Earlier this year, my explorations took me on to the hills behind the Minnygap farms, on the west side of Annandale, see here. I posted photos of this interesting construction, marked on the maps as Copland's Monument, and noted that I could find no documentation of who Copland was.
Jim Storrar, author of two Moffat Miscellany books which I've mentioned before (see here), has been in touch to say that he has 'stumbled upon' a reference in the Dumfries Weekly Journal of Tuesday, 26th July, 1803, which explains that Copland was a local shepherd killed on the morning of 20th July, 1803. Thanks Jim.
The paper says, "On Tuesday night and Wednesday last we had a violent storm of thunder and lightning here, accompanied with some very heavy showers of rain. We are sorry to state, that Mr John Copland of Monygap (sic), about five miles from Moffat, while he was going to look after his sheep, on Wednesday morning, was struck with the lightning and instantly killed."
Presumably the monument was erected soon thereafter, making it more than 200 years old!
Photos © Skip Cottage. The dog is Tally!