Welcome to the Eskdale Prehistoric Trail: Peering into the Past
The Inspiration came from a series of lectures given in Langholm in the 1970s by the distinguished archaeologist Dr Lionel Masters, then Director of Extramural Studies for Dumfries and Galloway. He organized a field trip to Westerkirk and Eskdalemuir one memorably pleasant Sunday afternoon, taking in most of the sites on our trail. The notion of a formal Trail lay dormant for too many years, but was revived in the 2000s when the Langholm Cultural and Heritage Committee was formed.
The Idea was to outline and waymark a trail in Westerkirk and Eskdalemuir, accessible to motorists or cyclists who were prepared to do a modest amount of walking, linking several prehistoric sites of outstanding archaeological interest.
Nine sites were chosen from the roughly sixty sites which were identified in Westerkirk and Eskdalemuir during an archaeological survey of the 1970s. They provide a circular route starting near Bentpath on the B709 and going up the west side of the Esk to Eskdalemuir village and back down the east side. The sites are near the road but all need to be approached on foot
Members of Langholm and District Art Club - Margaret Hobson, Dick Irving, Tom Kennedy and Jean Weatherstone - prepared paintings for the interpretation panels, based on advice from available texts and from the Regional Archaeologist, Jane Brann. Their paintings make a strong local statement.
Support with funds, Information and know-how
We are grateful to the landowners for welcoming the Trail:
- Stewart and Sarah Pool
- The Tanlawhill Estate
- Forest Enterprise
- Tilhill Forestry
The trail was prepared by Langholm Initiative working together with Making Tracks (green tourism).
Financial support and advice were received from:
- Annandale and Eskdale Council
- The Andrew Stevenson Foundation
- The Arthur Bell Trust
- Kagyu Samye Ling
- Langholm Initiative
- Scottish Natural Heritage
- Solway Heritage (who with Archaeosights did the signing for four of the sites on the Trail)
Above all we're grateful to the people of Westerkirk and Eskdalemuir for welcoming the Trail.