Station 14 – Dower House
Down to your right, the cemetery wall is the site of a Dower House, believed to have been for the use of Clan Chief Iain Ciar MacDougall’s mother. Evidence still exists of a dam on the fresh water stream running down the hill just south of the wall, which may well have been constructed on the foundations of an earlier dam serving the Dower House. Later, this site was used as an orchard, though it is now derelict.
The farmhouse beyond the Dower House is built on the site formerly used as a school for young members of Clan MacDougall to train as pipers. The current farmhouse, built in the Victorian age, seems to have been constructed from stones and slates removed from Kilbride Kirk after it was deconsecrated and abandoned.
To your left, a kilometre or so up the Drove Road, are the ruins of the house of the McConnachers – apothecaries and surgeons to Clan MacDougall and Clan Campbell. Their memorials lie immediately outside the Memorial Burial Aisle – an indication of their high status within the Clan system.
Finally, on the hill which you will have passed on your left as you came down the hill to Kilbride, there is a fine Celtic Cross. This was commissioned in the early sixteenth century by a member of Clan Campbell who had returned (as few did) from the disastrous defeat of king James IV at the Battle of Flodden (now in Northumberland). The cross was cast down during the Reformation as being idolatrous, but retrieved from the churchyard in the 1920s, reassembled and removed to its current location.
This audio clip was read by Caroline Boswell.