post on Facebook or other social networks or retweet it, but do not reblog in FULL without the express permission of the author @drmarkjardine

~ by drmarkjardine on May 25, 2017.

2 Responses to “Making History: Can You Find Lost Historical Sites in #Scotland? #History”

  1. What a great idea! Hopefully you make some headway with it (sadly I am not in Scotland to help myself!)

  2. […] If you are interested in finding other lost Alexander Peden sites in Ayrshire, see here. […]

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