- Published on Monday, 25 February 2013 10:18
- Written by Maggi Kaye
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Dundeugh NX 6281
Dundeugh is situated a few miles north of Dalry, going towards Carsphairn. It was built for Forestry Commission workers, and consists of a double row of attractive wooden houses. The remains of Dundeugh Castle, a 16th century Gordon stronghold built on the site of an earlier 13th castle, can be found at the southern end of Kendoon reservoir at the foot of Dundeugh hill in woodland. Located nearby is the old site of Polmaddy.
A story is told about a shepherd called Sandy Maxwell who was bored one Sabbath day and decided to investigate a cairn on Dundeugh hill. To his amazement at the base of the cairn he found a stone slab and under the slab was a crock of gold. He took three coins from the treasure and reburied the rest, marking the cairn with his crook and taking the coins home to show his wife. Now that morning his wife who was normally sharp tongued and quarrelsome has given some meal to a fairy woman who had knocked at the door and he thought that maybe his luck had something to do with that. However when he got home his wife was in a bad mood and she was greed and demanded he build her a fine house in Carsphairn. He wanted to buy Dundeugh hill and rebuild the castle there and they had a tremendous argument. His wife when she had washed the dishes she went to throw the water out at the back door. The fairy woman then reappeared and asked that she throw it out in the drain instead as the water was making her baby’s bedclothes wet, but Sandy’s wife was very rude to her. The fairy woman replied that she had tried to do her a good turn but it was just as easy to do a bad turn and off she went. Shortly after Sandy and his wife and son went back to dig up the gold but the found the whole hillside covered in cairns with Sandy’s crook stuck in them. Having exhausted themselves fruitlessly digging they finally returned home and the fairy woman met them and asked if the wife had learned her lesson. The story got out and they became the laughing stock of the neighbourhood.
Kendoon was built as homes for the workers in the power stations, one of which is situated at Kendoon It is situated directly across the river from Dundeugh with a bridge linking the two sides of the river. There is a youth hostel situated nearby on the Southern upland Way, with 36 beds that has won a silver Green Tourism award.
Polmaddy, Polmady (Polmeadow ?) in the parish of Carsphairn (Carsphain) 1505, now in ruins, was a Galloway ‘ferm-toun’, which were common before the agricultural improvements, enclosures and subsequent clearances. They were a collection of small holdings with communal arable fields and they shared common grazing for their animals on the surrounding hills. Apart from the houses it had corn kilns, an inn and a mill. It was abandoned in the early 1800s. There is now an interpretive trail round the site.