A bloody clan battle over the tethering of a sow on Crauford land

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We go through life learning from others, you sit at your mother’s knee and she tells you tales and sings you nursery rhymes etc.

We have minds to absorb information which is how we learn about life, and a vivid imagination to make them more exciting when we pass them on to others as tales.

History is in the past, but it is the foundation of the future. However with minds eager to hear of tales of excitement and wonder we gather around the fireside on a winter’s night to see who can come up with the best ones. Remember that a good tale relies best on how it is told.

We all know that for many years the Kennedys held sway over Carrick and most of this part of Scotland, some times for the better, sometimes for the worse. They were the dominant family and liked everyone to know it. Many years ago long before the electric pylons came into being the Craufords held sway over vast acres of Kyle north of the River Doon.

The Kennedys who were south of the Doon often raided Crauford lands to show their dominance and eventually brought things to a head by threatening to tether a sow on Crauford lands at Skeldon Haughes.

The Laird of Kerse, who was in his eighties and long past his fighting days, was incensed with this, but as he knew that the Kennedys were a very strong fighting force he called in favours from all his kinsmen and they responded in numbers with the lairds of Drongen, Leifnoreis and Loudoun plus their retainers gathering in Kerse Castle to sharpen their swords and clean their muskets, all eager to teach the Kennedys a lesson.

The sow came up the Doon to the appointed place at Skeldon Haughes on a horse drawn float constantly prodded so that her squeals would taunt the Craufords.

The battle was to be fought on the riverbank near Dalrymple with a pool nearby becoming known as ‘Kennedys Dub’.

Because of his age the Crauford chief stayed in his castle below the Craigs of Kyle impatiently waiting on news of whether the sow had been made to flit. This was eventually brought to him by a messenger who sadly told him that his son John had been killed in the battle.

The laird was however more interested to hear the news of the battle and greeted with delight the fact that the Kennedys had been beaten. I suppose that in those days landowners had many sons and the loss of one was of less importance than the routing of the Kennedys.