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Carsphairn village is situated in Dumfries & Galloway southwest Scotland, 24 miles southeast of Ayr, 25 miles northwest of Castle Douglas, 35 miles northwest of Dumfries on the A713 road.

Carsphairn attracts visitors for its Heritage Centre and good walking / hiking with hills up to 2,600 feet.

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The image top is of the War Memorial at the south side of the village. There is a notice board here that gives information on farming in the area such as the hardy Galloway cattle, Galloway horses, Highland cattle, and from the 1800s most farms were mainly rearing sheep.

The image second top is of the Carsphairn Community Gardens, opened in 2011, looking over the Parish Church.

Carsphairn Parish Church was built in 1815. This church replaced a church on the same site built in 1636. That church was destroyed by fire in 1815.

The view along the Main Street is looking north with the former pub on the right, and shop on the left.

The pub named Greystone’s has been closed since 2011. Locals at one time attempted to take it over to be run as a community pub. In 2017, the pub was being offered on the market to be converted to a house.

Carsphairn Shop & Tearoom is situated in the centre of the village. The shop attracts a lot of passing trade with it being next to the main road between Ayr and Castle Douglas.

Kirkholm B&B is situated on the Main Street with views over the Rhinns of Kells mountain range with the 2,671ft Corserine being the highest on the range.

The Knowe B&B is on the north end of the Main Street with views over the Rhinns of Kells.

Carsphairn Heritage Centre is at the north entrance to Carsphairn with the Village Hall across the road. The centre is open 1st June to 25th September, Thursday to Monday, 10am to 4pm.

The Heritage Centre has many old photos and gives information on the village through the centuries.

The remains of the Woodhead Leadmines are about a 1 mile walk from a car park just north of the village. Lead was found here in 1837 with peak production between 1906 and 1914. Lead mining closed here and most other areas in Scotland around 1928, leading to the houses and school being abandoned and falling into ruin.

The hike around the hills at the lead mines is known as the North End of the Rhinns of Kells, quite challenging over the 2,162ft Cairnsgarroch, 2,280ft Meaul, 2,011ft Bow, 2,043ft Coran of Portmark, and 1,732ft Black Craig. There are great views over Loch Doon from the top of these hills.

The 2,614ft Cairnsmore of Carsphairn is situated on the north side of the village, a top hike in the area. There are a few routes to hike this mountain from fairly easy, to fairly tough going up the southeast route, as in the image right.

Carsphairn History

Remains of Neolithic Cairns, Bronze Age Circles, and Iron Age Hillforts can be found in the area.

1635 - Charles I granted a charter making the Kirktoun of Carsphairn into a Burgh.

The area had a number of hill farms rearing hardy Galloway cattle and Galloway horses.

1636 - a church was built in Carsphairn, probably replacing an earlier church.

1637 - Charles I tried to force a new prayer book on Scots, leading to some Scots rebelling. These Scots became known as Covenanters.

1671 - Charles II renewed the charter so Carsphairn could have a weekly market, and two annual fairs.

1680 - The Killing Time began with troops of Charles II hunting down and executing Covenanters. Covenanters from this area used the hills to evade capture.

1750s - there were grazing disputes between farmers over land.

The area now has many miles of dry stone dykes defining each farmers land.

Some dykes go right over the the steepest parts of mountains, as can be seen in the image above of Cairnsmore of Carsphairn, The Great Wall of Carsphairn, one of the most impressive dykes in the UK.

1800s - many hill farms begin rearing sheep.

1815 - Carsphairn Church is destroyed by fire.

1815 - the present day church is built.

1923 - the War Memorial was erected.

1930s - the Galloway Hydroelectric Power Scheme was built connecting a number of lochs down the valley. Some water from Loch Doon and other lochs in that area were re-routed down past Carsphairn to the Hydro Plants.

1970s - large areas have fast growing spruce trees planted for the timber industry, now known as the Galloway Forest Park.

Many sheep farms were taken over for tree growing at that time.

2010s - much of the Galloway Forest Park begins to be cut down for timber. Most of the areas cut down have been re-planted.

2015 - during Storm Frank, Carsphairn was flooded leading to 30 properties being evacuated. Some locals believed the Hydro System contributed to the flood.

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