Kirkcowan – What's Going On?


The Statistical Account of 1841 reveals: “There is a quarry of blue—stone , the greywacke of geologists, about a mile and a half east of the village which affords an excellent material for building. Granite, in large blocks, is to be met with throughout the parish, and is much used for making lintels, door—posts, to the houses, and serves the twofold end of increasing their stability and beauty. Slate (transition clay—slate) was discovered in one of the hills (Culvennan) about thirty years ago, but proved to be of such inferior quality, that it was soon abandoned.

A stone quarry at Boreland Fell, possibly on the same site as the one mentioned in the 1841 Statistical Account, was opened by the County Council in the 1950’s. This was fortuitous for Kirkcowan, as, with the closure of the mills, unemployment would have been a problem in the village.

By 1965 the quarry was employing about fifty men and producing most of the County’s road making materials.

In 1986, material was still being taken out of the quarry, but on a much reduced scale, with the quarry closing during that year. It is now leased by the Council to a large private contractor, but it remains closed.