Excluding the annual New Year’s Day pilgrimage to the summit of Culter Fell, the first club outing of 2020 took the members to the southernmost end of the Pentlands for a 12 mile circular walk taking in the covenanter’s grave on Black Law. The group of 12 met at West Linton on a frosty Sunday morning and were well outnumbered by groups of keen golfers getting ready for their regular Sunday morning game before the sun was even up. The excellent path through the golf course took the group west between Mendick Hill and Slipperfield Mount with Black Law firmly in their sights. The route to the grave is now well marked and leads walkers off the gravel track up onto Black Law summit via a series of marker posts, although there is little or no visible path to follow.
The headstone marks the grave of an Ayrshire covenanter, John Carphin, who was mortally wounded in 1666 at the Battle of Rullion Green, 10 miles to the northwest towards Edinburgh where the Covenanter army was severely routed by government forces under the command of Tam Dalyell. The wounded soldier had made it as far as the farmhouse of a shepherd, Adam Sanderson, at Medwynhead and, realising that he was close to death, asked the shepherd to bury him in sight of his native Ayrshire hills. The views from the summit are extensive with Arran spotted to the west and include some of the Ayrshire hills as requested by Carphin.
After a short break at the gravestone, the group proceeded north to White Craig then east to Craigengar before turning south to join the outward path near West Water reservoir and completing the circle back to the car park near the golf course.
The next meeting of the club will be the AGM on Wednesday,February 12th in the Clydesdale, Lanark followed by a weekend meet based at Dunkeld on the weekend of 15th/16th February.