Carsphairn village is situated in
Dumfries & Galloway southwest
Scotland, 24 miles southeast of Ayr, 25
miles northwest of Castle
Douglas, 35 miles northwest of
Dumfries on the A713 road.
Carsphairn attracts visitors for its
Heritage Centre and good walking / hiking
with hills up to 2,600 feet.
See also a large Click On Map for the
area Top Attractions.
The image top is of the War Memorial at the
south side of the village. There is a notice
board here that gives information on farming in
the area such as the hardy Galloway cattle,
Galloway horses, Highland cattle, and from the
1800s most farms were mainly rearing sheep.
The image second top is of the Carsphairn
Community Gardens, opened in 2011, looking over
the Parish Church.
Carsphairn Parish Church was built in 1815.
This church replaced a church on the same site
built in 1636. That church was destroyed by
fire in 1815.
The view along the Main Street is looking
north with the former pub on the right, and
shop on the left.
The pub named Greystone’s has been closed
since 2011. Locals at one time attempted to
take it over to be run as a community pub. In
2017, the pub was being offered on the market
to be converted to a house.
Carsphairn Shop & Tearoom is situated in
the centre of the village. The shop attracts a
lot of passing trade with it being next to the
main road between Ayr and Castle Douglas.
B&B is situated on the Main Street with
views over the Rhinns of Kells mountain range
with the 2,671ft Corserine being
the highest on the range.
The Knowe B&B is
on the north end of the Main Street with views
over the Rhinns of Kells.
Centre is at the north entrance to
Carsphairn with the Village Hall across the
road. The centre is open 1st June to 25th
September, Thursday to Monday, 10am to 4pm.
The Heritage Centre has many old photos and
gives information on the village through the
The remains of the Woodhead Leadmines are
about a 1 mile walk from a car park just north
of the village. Lead was found here in 1837
with peak production between 1906 and 1914.
Lead mining closed here and most other areas in
Scotland around 1928, leading to the houses and
school being abandoned and falling into
The hike around the hills at the lead mines
is known as the North End of the
Rhinns of Kells, quite challenging over the
2,162ft Cairnsgarroch, 2,280ft Meaul, 2,011ft
Bow, 2,043ft Coran of Portmark, and 1,732ft
Black Craig. There are great views over
Loch Doon from
the top of these hills.
The 2,614ft Cairnsmore of
Carsphairn is situated on the north side of
the village, a top hike in the area. There are
a few routes to hike this mountain from fairly
easy, to fairly tough going up the southeast
route, as in the image right.
Remains of Neolithic Cairns, Bronze Age
Circles, and Iron Age Hillforts can be found in
1635 - Charles I granted a charter making
the Kirktoun of Carsphairn into a Burgh.
The area had a number of hill farms rearing
hardy Galloway cattle and Galloway horses.
1636 - a church was built in Carsphairn,
probably replacing an earlier church.
1637 - Charles I tried to force a new prayer
book on Scots, leading to some Scots rebelling.
These Scots became known as Covenanters.
1671 - Charles II renewed the charter so
Carsphairn could have a weekly market, and two
1680 - The Killing
Time began with troops of Charles II
hunting down and executing Covenanters.
Covenanters from this area used the hills to
1750s - there were grazing disputes between
farmers over land.
The area now has many miles of dry stone
dykes defining each farmers land.
Some dykes go right over the the steepest
parts of mountains, as can be seen in the image
above of Cairnsmore of Carsphairn, The Great
Wall of Carsphairn, one of the most impressive
dykes in the UK.
1800s - many hill farms begin rearing
1815 - Carsphairn Church is destroyed by
1815 - the present day church is built.
1923 - the War Memorial was erected.
1930s - the Galloway Hydroelectric Power
Scheme was built connecting a number of lochs
down the valley. Some water from Loch Doon and
other lochs in that area were re-routed down
past Carsphairn to the Hydro Plants.
1970s - large areas have fast growing spruce
trees planted for the timber industry, now
known as the Galloway Forest Park.
Many sheep farms were taken over for tree
growing at that time.
2010s - much of the Galloway Forest Park
begins to be cut down for timber. Most of the
areas cut down have been re-planted.
2015 - during Storm Frank, Carsphairn was
flooded leading to 30 properties being
evacuated. Some locals believed the Hydro
System contributed to the flood.