St John's Town of Dalry

ST JOHN’S TOWN OF DALRY: NX6281

Dalry is built on the side of a hill, overlooking the River Ken. It is the largest of the villages in the Glenkens with a population of about 400 people. The road running up through the village is the A 702 which leads to Moniaive and Thornhill, the A713, which is the main road, passes through the bottom of the village and it is 16 miles north of Castle Douglas and 10 miles south of Carsphairn. Dalry was the ancient capital of the Glenkens. The present village dates from the late 18th century when the Earl of Galloway owned the land and like many ‘improving’ landowners of his time built proper cottages (as opposed to the but ‘ ben type) for trades people and craftsmen. In Dalry weaving was the occupation of many at one time.

In 1629 permission was given to erect a royal burgh in the barony of Earlstoun, and it was intended the this should be Dalry, known at the time as the Old Clachan or Old Galloway, as it was the natural centre for the area, located on the main highway and had the river ford. However there were problems and New Galloway got it in the 1630. Dalry continued to hold a market although this was illegal because only burghs were allowed to do so to protect the prosperity of the merchants trading in them.