The Mermaid Of Knockdolion
‘THE old house of Knockdolion stood near the water of Girvan, with a black stone at the end of it. A mermaid used to come from the water at night, and taking her seat upon this stone, would sing for hours, at the same time combing her long yellow hair. The lady of Knockdolion found that this serenade was an annoyance to her baby, and she thought proper to attempt getting quit of it, by causing the stone to be broken by her servants. The mermaid, coming next night, and finding her favourite seat gone, sang thus–
Ye may think on your cradle–I’ll think on my stane;
And there’ll never be an heir to Knockdolion again.”
Soon after, the cradle was found overturned, and the baby dead under it. It is added that the family soon after became extinct.’
The above account of the folk-tale appeared as published in Scottish Fairy and Folk Tales (1901) by George Douglas. This story is usually associated with the 16th century Knockdolian Castle which is in the village of Colmonell and the river that runs past it is the River Stinchar, not the River Girvan (Water of Girvan).
Knockdolian Castle is a ruinous pele tower described in 1889 as being ‘with no special features except that a stone carved with an ancient memorial cross has been used as one of the sills.’ Originally the home of the Grahames by the mid 17th century it was held by the McCubbins (Fergus M’Cubbin and his wife Margaret Kennedy).