Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Pondery Hill and Castle Semple Collegiate Church

20 August 2019
 
Participants: Neil and Ben
Where: Pondery Hill, 119m/390', P 33m, Tump, OS 63, NS 328 488
 
The weather was better but the back/hip wasn't so just to keep the bagging ticking over, it was another of the low Tumps for me. Pondery Hill is east of Darvel in Ayrshire, a low wooded hill but clear of trees on top. A narrow road runs past the hill and there was a very convenient space to park at a gate opposite the entrance the start point. Through a kissing gate, I found an overgrown track that wound round and upwards and the trig soon came into view.....
 
 
 
The Arran hills were visible to the west.....
 
 
and the Ayrshire coast to the south west.....
 
 
After the short hill walk, I drove on to the Castle Semple visitor centre at Lochwinnoch where there is an excellent paved walkway along an old railway line. We went as far as the ruined Collegiate Church and had a look at that. It was founded in 1504 by John, Lord Sempill, in the grounds of his castle. An information board told me that the church was served by a senior priest, six chaplains, two alter boys and a church officer. Their main function was to pray for the souls of their founder and his family. Lord Sempill was killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513 but the church continued in use by his family. It fell out of use after the Reformation although it continued as a burial enclosure. It has been looked after by Historic Scotland since 1949.....
 


 

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