Kirkcowan – What's Going On?

Monuments & Memorials


Two trees were planted in the road to Newton Stewart to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo.

Only one remains. It stands opposite the garage.


In May, 1685, just after the infamous drowning of two women in the Bladnoch River at Wigtown, a fugitive covenanter from New Luce parish, Alexander Linn, was shot to death on Craigmoddie Fell near the Derry Farm in Kirkcowan parish.

His walled—in tomb bore the inscription,

“Memento Mori: Here lies the body of Alexr Linn who was surprised and instantly shot to death on this place by Lieu General Drummond for his adherence to Scotland’s Reformation Covenants National and Solemn League 1685.

The stone of Linn’s tomb was renewed in 1827. On ll+th August, 1887, it was repaired and dedicated by Rev. Fallas Mitchell at a service to mark the occasion.

It was repaired again in 1927.

In 1972 three local men discovered the tomb to be in a ruinous state because of the growth of a yew tree which had been planted within it. Mr. Tom Scott of Blackhill Croft, Glaisnick, rebuilt the tomb and inscribed it, and the Rev. R. L. Johnston, the Kirkcowan minister, performed a service of dedication. A poem written by R. L. Stevenson while he lay dying in Samoa was read at the service:

“Blows the wind today and the sun and rain are flying;
Blows the wind on the moors today and now
Where about the graves of
The martyrs the whaups are crying;
My heart remembers how.

Be it granted to me to behold you again, dying,
Hills of home, and to hear again the call.
Hear, about the graves of the martyrs,
The peeweeps crying
And hear no more at all.”

Miss Flora Stuart of Drumwalt planted a thorn tree nearby on the fell in memory of her late father, Lord David Stuart.

In 1985, three hundred years after the death of Linn, a large service was held at the tomb. People of various denominations gathered on a cold, wet Sunday afternoon to commemorate the tercentenary of the death of Alexander Linn with a communion service. The preacher was the Rev. James Nelson, formerly of Barrhill, a retired minister who had studied the lives of the covenanters of the area with great interest.

On that occasion, Miss Flora Stuart planted three rowan trees near the grave and, within the tomb, a rose “Caroline There are services every second year in May to honour the death of Linn.