Today I had planned another venture into Cumbria – I haven’t visited the Eden Valley for a couple of years – but the memsahib had an appointment and I couldn’t get away until early afternoon, so I settled for a more local run.
Heading westwards, I looked in at the ruins of the Cistercian Dundrennan Abbey, which, like so many others, was obviously a beautiful building before it was destroyed by the Reformation.
Carrying on, I passed through Kirkcudbright and stopped on a little stone bridge over the River Tarff as it wound towards its junction with the larger River Dee which flows into Kirkcudbright Bay.
Travelling on to Gatehouse of Fleet, I looked into Ann Street, which is a peaceful backwater where you can almost feel transported back to the eighteenth century.
From Gatehouse, I took the single track road through the woods to the ruins of the 17th century Old Kirk at Anwoth. Inside the church is an elaborate tomb with a particularly striking and gruesome Memento Mori.
Outside in the graveyard is a 19th century headstone with the wonderful verse:
‘Stop passenger as you pass by,
As you are now so once was I.
As I am now so you must be,
Therefore prepare to follow me.’
It is a verse which always makes me rather thoughtful…
Heading homewards via Castle Douglas and the old military road to Haugh of Urr, I passed the ancient Mote of Urr earthwork.
Nearer home, I turned off to visit Orchardton Tower, which is currently fenced off for inspection of the stonework. While round towers are a thing in Ireland, they are very rare in Scotland.
Less than 70 miles, but plenty to see and a nice afternoon out. Maybe Cumbria next week.