For our final walk of the year, 7 of us including Rev. Rona, drove down to Cumnock and parked at the Visions Leisure Centre. We walked alongside the Lugar Water into the Dumfries House Estate. We walked through the Estate including the Lord Bute’s walk which includes a large impressive crucifix erected in memory of the Marchioness of Bute. The path took us round to a magnificent view of the front of the House. We stopped in the grounds for our picnic lunch before continuing along paths among beech and birch with lovely views of the countryside and on to paths which were obviously very successfully reclaimed land above a coal mine.
Shortly the Barony A-Frame towered above us. This was the last pit-head winding gear of its kind in the UK and is now a “B listed” monument. It forms a memorial to four men, Henry Green, George Wade, Thomas Fyvie and John MacNeil whose bodies were never recovered following a collapse of the cage in 1962 but their names are engraved on the ground beneath the A Frame and a memorial stone stands inside the entrance. There are numerous displays around showing the working lives that the miners endured.
We joined the main road to Auchinleck passing by the Egger chipboard plant before re-entering the Estate and passing by the Home Farm where Morrisons ran research on farming efficiency, sustainability , genetics and estimated breeding values. The farm has since been reincorporated back into the day-today management of the Estate. We retraced the path back out of the Estate meandering back to the cars by the Lugar Water.
The Autumn colours of the fauna and foliage were magnificent and it proved a most educational, enjoyable and interesting walk.