History Group 2 visit Gatehouse of Fleet

April 14th, 2017Comments Off on History Group 2 visit Gatehouse of Fleet

In April eight members of History 2 enjoyed a morning walk around Gatehouse of Fleet with local historian David Steel.  David is a knowledgeable and engaging guide who pointed out little seen details and put flesh on the bones of historical facts.

Entrepreneur James Murray of Broughton, had the town laid out on a grid plan just beyond the walls of Cally, his house, completed in 1765. The houses are mostly quite large for the time, but would have housed several families.  Before this, Gatehouse had simply been the Gait House on the route to Portpatrick .  Murray made Gatehouse a centre for the cotton industry and many developments ensued.  The mills were powered not by the river Fleet, but by water from Loch Whinyeon via lades, which can still be seen crossing Digby and Victoria Streets. The cotton mills converted to bobbin mills due to competition.  Other industries included a brass foundry, a brewery, brickworks, a soap factory and a tannery.

 

The town was doubtless a very different place 200 years ago, but it is hard to imagine it lived up to its nickname of the Glasgow of the South!

Our walk concluded with a most satisfactory lunch at the Mill on the Fleet.  

Thanks to Stewart for organising the walk and lunch!

 

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