Sanquhar to Stroanpatrick Path
Start location: Sanquhar (NS 779 099)
End location: Stroanfreggan (NX 642 918)
Geographical area: Dumfries and Galloway
Path Type: Rural Path, Drove Road
Path distance: 25.7km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
Back to Search
From Sanquhar, this old route is now followed by the Southern Upland Way southwest. However, past Polskeoch the old route departs from the SUW circa NS682019 in order to continue southwest to Lorg and down the Water of Ken past Corlae and Auchrae. Just before the bridge at Strahanna, strike due south up the hillside by a forest track to Meikle Auchrae and south to rejoin the SUW 1km before reaching Stroanpatrick.
OS Landranger 71 (Lanark & Upper Nithsdale) and 77 (Dalmellington to New Galloway)
The OS 6" map (first edition) clearly shows this old route in its entirety, variously marked as a Drove Road and a Foot Path. Settlements, quarries, gravel pits and sheepfolds are strung along it. Cadger's Knowe is perhaps placename evidence of the route's former usage.
Although this route is not marked as a road on Roy's military mapping, settlements can be seen along its length. It is said to be shown as a road on Armstrong's map of Ayrshire (1773).
On the slopes of Altry Hill, above where this old route meets the old Glen Afton road from New Cumnock in Ayrshire, is a natural feature known as Whigs Hole (NS670000). The Old Statistical Account (1791-1799) for the Parish of Dalry describes it thus "In the farm of Altrye, near the top of a hill, there is a trench which seems to have been digged, capable of holding about 100 people. As in this trench one has a view of two different roads, at a considerable distance, without being observed by those persons who travel upon them, the Whigs or Cameronians, as they are usually styled, are said to have frequently made use of it during the time of the persecution in Scotland, both as a place of refuge, and of observation". The situation of Whigs Hole likely infers that the two roads viewed from it are the old road from New Cumnock and this route between Sanquhar and Stroanpatrick. The Heritage Paths project would be very pleased to hear from anyone who has visited Whigs Hole, especially if they have photographs of the view.