Castle Semple Loch

Castle Semple Loch with Barr Loch in the distance
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Castle Semple Loch with Barr Loch in the distance

Castle Semple Loch is located to the east of Lochwinnoch in Renfrewshire. It was once know as Loch Winnoch and is shown as such on William Roy's Map of Scotland (1747-55) but was later renamed for the estate within the boundaries of which it lay. In the 1770s the estate owner, William McDowall, drained much of the loch to provide more land for agriculture. However, his son reversed the works of his father, extending the size loch once again to ensure a good head of water for mills on the Black Cart Water as industrialisation became more important than agriculture. Today, the loch is the locus for water-sports and angling at the centre of the Castle Semple Water Country Park which, in turn, is part of the larger Clyde Muirshiel Country Park. The loch extends to 1½ miles / 2.5 km in length with an area of 79.2 ha / 195 acres. To the south, separated by an embankment, is Aird Meadow Loch.

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