Posted by: Jim Bell | March 12, 2011

Gatehouse of Fleet in 1803

GATEHOUSE of FLEET; a village in the parish of Girthon, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright. It is quite of modern erection, the first house being built about 40 years ago, to serve as an inn for the accommodation of travellers from Dumfries to Portpatrick. The situation is one of those seemingly intended by nature as a seat of a town; in a beautiful and fertile vale; by the side of a fine river, so near the Solway Frith as to be easily rendered navigable to merchant vessels; in a neighbourhood where every article of provision could he had at a cheap rate. With these advantages, it is no wonder that Mr. Murray, the proprietor, should have promoted the erection of a village. Accordingly, he built his elegant mansion of Cally, and invited inhabitants to settle and form a village, about a mile distant, by offering very advantageous terms of feu. It is built on a regular plan, consisting of 3 streets, running parallel to the river Fleet; over which there is a handsome bridge, communicating with a suburb on the western side of the river. In a short time the village rose to considerable size, is now more uniformly handsome in its buildings, and more pleasant in its situation, than any other town in Galloway. Soon it became a place of considerable trade, having a tannery, several cotton works, and 8 or 10 vessels belonging to the port. In 1795, it was erected into a burgh of barony, under the superiority of Mr. Murray, with power to hold a weekly market, and several fairs. It has a public library, established on a liberal plan, to which most of the inhabitants are contributors. In 1795, it contained nearly 1200 inhabitants.

Gazetteer of Scotland 1803

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