"The Closeburn Swans"

Closeburn Castle (reputed to be named after the kill "cell or church" of saint Osbern),was built some time around 1232.It was built on a promontary surrounded by bogland and with a small loch beside it.Over this loch the chiefs would be taken by canoe to the chiefs burial ground accross the loch .The story goes that at one time two magnificent swans would appear there , and this would herald the speedy recovery of any of the Kirkpatricks who were ill.Whether legend or not the fact remained that THEY believed it.The Swans were percieved to be a blessing to the chief and his family,and were revered as such.One Cynical cheif Robert (circa 15th century) decided he didnt beleive in such "Old wives tales " and shot one of them from the Battlements of the castle with a crossbow.This wasnt a good thing at all , because he died soon after.From that time on a Ghostly white Swan with a blood stained breast would appear on the loch whenever one of the Kirkpatrick chiefs was about to die.

Thus a legend was born.The swan became the Familly Banshee.(a Banshee ,in ancient Celtic Lore, is the harbinger of woe,which is said to appear and wail pitifully when bad times are on the way.A lot of Scottish famillies have one particular to their own clan).

There is no need to worry about the Swan appearing these days since the loch was drained in the 19th century.When it was drained the Canoe was found and it now resides in Dumfries Museum.It could be said that so much credence was put in the legend that the loch was drained to prevent the "Seeing of the Swan".It used to be said of the dying cheifs that they "Saw the Swan".