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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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Dalbeattie, a thriving police burgh in Urr parish, SE Kirkcudbrightshire, standing, 80 feet above sea-level, on Dalbeattie Burn, 7 furlongs from its influx to Urr Water, with a station on the Glasgow and South-Western railway, 5¼ miles ESE of Castle-Douglas, 15½ NE by E of Kirkcudbright, 14 ½ SW of Dumfries, 108¼ SSW of Edinburgh, and 106¼ S by E of Glasgow. Founded as a mere village in 1780, this ` Granite City of the South, owes its quick recent extension to the neighbouring quarries of Craignair in Buittle, to the opening of the railway in 1860, and to its situation near the Urr, which, for large vessels, is navigable as high as Dub o' Hass, 5 miles to the S, and for small craft up to quite close to the town. It consists of a main street with others diverging, and has a post office, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments, a branch of the Union Bank, 11 insurance agencies, 4 hotels, a gas company, a town-hall with illuminated clock, a mechanics, institute (1877), a literary association, bowling and quoiting greens, masonic, oddfellows', and foresters, lodges, etc. There are extensive bone, paper, bobbin, saw, and flour mills, dye-works, an iron-forge, and concrete works; but Dalbeattie's chief industrial establishments are the great steam granite-polishing works of Messrs Newall and Messrs Shearer, Field, & Co., which employ several hundreds of workmen as quarriers, hewers, and polishers; have furnished granite for the Liverpool docks, the Thames Embankment, lighthouses in Ceylon, and the paving of many large cities at home and abroad; and, besides other monuments, supplied that at Hughenden to Viscountess and Viscount Beaconsfield. Hiring fairs are held on the second Tuesday of April and October. Dalbeattie forms a quoad sacra parish in the presbytery and synod of Dumfries, its minister's stipend being £300. A new parish church, Early English in style, with 900 sittings and a spire 130 feet high, was built in 1880 at a cost of £5000; and, at a cost of nearly £2000, a new Free church, Romanesque in style, was built in 1881. Other places of worship are a U.P. church (1818; 350 sittings), an Evangelical Union church, St Peter's Roman Catholic church (1814; 300 sittings), and Christ Church Episcopal (1875), another Early English edifice, with tower unfinished. A public, a female public, and a Roman Catholic school, with respective accommodation for 500,65, and 154 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 384,57, and 80, and grants of £327,11s. 2d., £47,2s., and £65,11s. Under the General Police and Improvement Act of 1862, the burgh is governed by a senior and two junior magistrates and six other police commissioners. Its municipal constituency numbered 750 in 1882, when the annual value of real property amounted to £9712. Pop. of burgh (1841) 1430, (1861) 1736, (1871) 2937, (1881) 3862; of quoad sacra parish (1881) 4132.—Ord. Sur., sh. 5, 1857.

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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