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Castle Douglas

(Causewayhead, Carlingwark)

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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Castle-Douglas, a town in the N of Kelton parish, Kirkcudbrightshire. Prettily situated at the N end of Carlinwark Loch, with a background of low rounded hills, it is the junction of three lines of railway-to Dumfries (opened 1860), Portpatrick (1861), and Kirkcudbright (1864)-being 19½ miles SW of Dumfries, 61 E by N of Portpatrick, 10¼ NNE of Kirkcudbright, 113½ SW by S of Edinburgh, and 111½ S by E of Glasgow. Till 1765 it was but the tiny hamlet of Causewayend, and its growth to the thriving village of Carlinwark was due to the famous marl-pits of the loch; in 1792, becoming the property of Sir William Douglas of Gelston, it was re-named by him Castle-Douglas, and was erected into a burgh of barony. Under an extended charter (1829), it elects triennially a provost, a senior bailie, and 7 councillors, the magistrates acting also as police commissioners; sheriff small debt courts sit in January, April, June, and September, and justice of peace courts on the first Monday of every month. An important market is held on Monday, and the following are the fairs throughout the year:-horses and hiring, 11 Feb. if Monday, otherwise on Monday after; hiring, 23 March, if Monday, etc.; hoggets, Monday before 24 April; hiring, Monday of June before Kelton-hill; lambs, Monday of August before Lockerbie; hiring, 23 Sept., if Monday, etc.; horses, Monday of November before Dumfries; and hiring, Monday of November after Martinmas. The town is laid out in regular squares, with a main, two back, and four cross streets; and it has a post office, with money order, savings' bank, insurance, and telegraph departments, branches of the Bank of Scotland, the British Linen Co., and the National and Union Banks, a savings' bank, 13 insurance agencies, 7 hotels, a fine bowling green, a tannery, a skinnery, an iron-foundry, a farming implement works, a mineral water factory, and a Friday paper, the Kirkcudbrightshire Advertiser (1858). A new town-hall was built of red freestone in 1862 at a cost of £1300, and besides a large hall, capable of containing from 500 to 600 persons, it has a reading-room and library of the Mechanics' Institute; the old town-hall, with a clock-tower, is occupied now as a billiard-room. Since 1873 a quoad sacra parish in the presbytery of Kirkcudbright and synod of Galloway, Castle-Douglas possesses six places of worship- the Established church (1868), a good Gothic edifice; King Street and Macmillan Free churches; a U- P. church (1870); St Ninian's Episcopal church; and St John's Roman Catholic (1867). Of the two Free churches, that in King Street is a recent erection, with a spire and a handsome stained E window; whilst Macmillan church is the former Reformed Presbyterian chapel, with the addition of a memorial spire. St Ninian's is a beautiful Early English structure, with tower and spire, completed and consecrated in 1874, but begun many years before; and St John's, too, has a spire 80 feet high. School B, at the head of Colton Street, was opened in 1877, shortly before which date School A, in Academy Street, was greatly enlarged- With respective accommodation for 300 and 173 children, these had (1880) an average attendance of 153 and 174, and grants of £151, 8s. 6d. and £161. There is also a Roman Catholic school, with accommodation for 66. Pop. (1841) 1847, (1861) 2261, (1871) 2274, (1881) 2490.—Ord. Sur., sh. 5, 1857. See chap. i. of Harper's Rambles in Galloway (Edinb. 1876), and pp. 34-39 of Maxwell's Stewartry of Kirkcudbright (Castle-Douglas, 1878).

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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