Troqueer Landward Community Council
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View from the Bench
This view looks north west across the Moss Road towards Goldielea House.
Behind the house stands a viaduct which carried trains to Stranraer, until the line fell victim
to the railway closures of the 1960s.
Troqueer Landward lies just to the west of Dumfries, and, for such a small area, includes a striking variety of beautiful landscapes. One of its most scenic byways is Carruchan Beeches, an unclassified road which cuts across from the Dalbeattie Road, just to the west of Cargenbridge, to the New Abbey Road. The road is used regularly by the people of Cargenbridge to walk their dogs, and it affords impressive views from the top of Waterside Road across the town of Dumfries towards the Queensberries. Moving South along Carruchan Beeches the road rises to a high point which gives striking views of the valley and the Moss Road below. In clear weather one can see all the way to the Lake District. This is the spot where the Community Council has sited a metal seat, a commemoration of the Royal Jubilee of 2002.
Dog-walking on Carruchan Beeches.
As one descends towards the New Abbey Road, it is possible to leave Carruchan Beeches and join a public footpath which, if taken to the left, leads to Islesteps, or if taken to the right, crosses to the Moss Road, which runs along the valley bottom on the western side. This latter track falls towards St Queran's Well. The well is dedicated to a 9th century saint and its water was once believed to have healing properties. Proof of a long tradition of leaving items at the well was discovered when it was cleared in 1870: hundreds of coins, bent pins and other objects were found beneath the mud. Some of these can still be seen in the Dumfries Museum. The tradition of leaving small mementos continues and you will find pieces of rag and other similar articles on the bushes nearby.
Carrying on towards the Moss Road you will pass Picts Knowe. According to Historic Scotland, this is a "Neolithic to Bronze Age Ritual Site" and has been the subject of recent archaeological investigation. The site itself lacks drama and is to be enjoyed more for its setting. Fuller information may be found on the Historic Scotland website.
On the far side of the Moss Road is Mabie Forest, which offers opportunities for forest walks and off-road cycling. Access to the Mabie House Hotel and the starting point for walks is at the foot of the Whinney Hill, not far beyond the southern end of the Moss Road, where it joins the A710 to New Abbey. Mabie Farm Park, a thriving local visitor attraction, is also located close to the junction with the A710.
Moving northwards along the Moss Road towards the Dalbeattie Road brings one into an area of Scots Pine associated with Dalskairth House. In the tops of the trees at the north end of the road is a heronry. These extraordinary birds may from time to time be seen making their slow flights towards the fishing grounds of the Nith. Roe deer are not uncommon, grazing in the rough pasture and in the woodland along the Moss Road. Buzzard are a common sight, gliding in leisurely circles high above the trees. Indeed, this area has an abundance of wildlife and you may be lucky enough to see a fox, badger, pheasant, woodpecker, owl or sparrowhawk, to mention just the more dramatic residents.
On the other side of the Dalbeattie Road from Dalskairth is Goldielea House. Now a home for the elderly, this was at one time owned by Walter Riddell, whose brother Robert was a friend and patron of Burns and whose young wife Maria became his good friend and, despite subsequently quarrelling, his first biographer.