Notes © RCAHMS
NS31NE 1 3932 1823.
(NS 3932 1823) Monastery (NR) (Site of)
(Pecked outline of a small rectangular area shown on OS 6"
OS 6" map (1908)
The island in Loch Fergus was the seat of a monastery (Summary
of Chronicles of Scotland 1624). There are certainly stones and
other appearances in the place from which imagination might easily
conclude that at some distant time, there was such a building at
this spot. Tradition states that this lake derived its name from
Fergus, one of the Scottish kings who defeated Coilus, king of the
Britons, in the adjoining fields. However, the writer of Ayr parish
states that 'there were till lately, the remains of an old ruined
castle near its (loch) margin...'
The ONB refers to the NSA writings, but goes on to state that although
traditions exist for both structures from the scatter of stones
on the site, 'there is nothing to indicate that it was either a
castle or monastery - more likely the remains of a decoy for wild
Name Book 1856
Loch, and island, are situated in low marshy ground, the latter
being densely covered in vegetation. Close investigation was not
possible due to inaccessibility, but the local farmer does confirm
that there are some stones lying on the island, but he does not
know whether they represent the remains of a building.
Visited by OS (JLD) 12 May 1954
No change. Still inaccessible.
Visited by OS (WDJ) 11 September 1968
There are two totally formless low mounds of boulders on the island
which are presumably the remains of a building. A club-house was
constructed in 1976 ten metres from the ruins, which were not disturbed.
Information from J Hunter, Dick Institute, Kilmarnock, 10 October
This site could not be visited as there is no boat on Loch Fergus.
Cowan and Easson (1976) make no mention of any monastery here. No
Visited by OS (MJF) 17 October 1980
A monastery is said to have stood on the island in Fergus Loch;
the island is now densely wooded.
NSA 1845; Name Book 1856; RCAHMS 1985, visited (IMS) April 1985.
Cowan and Easson, I B and D E (1976 )
'Medieval religious houses, Scotland: with an appendix on the houses
in the Isle of Man',
NSA (1845 )
The new statistical account of Scotland by the ministers of the
respective parishes under the superintendence of a committee of
the society for the benefit of the sons and daughters of the clergy,
15v, Edinburgh, Vol.5, 6, 656,
Name Book (County) ( )
Original Name Books of the Ordnance Survey
Book No.4, 49,
RCAHMS (1985 b)
The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of
Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of North Kyle,
Kyle and Carrick District, Strathclyde Region,
The archaeological sites and monuments of Scotland series no 25,
Edinburgh, 16, No.75,