Corse of Slakes
Start location: Planetree Park, Gatehouse of Fleet (NX 592 562)
End location: Creetown (NX 479 589)
Geographical area: Dumfries and Galloway
Path Type: Military Road
Path distance: 11.4km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
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From the main road turn onto the minor road and continue for approximately 300m where you make a left turn and start to climb the hill to a cattle grid. Take the path on the left here to go to Trusty’s Hill for splendid views of Fleet Bay and and to see the Pictish carved stones known locally as the ‘De’il’s Specs’ which can be found on the south side of Trusty’s Hill. Continue following the path until you come to a signpost pointing left for Rutherford’s Monument for another diversion to a trig point where there are more fine views and to the monument. Back on the main route follow the waymarkers through the wood to the ruined Old Kirk at Anwoth. The route then follows a gated track (it was recently reported that there are three gates on this section, one chained shut, so it is not currently recommended for cyclists) and then the Corse of Slakes Road to Creetown.
OS Landranger 83 (Newton Stewart & Kirkcudbright area)
This path is part of a fairly unique military road in Scotland. It is quite unusual in that it wasn't built to counteract the Jacobite threat but rather was built to facilitate troops to Ireland. There was already a road leading this way but the military, under Major Caulfeild, thoroughly reconstructed and realigned the road in the 1760s.This Military Road from Bridge of Sark to Portpatrick largely lies under the A75, but other remnant sections can be found near Glenluce and Newton Stewart.
Detailed below are a number of historic sites that point to the pre-military age of the route:
Trusty's Hill is one of only two known sites in Galloway where the Picts have left clearly recognisable marks and it can only be a matter of speculation as to why these carvings have been found so far from ‘Pictland’ (normally regarded as the NE of Scotland).
Rutherford's Monument is a 55 foot high granite obelisk erected Samuel Rutherford who ministered in the Parish of Anwoth between 1627 and 1639. Incidently, the Millennium Cairn opposite shows the names of all ministers of Anwoth and Girthon until the year 2000 when it was erected.
There has been a church at Anwoth from at least the 1100s. The ruin you see today was built between 1626 and 1627 and was in use until 1825. The Parish Church to the south was completed after this between 1826 and 1828, but is no longer in use.