- Published on Monday, 25 February 2013 08:43
- Written by Maggi Kaye
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Parton village is situated on the A713 about 8 miles north of Castle Douglas. It could be said to be at the south of the Glen of the Ken as the river Ken flows into the river Dee about half a mile north of the village. The name is said to come from the Gaelic meaning the Hill Top.
Parton village was there in the 1750’s and had a parish priest as early as 1296. The present village was built to house the workers in the slate quarry behind the village, which was worked from 1750 onwards with a break before 1870 when it was started up again. It closed again around the end of the 1890’s.
There have been a number of churches since 1296, the present one was built in 1834, and its graveyard is the burial place of James Clerk Maxwell. (See http://www.clerkmaxwellfoundation.org/) and http://www.glenlair.org.uk.
The village mainly consists of a row of houses along the main road and a few new houses on the site of the old station, a church and a village hall.
A flood in 1901/2 made it necessary to raise the level of the houses which were "But n’ Ben’s" until that time when they were made into their present 2 story style.
In 1902 the residents were artisans - there was a Post Office, Seamstress, Taylor, Joiner, Blacksmith and a Library. The present clock tower was a byre and pig house, then a washhouse.
The original school was up near the church. Later a school was built in 1868, in front of the quarry. This closed in 1964 when the children were sent to New Galloway School. The present church built in 1832, but the earliest minister recorded in the parish was in 1296.
The railway came in 1854, and it was possible to get on the train at Parton and get off at Euston station in London. The line ran from Stranraer to London and the late night train was known as the Irish Mail or “Paddy”. The line was closed in 1965. The station still exists as a private house, but the station masters house was demolished around the time the station closed.
Parton was condemned in 1965 as it only had outside toilets which were housed in a circular building in the centre if the gardens at the back of the houses. It was left by its owner to the Parton village trust who sold it to a developer for £2000 in 1970. The houses were modernised and two knocked into one as they had consisted of 2 up and 2 down with very small rooms. It is now mainly occupied by retired people or used as holiday houses.
When The Galloway Water Power Co started the hydro electric scheme in 1929 it was thought it would provide work for the locals but they would not work on it so Irish labour and out of work coal miners was brought in.
Parton has two motes, one near the church by the river side and the other in woodland on the left hand side of the back road that goes past the old school. See History