The Slough of Despond

by Roger Griffith
  • The old limekiln near the Slough of Despond
  • The Slough itself, looking towards Broadhirst
  • The old quarry
  • The Slough Burn in the old quarry area

On the boundary of Dundonald and Symington parishes lies an area known as the 'Slough of Despond'.

The original 'Slough of Despond'  is a  deep bog in John Bunyan's  allegory The Pilgrims Progress into which the character Christian sinks under the weight of his sins and his sense of guilt for them.

The burn in this area has long been known as the Slough, the Scots equivalent spelling is Sleugh, meaning a marsh or quagmire. It is not known how the name 'Slough of  Despond' was added to the area, however it is recorded since the mid 19th century and may be linked to the nearby limekilns that were generally notorious for the acrid 'hell-like' smoke that issued from them.

The Slough Burn rises from the marshy area below the Broadhirst Woods and the limestone quarry that served the limekilns is now abandoned, surviving as an area rich in wildlife.

 


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