Thomas Kirkland in the New Cumnock School-Fellows Annual Magazine 1898 claims 'This magazine should long survive the parish being rich in unwritten history' and then proceeds to list some snippets from the parish's past in the form of unanswered questions. High in this list appears the tantalising teaser.
' What is the story of the of the sod fences or embankments to be seen on Wee Dalhanna and Corsincon, said to be for the hiding of cattle from the Border raiders?'
The story of the sod fences is the story of the Deil's Dyke.
The Deil's Dyke is the name given to a series of earthworks that is found across the south-west of Scotland. This study begins with a chronological review of the major published articles on the subject which begins with Galloway in general, then moves to Dumfriesshire and Ayrshire and then on to that part of Nithsdale that straddles both these counties. An attempt is then made to draw on these works and to offer an explanation for the origin and purpose of that section of the Deil's Dyke that is found in the parish of New Cumnock.
THE DEIL'S DYKE
© Robert Guthrie