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Stenlake Publishing - Old Castle Douglas

Old Castle Douglas

Author : Alastair Penman
ISBN : 9781840330359
Cover : paperback
Price : £10.95

The settlement now known as Castle Douglas has, over time, been known by many names including Causewayend, then later Carlingwark after the Loch beside which it sits. Built upon land once bestowed by Robert the Bruce upon the infamous 'Black Douglases', it was confiscated in 1455 by King James II after the Douglas family rebelled then taken over by the Maxwells, who first acted as stewards then later acquired the land rights for themselves. The land was later sold to the Gordon family and it was Sheriff William Gordon of Culvennan who, in the mid-19th century realised great wealth from the exploitation of marl (lime) deposits for fertiliser. He built a canal and made significant road improvements to and from the village and he feued parcels of land out to his workers. By 1789 the population numbered around 700 but alas, wealth is as easily lost as found and Sheriff William was bankrupted by the collapse of the Ayr bank and forced to sell the marl works and village to one William Douglas, a merchant adventurer, recently returned from the Americas. Aided by his personal fortune the town, which he named for himself, grew swiftly and building of a courthouse, a school and a prison were soon followed by the establishment of banks and a thriving business community. The town continued to thrive after his death in 1809 and by 1830 boasted a population in excess of 1000. The Georgian structure and buildings of the town can still be clearly seen today and the town continues to thrive as the capital of the Stewartyr of Kirkcudbright.

Old Castle Douglas