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Thornhill

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Thornhill, a village in Morton parish, Nithsdale, Dumfriesshire. It stands, 225 feet above sea-level, within ½ mile of the Nith's left bank, and by road is 65 miles SSW of Edinburgh, 66 SSE of Glasgow, and 1 mile SW of Thornhill station on the Glasgow and South-Western railway (1850), this being 14¼ miles NNW of Dumfries and 28¼ SE of Cumnock Crowning a terrace or rising ground, it commands a magnificent view, and chiefly consists of a spacious main street, ½ mile long, which is planted with limetrees, and sends off three shorter streets at right angles. In the centre is a neat stone pillar or cross (1714), surmounted by a Pegasus and the Queensberry arms. On 19 Aug. 1803 Coleridge, Wordsworth, and his sister Dorothy 'passed through the village of Thornhill, built by the Duke of Queensberry, the " brother-houses" so small that they might have been built to stamp a character of insolent pride on his own huge mansion of Drumlanrig, which is full in view on the opposite side of the Nith.' But the late Duke of Buccleuch effected striking improvements in 1833 and after years; and Thornhill now has a post office, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments, branches of the British Linen Co. and Union Banks, a local savings' bank (1843), two good hotels, gas works (1841), water and drainage works (1867), a brewery, a bowling green (1832), a masonic lodge (1814) with a handsome hall (1834), the Nithsdale Agricultural Society (1827), small debt courts on the second Thursday of April, August, and Dec., and fairs on the second Tuesday of Feb., May, August, and Nov. o. s., and the last Friday of June, besides cattle and flower shows on the third Tuesday of Sept. Dr Grierson's Museum (1869-72) of natural history and antiquities is specially interesting for its relics of Burns. The parish church, ¼ mile NE, is a handsome Norman edifice of 1841, built at a cost of £3554, and containing 1200 sittings. There are also a U.P. church (1816; 480 sittings) and an Evangelical Union chapel (1874; 312). Joseph Thomson, the African explorer, was born at Thornhill in 1858. Pop. (1779) 325, (1791) 430, (1831) 1373, (1861) 1450, (1871) 1349, (1881) 1289, of whom 685 were females. Houses (1881) 259 inhabited, 14 vacant, 1 building.—Ord. Sur., sh. 9, 1863. See Dr C. T. Ramage's Drumlanrig Castle and Morton (Dumf. 1876).

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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