NS5477 : Drowning Pond at Gallow Hill

taken 13 years ago, near to Mugdock, Stirling, Great Britain

Drowning Pond at Gallow Hill
Drowning Pond at Gallow Hill
White waterlilies grow on the surface of this pond, but its present tranquil appearance is in contrast with the harsh judgements that were meted out here in the past.

The pond is situated on Gallow Hill. Public executions were held here; the last such execution was on the 28th of March, 1718. Writing in the nineteenth century, the antiquarian John Guthrie Smith (who lived near Mugdock Castle for a while) wrote that "the remains of the gallows were removed towards the close of last century, James Scott, the grandfather of David Scott now at Craigallian, being the man who cleared away the last relics in Strathblane of the once much coveted right to hang one's fellow creatures" [footnote on page 18 of his book "The Parish of Strathblane" (1886)].

For the corresponding place of judgement, and for further information, see NS5477 : Moot Hill, Mugdock Country Park. The Moot Hill is about 650 metres to the south-east.

As for the pond, it was used for the execution of women: Colin Dunlop Donald, in his "Memoir of the Author", printed as the introduction to John Guthrie Smith's book "Strathendrick and Its Inhabitants From Early Times" (1895), writes that "the lands of Craigend ... had also the sinister name of Gallowknowe, and the hill to the north of Craigend Castle is believed to have been the hanging place of the Barony. Just under the site of the gallows is a small tarn in which female culprits were drowned".

Legend also has it, correctly or not, that the pond was used for the dooking of suspected witches.

See NS5477 : The Drowning Pond, Mugdock Estate for another view of the pond.
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NS5477, 118 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 8 July, 2008   (more nearby)
Sunday, 10 August, 2008
Geographical Context
Lakes, Wetland, Bog 
Plant (from Tags)
Water Lily 
Former (from Tags)
Place of Execution 
Pond   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 545 777 [100m precision]
WGS84: 55:58.2596N 4:19.9666W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 545 777
View Direction
Northwest (about 315 degrees)
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Other Tags
Witches  Drowning Pond  Gallow Hill  Pond  Mugdock Country Park 

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