The Wars of Independence
The town of New Cumnock grew up around the site of Cumnock Castle that once sat upon the castlehill overlooking the confluence of the Afton Water with the River Nith. The lands of New Cumnock lay at the head of Nithsdale the natural corridor between the strongholds of the castles at Carlisle and Ayr. Inevitably the heroes and villains of the Wars of Independence would pass this way. William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Cospatrick the Earl of Dunbar , Edward I and II of England all came calling.
The words of Blind Harry in his great epic 'The Wallace' and the words of John Barbour in his great epic 'The Bruce' capture forever the feats of both these great Scottish freedom fighters. Thankfully, within both epics is found brief but significant references to Wallace and Bruce in that part of Cumnock, that makes up the present day parish of New Cumnock.
WARS OF INDEPENDENCE
© Robert Guthrie
Robert the Bruce
Earls of Dunbar
Edward I and II of England
And Wallace past in Cumno with blithe will,
At the Black Rock,quhar he was wont to be,
Apon that sted a rayal hous held he'
ath of Scottis and Inglis men With gret felny
war redy then Assemblyt for to sek the king,
That wes that tyme with his gadring In Cumnok
quhair it straitast was.