Willie’s View: In The Cobbles, Kinnesswood

Willie Shand © The Cobbles in Kinnesswood

Willie’s enjoying a local run this week, with an afternoon in “The Cobbles” in Kinnesswood…

Exploring “The Cobbles” in Kinnesswood, or “Kinaskit” as the locals call it, is best done on foot. No matter how often you visit, there’s always something new catches the eye.  I regularly take a drive round Loch Leven with no real intentions other than to go for a coffee at Lochend Farm Cafe.

On my way home today, the car decided to stop in Kinnesswood — the old home of Michael Bruce, the “Gentle Poet of Loch Leven”. His birthplace museum and garden sits half way up The Cobbles, watched over by the steep western slopes of the Bishop Hill.

Born 27th March 1746, poor Michael didn’t enjoy good health and died at just 21. Not before leaving enough of his works, though, to win him a place among Scotland’s greatest poets.

The tall building opposite the museum is known as “The Factory” and was built to house weavers hand looms when the machines became too big for the cottages.

in the cobbles

The Factory.

The Master Monks

Weaving and crofting were important local industries but an even older industry was the making of vellum and parchment. This ancient craft was mastered by the monks of St Serfs Island on Loch Leven.

Apparently, the secret to its manufacture was kept by only one man and he would only pass it on to his successor upon his death bed. Not ideal if he got run over by a bus! But then, I suppose, there weren’t many busses a thousand or so years ago.

Further up the steep brae, the high stone dyke on the right carries the odd name of the ‘glour-ower-em’. It gained this name because of two old women who used to glour down over folk as they passed by. Glad to say they weren’t there this afternoon.



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Willie Shand