This is an early heart-shaped curling stone, with the owners or makers initials W.McG. and the date 1720 carved on it. Painted in red are also the words Buittle and the initials and date W J 22, perhaps the initials of a subsequent owner in 1722.
The origins of curling in Scotland are obscure but probably predate the earliest specific written reference to it in 1638. Dutch winter landscapes painted by Peter Breughel in the 1560s show curling matches in progress, and the game was almost certainly being played in Scotland at this time.
Nothing is known about the origin of the Buittle club, but in February 1841, at Lochhill, there was a challenge match between the married ladies of Buittle against the unmarried - twenty ladies on each side, with a gentleman skipping for each side. The unmarried ladies won.
In the collection of The Stewartry Museum, Kirkcudbright.