New Galloway

New Galloway

New Galloway, is the smallest Royal Burgh in Scotland, was originally known as Roddings. The Royal Charter was confirmed in 1633, and this gave it the right to hold one market a week and 3 fairs each year, each one to last for the space of 3 days. It appears to have become a royal burgh almost by accident as the original charter was supposed to go to Dalry where there was already a market and it lay on the main road. However the burghers of Kirkcudbright opposed the granting of the charter to Dalry, claiming it infringed their liberties, so the plan was abandoned. There also seems to have been a problem to do with the tenure of Gordon of Lochinvar who eventually offered more land, this time at Roddings in the barony of Kenmure. Unfortunately, probably because of its location, never reached its potential as a thriving market town. Although it remained a small upland village it was represented in Parliament in 1633.

The present population is in the region of 340 people. It is situated on the A 712 and A 762, 3 miles south of Dalry, on the west bank of the river Ken. There is a primary school, a post office, 4 hotels, a community owned grocer, a restaurant, a tea-room/gift shop, a part time fire station, a garage, 2 churches, a town hall, a hairdresser and a 9 hole golf course.

Also found in New Galloway is The Glenkens Community & Arts Trust (GCAT), who have refurbished the old school to make it into a venue for exhibitions, training, concerts, plays, meetings and an information centre for the area, known as Catstrand – (opened 21st September 2007).

At one time New Galloway had a mineral well, which was much prescribed by Robert Trotter the well known Muir Doctor. Kells churchyard has a number of Covenanter’s gravestones and several other very unusual headstones. Robert Heron the historian and first biographer of Robert Burns was born in Creehead, New Galloway in 1764.

 In a field near the village at Dalarran Holm there is a standing stone, said locally to be the burial place of an ancient local chief. However an excavation in 1971 merely produce several chert and flint tools, probably dating to Mesolithic times. It consists of a slab of whinstone, just over 2m high and seems to have been a place from which the sun and stars were observed.

Along the A712 Queens Way, from New Galloway to Newton Stewart there are a number of interesting places to visit.

Clatteringshaws Reservoir was created during the building of the Galloway Hydro Electric Scheme (see Natural Power Production) to supply Glenlee Power station. The dam is the largest in the scheme. It flooded Raploch Moss, site of one of the battles fought and won by Robert the Bruce in 1307 in this area. A stone commemorating the battle has been moved to the side of the loch. There is a Visitor Centre, shop and tearoom, open throughout the summer, with information and interpretation about the Forest Park. Near Clatteringshaws Reservoir is the top end of the Raider’s Road (see Mossdale).

Other interesting places along this road are the Red Deer Park, the Goat Park, Glen of the Bar and Murray’s Monument details of which can be seen on Places to Visit.