|Glenkens Business Association C/o Kenlea, Balmaclellan, Castle Douglas, DG7 3QE, GB |
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An attractive hillside village. Celtic relics have been found in the area. This was once a centre of the Covenanter faith. There is a statue to Robert Paterson, Sir Walter Scott’s ‘Old Mortality’.Balmaclellan is a small village with a widely spread rural community, on the east side of the river Ken, opposite to New Galloway. From the war memorial there is a panoramic view westwards over the Rhinns of Kells and other surrounding hills. On the east side of the village another impressive range stretches five miles from Barscobe Hill to Fell Hill. This is trackless, but affords excellent rough hill walking for the serious walker, with far reaching views.
Other, more easily accessible walks are available on roads and paths and the Glenkens Jubilee Walk links Balmaclellan with New Galloway and Dalry. A nature reserve surrounds the Lowes Lochs, whilst red kites and black grouse are two of a wide range of wildlife to be seen in the area.
A finely decorated mirror and crescent of the Bronze Age were found near Balmaclellan and are now in the National Museum of Scotland. The village is overlooked by a 12th century motte, flanked by the Old Edinburgh road, used in the Middle Ages by pilgrims on their way to St Ninian’s shrine at Whithorn. Completed in 1648, Barscobe Castle, about a mile out of the village, is a good example of the last phase of tower house building in Scotland.
Balmaclellan has strong Covenanter associations. A statue in the churchyard commemorates Robert Paterson who, up to his death in 1801, travelled the countryside carving and renovating memorials to Covenanters. His wife, left to care for the family, established a school in the village, which can still be seen. Her grave and those of other members of the family are marked in the churchyard. Amongst other interesting gravestones in the churchyard is an emotionally worded tombstone inscription to one of the Covenanters – Robert Grierson, killed for his faith in 1685.
As its hub, the village has a shop which provides a warm and friendly welcome to all visitors. A Mobile Post Office visits the Village three days a week - for full details see the Notice Board on the Car Park. Crafts in the village are well represented with the delightful Clog and Shoe workshop, a Pottery and a Smithy all offering a hospitable reception.
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