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New Galloway, Kirkcudbrightshire

Historical Description

GALLOWAY, NEW, a royal burgh, in the parish of Kells, stewartry of Kirkcudbright, 19 miles (N. by W.) from Kirkcudbright, and 25 (W.) from Dumfries; containing 403 inhabitants. This place, which is of no very great antiquity, is situated on the west bank of the river Ken, about a mile north of Kenmure Castle, the ancient seat of the family of Gordon, Viscounts Kenmure and Lords of Lochinvar, whose titles were forfeited in 1715, were restored by act of parliament in 1824, and became dormant on the death of Adam, ninth viscount, in 1847. Over the river is a handsome bridge of granite, comprising five arches; the central arch has a span of ninety feet. The town consists chiefly of one main street, from which diverge two smaller streets, extending along the roads from Kirkcudbright to Newton-Stewart and to Dumfries. The houses are but of indifferent appearance, and the inhabitants are mostly occupied in the various handicraft trades requisite for the accommodation of the neighbourhood. There are several shops, and three good inns; a branch of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Bank has been established, and facility of communication is maintained by the turnpike-roads, and other roads which are kept in good repair. Four fairs of some importance were formerly held here, and those in April, at Midsummer, and at Hallowtide are still tolerably attended, but chiefly for hiring servants. The inhabitants received a charter from Charles I. dated 15th January, 1629, by which all the privileges of a royal burgh were conferred on the town, and the government was vested in a provost, four bailies, a dean of guild, a treasurer, and twelve common-councilmen; but in 1708, by an act of the Convcnticm of Royal Burghs, the corporation was made to consist of a provost, two bailies, a treasurer, and council of fifteen. Courts are held by the sheriff and justices of peace on the first Monday in every month. The town-hall, attached to which is a gaol for debtors and criminals, is situated in the main street, and has a steeple with a clock. New Galloway is joined with Wigtown, Stranraer, and Whithorn, in returning a member to the imperial parliament; the constituency, however, does not exceed fourteen.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 1851 by Samuel Lewis