Balloch Community Woodland
Creetown Walks » History & Archaeology » The Curling Ponds

The Curling Ponds

The Creetown Curling club was formed in 1838 and the area of land where the wildlife ponds are now was gifted to the local community to be made into curling ponds by the late James Caird, owner of Cassencarie estate until his death in 1892. 

Digging of the pond and the surrounding designed landscape was done by voluntary labour with the retaining bank made from the dug out material. 

Since winters were more severe then than they are now, two months of severe frost would not be uncommon, causing all work to come to a halt.  A large wooden hut was also built on the side of the pond to hold the curling stones, many of which were from stone quarried on Ailsa Craig. 

The high bank was planted with rhododendrons in order to provide shelter to the pond.  Every summer the pond would be drained in order to cut weeds and other growth, and at other times it was an ideal spawning ground for tadpoles and frogs.

Curling was popular with both men and women and the people of Creetown played curling here and at Cassencarie loch during winter when the water froze over. 

Although outdoor curling was a popular activity, due to the vagaries of the weather the Curling Club decided in 1945 to play on an indoor rink in Ayr.  The Garrochar curling pond was never used again and fell into disuse.

It was only when the Forestry Commission, now managers of the land, approached the local community in 2002 about forming a partnership to manage the woodland that plans were made to reinstate the ponds on the original sites. 

The three ponds were made of different sizes and depths to attract a wide variety of wildlife, cleared areas of woodland replanted with indigenous and exotic broadleaf trees, and the roundhouse built near the site of the original curling hut.

Creetown Walks » History & Archaeology » The Curling Ponds