Historic old luce



Description of Old Luce parish in 1846

“LUCE, OLD, or Glenluce, a parish, in the county of Wigtown; containing 2448 inhabitants, of whom 890 are in the village, 10 miles (E. by S.) from Stranraer. This parish anciently included New Luce, the two places together forming the parish of Leuce or Glenluce, which was divided in 1646 into two parts, one called New, and the other Old. … The parish is ten miles long and eight miles broad, and contains 40,350 acres. …
The village [of Glenluce] is situated upon the road leading from Newton-Stewart to Stranraer. Corn and carding-mills are regularly at work; there are also a dye-mill and a flax-mill. Cattle-markets are held near the village, from April to December, on the first Friday in each month, and a fair in the month of May; there is a regular post in the village, and the mail from Dumfries to Portpatrick runs through it every day. Within two miles of it is a harbour in the bay, suited to receive small craft bringing coal and lime; but no larger vessels can approach this part of the shore. The ecclesiastical affairs are subject to the presbytery of Stranraer and synod of Galloway, and the patronage is in the Crown: the stipend of the minister is £158, of which nearly half is received from the exchequer, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £30 per annum. The church, erected in 1814, is a commodious edifice, and situated close to the village. The members of the United Secession have a place of worship. The master of the parochial school has a salary of £25. 13., with a house and garden; and his fees average between £30 and £40. There are several other schools, of which two are connected with dissenters, and one is supported by the Hay family.” – edited from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis, 1846.


source: http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/ sct/WIG/OldLuce


Dunragit’s name means ‘fort of Rheged’ (Rheged was a kingdom covering parts of Northern England and South West Scotland) and the fort allegedly looks over Piltanton Burn. Dunragit’s history is a long one and we have evidence of human habitation here dating back to the Stone Age. Relatively recent excavations found 3 huge concentric timber (as opposed to stone) circles with the largest being six times bigger than Stone Henge (yes, THE Stone Henge). The circular structure is thought to date from 2500 BC and can be found between Dunragit village and Droughduil Mote, though it is hard to see anything at all. Droughduil mote itself had some excavation work taken out on it and was found to date from a similar period as the timber circles – perhaps a viewpoint to look down on ceremonies taking place in the circles? Later in the villages history, Romans built their road through and it is thought there may be a Roman cemetery here. In the 18th century Dunragit’s core was Dunragit House and the main employer was the now abandoned creamery.

 source: http://www. visitstranraerandtherhins.co. uk/dunragit.html


In 1882-4, Frances Groome’s Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Dunragit like this:

Dunragit, a hamlet and a mansion on the W border of Old Luce parish, Wigtownshire. The hamlet lies near a station of its own name on the Castle-Douglas and Portpatrick railway, 3¼ miles W of Glenluce, and has a post and telegraph office. To the S of the station is the Mote of Dunragit, a roundish eminence, now overgrown with whins; and to the N, on the hillside, stands Dunragit House, a modern edifice, a seat of John Charles Cuninghame, Esq. of Craigends.


source: http://www.visionofbritain. org.uk/place/22084


The origins of Glenluce are closely associated with the story of Glenluce Abbey, which was founded in about 1192 by Roland, Lord of Galloway in the fertile valley of the Water of Luce a mile north of the site of the village you see today. He asked Cistercian monks from Dundrennan Abbey near Kirkcudbright to set up a daughter-house here. The abbey became extremely wealthy through agricultural development, and by 1400 it owned some 3,000 sheep. This brought wealth and business to the surrounding area, and a village grew up near the confluence of the Lady Burn and the Water of Luce.

The village was initially known as Ballinclach, or “stone village” and it was sufficiently successful to be made a burgh in 1496. The Reformation of 1560 brought an end to the active life of the abbey, and although the monks who accepted the new doctrines were allowed to live out their days in the abbey, local landowners rapidly began recycling the available stone into nearby building projects. One of the earliest of these was Castle of Park, built in 1590 on a bluff overlooking Luce Bay close to the west end of today’s Glenluce by Thomas Hay, who had been appointed to administer the lands and affairs of the abbey.

Ballinclach was formally re-chartered as a burgh in the name of Glenluce in 1705, by which time it was home to an important cattle tryst or market. From the 1760s the village stood on the route of the military road built from Bridge of Sark on the English border via Dumfries to Portpatrick. This passed through Glenluce and formed a junction here with the road running south east to Wigtown and north, eventually to Ayr.

The village also benefitted from the construction of a harbour at Stairhaven, on Luce Bay two miles to the south, and again when the railway arrived in 1861. The railway closed in 1965, and the main evidence of it today is the disused eight-arched viaduct over the Water of Luce just to the west of Glenluce.


Further information: http://freepages.history. rootsweb.ancestry.com/% 7Eainsty/parishes/glenluce/ glenluce2.html


source: http://www.undiscoveredscotlan d.co.uk/glenluce/glenluce/inde x.html

Registered Company SC538942
DTAS Member SE225
Registered Address: Public Hall, 22 Main St, Glenluce DG8 0PR

Old Luce Development Trust (OLDT) is a registered charity, SC049400, regulated by the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

01581 300767

Follow Old Luce on Facebook