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Prehistoric Man in Ayrshire

John Smith




THE Dunlop district has few antiquities. Dunlop Hill (the fort at the loop of the river), as its name is thought to indicate, was, in all probability, surmounted by a fort; and it is said to have been also the site of a castle. The crown of the hill measures 50 by 48 paces, and on its south side there is the remains of a ditch 4 paces wide.

Lea or Law Hill, with a large prospect to north, west, and south, is said by a tradition of the neighbourhood to have been a place of trial, and probably also a fort, from the arrangement of the boulders on its summit.

On East Halket there is a standing-stone of fine-grained Highland grit. It measures 4 feet 6 inches high, by 2 feet 1 inch wide, by 1 foot 6 inches thick. Standing-stones have sometimes got names, but the farmer could say nothing about this one; it had been ' aye there,' according to his statement.

On Threepwood there is what is called a Law Mound, 12 paces in diameter.

A short distance to the south of Aiket Castle (which belonged to the Cunninghames), there is a natural eminence still known by the name of the Court Hill.

Thugart Stane

The chief wonder of the neighbourhood is the Thugart Stane [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thurgartstone ], said to have been held in superstitious reverence at one time. Various conjectures have been hazarded as to the meaning of the words Thugart Stane, and the most probable seems to be, ' Thou great stone ' It is a natural boulder of ' blue augitic porphyrite,' 13 feet 2 inches long by 10 feet broad, and stands 4 feet 1 inch high; but a considerable portion of it is embedded in the boulder clay It is also called the T'Ogra Stane, or Fiend-Spirits' Stone.

The Tower of Dunlop, which belonged to the Dunlops of that ilk, was fortified by a 'deep foussie of watter,' and the grated Aim Yett, [Iron gate] 6 feet by 4, which belonged to it, is still preserved, and is figured in the seventh volume of the Archeeological and Historical Collections. The tower has been rooted out.

St. Mary's Chapel stood about a furlong north of the Thugart Stane, and My Lady's Steps cross the Glazert Water some distance below Dunlop Hill.









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