Lochwinnoch Folklore

The original written in Scots follows below

THE CRUNE OF THE WARLOCK OF THE PEIL 

The following history or legend of old Ringan Semple was gathered from the old women belonging to times past, the honest believers of the Lochwinnoch mythology.

This Ringan dwelled in the Peil as keeper of that fort until its casting down in 1735. He was a crippled man and the queerest and old small person. He was a surly and irritated man and seldom made his appearance before strangers. The Peil is, or was, built on a small isle in Lochwinnoch loch. Ringan had a coble ( small flat bottomed fishing boat of little draught ) or canoe and sailed often busy fishing in the waters found about the Peil. He was, of course, rumoured and by country gossip to be a wizard.

He could not bear the wreck and wastage of his imposing and romantic castle and he died soon of a broken heart. His ghost or apparition rushed about the great cairn of his former and then desolate building, and he entered into an agreement and bond with the will o’ the wisps who dwelled in the lochside hollows; with the water sprite; with Jenny with the iron teeth; with the unearthly cow; with the wild sounds made by the goblins; with the wizard Anot who plied his wizard’s spell about Lord Semple’s great horse race and he won it in favour of that Lord; with the witch who nurses the children in the Peil before their coming out into this upside down and sinful world; and the fairies danced on the Tuchat Isle (isle of the lapwing or pewit or green Plover).

 

The apparition of Ringan with its kith and familiars was persistent, through the great frost in 1746 or thereby. This affliction continued for thirteen weeks, the church people from the other side of the loch travelled across the ice for thirteen Sundays all hoar frosted; and had been gripped by this batch of unearthly creatures if they had not a church bible, the officious crew, on the common days, knew all calamities on the inferior people who got no water for it was frozen, no tilling on the manured land and swards, and no food in their own cot houses.

The water sprites seized and drowned four blooming, smart and well set up young men in the loch in the spate on Fair o’ the Hills Day of 1768. 

It was true that the ghost of Ringan had gone many twelve months since to its rest forever. But this reply or song from the Peil shows that the Oracle haunts his lonely abode and his stewardship over the loch lasts and continues to this day. I would advise you curlers and rash heedless youngsters that you should not give any offence to this wizard of the Peil lest I’ll guarantee he shall play you an unlucky trick.

 

The frost remained for above six weeks until the tail end of February. The ice of the loch was 23, of the Bridgend dam 18 inches thick.

TRANSLATION FROM THE ORIGINAL SCOTS VERSION WAS PRODUCED  BY GORDON WALKINSHAW

 

JANUARY 2008        

The original Scots

The followand  historie or legend of auld Ringan Semple was gatherit fra the auldwarld carlins, the suthfast beleivars of the Lochenyoch mythologie. This Ringan wonnit in the Peil, as keeper o’ that fort, till its dingan doun in 1735. He was a lamitar, and the queerest and auld wee bodie. He was a camsheuch and capernoytit carl, and seildon made his compeirance afore frem fock. The Peil is, or was biggit on a wee isle in Lochwhinnyoch. Ringan had a cobill or a canoe and saillit aften thrang fishand in the waters roun aboot the Peil. He was, of coors, the bruit and fame of a warlock.

 

He duchnat thole the wrack and wastage of his wallie and romantic castill, an he deid, bedein of a broken hart. His ghaist or wraith flichterit and fliskit about the grit cairn of his umquhyle and then goustie biggin, and enterit into a league, and manrent wi’ the spunkies, wha wonnit in the lochsyde heuch; wi’ the watter kelpie, wi’ Jenni wi’ the airn teeth; wi’ the eldritch kow wi’ tdhe clam- shells; wi’ warlock Anot wha plaid his cantrips aboot Lord Sempill’s grit horse-race and he wan it, in favour of that lord; wi’the witch wha nourisses the bairns in the Peil, afore thair coming oot into this tapsalteirie and sinfu’ warld; and fairies danceand on the Tuchat Isle.

The wraith of Ringan wi’ its kith and familiars was eydent, throu the grit frost in 1746 or thereby. This rack continewit for thretein ouks, the kirk-fock fra the tither side of the loch travellit thort the ice for thretein Sundays aw rimand; and had been grippit be this batch o’ unearthly craitors, gif they hadna a kirk-bibill, the bizie crew, on the common days, wysit aw the calamities on the honest peipil, wha gat nae watter for it was froze, nae tillin on the fauld and feils, and nae fude in their ain cot-hooses.

 

The watter kelpies grippit and drount fower yung and blumand swankies in the loch, in the spate, on Fair-o’-Hill day of 1768.

It was trewit that the ghaist o’ Ringan had gane, monie towmonts ayne, to its rest forever. But this response or sang frae the Peil shaws that the Oracle haunts his lonlie abode and his Doership owr the loch lasts and hands on to this day. I would redd you curlers and ramstan caffans that ye soudna gie onie skaith to this warlock o’ the Peil, lest I’se wrrant he sall play you a wanchancie pliskie.

 

The frost bade for abune sax ouks till the hinnerend o’ Feberwar. The ice of the loch was 23, of the Brigend dam 18 inch thik.

SOURCE : ORIGINALLY A CUTTING  ( PRINTED PAPER )  FOUND IN THE 1950’S  BY CATHIE HYMERS ( nee ROBB ) IN VOLUME 10 OF ANDRO CRAWFURD’S “ CAIRN OF LOCHENYOCH MATTERS “. THIS CUTTING SUBSEQUENTLY WENT MISSING FROM THE VOLUME BUT CATHIE HAD FORTUNATELY COPIED IT – LONG HAND !!