We visited Wigtownshire, the wonderful little county at the west of Galloway. I had an excuse: Ian Niall (aka John McNeillie), one of my favourite writers, was a native of this area. My wife’s reasoning was that it was once the home of her ancestors, the Hannays, later to become the Hannahs from whom she is descended.
Well, we set out to look for Sorbie Tower, once home of the Hannay clan, now in the care of the Clan Hannay Society. What a marvellous place we found! A ruined pele tower in a woodland setting, replete with heraldry set up on walls and brilliant heritage interpretation boards to get visitors up to speed.
But it was a place with a hint of wistfulness too: the Hannays, falling foul of other clans, were exiled to Ulster and it was from the Province that my wife’s Hannah ancestors hailed. Wigtownshire and neighbouring Kirkcudbrightshire are full of places like this, where the stones have a tale to tell if you have the time and patience to pause and listen.