One fine day, early on in May I happened to be passing the church in a small village very close to Kirkcudbright called Borgue. Having a little time on my hands, I popped in for a look – it was locked.
Wandering round the back I noticed a spiral staircase leading up to the bell tower and in that spirit of curiosity that can very easily get a fellow in trouble, I went up for a look. The little red door was secured with nothing more than a bolt and directly behind it was another door (I have never seen two doors so close together), which wasn’t locked either.
Up a rather rickety set of ladders you could just about make out the bell in the gloom. You see it far better here because of the camera flash than I did at the time. Prudence prevailed at this point and I didn’t go any further – that floor didn’t look like it was up to supporting even a modestly weighted person like myself and the outside door having swung closed, I suspected it would be quite some time before an old church bell tower 4 miles from my home would be included in the list of places to look for me if I did come a cropper.
It was on the evening of the same day that I was visiting my sister, Edie, who lives only a few miles from the town. She suggested we go for a wee walk to see a folly which is hidden in the Barrhill woods – she knew the way. A pleasant walk in the woods it was too, for it was bluebell time, which is one of the main delights of British woodlands in the spring and there were deer leaping around in the bushes which we frequently saw (they didn’t stand still long enough to get themselves photographed.)
There it is now, The folly known as The Temple.
It was built as a decoration in the grounds of Cally House (now the Cally Palace Hotel) in the late 18th century, and for all it’s main intention was to look like a ruined castle, it was used to house an estate worker.
The windows and doors here might looked as if they’re bricked up but from the inside there is no sign of them ever having existed.
We continued our walk for a while through the woods, under the main road and round about the Cally Palace itself. I’m afraid with this picture you’re only getting half the effect. It’s a bank of wild garlic and smelt wonderful.
Now for all Edie may have known the way there, it turns out that she didn’t know the way back, so there was now a good deal of wondering where we were and backtracking to try and find our way back. We were also very concerned for the fate of two boxes of Tunnocks teacakes which had been left in a visible spot in the kitchen at Edie’s house.
By the time we eventually spotted The Temple again it was getting quite dark and there were bats flying about. Getting to it meant that we were only a short walk from the car. It looks much creepier in the dark as you can imagine – you’ll just have to imagine I’m afraid as we couldn’t get close enough because of a stream set in a fairly deep ravine.
When we did work our way round the stream, and the car came into sight we were somewhat worried to see that the headlights had been left on.
Fortunately the car started and the Tunnocks teacakes were unmolested.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Tunnocks teacakes, they are a popular Scottish nibble. Here’s one I’ve taken a bite out off, so you can judge for yourself what it tastes like. They do of course need to be accompanied by a large mug of tea.
Here is a picture of our local variety of cow, the Belted Galloway. They’re quite distinctive.
Now for all I cannot condone the deliberate interference of road signage, I will make an exception for this particularly inspired act of vandalism.
In a bit of a first for me,I met a fellow blogger (I make an exception of course for Kim Ayres who I knew preblog). Ruthie Redden is a local artist, who, with her mother, another local artist, share a little shop attached to a cottage in the country. Do visit her blog and have a look at her work and the blog for the shop here. Thank you very much for the cup of tea and here’s an endearing wee Moon Hare, made by Ruthie and now resident on my dressing table.