"HOLYWOOD, a parish and post-office village in the district of Nithsdale, county Dumfries, Scotland, 2½ miles N.W. of Dumfries. It is a station on the Glasgow and South-Western railway. Its boundaries are formed by the county Kirkcudbright and the parishes of Dunscore, Kirkmahoe, and Dumfries. It is 10 miles long by 1½ mile broad. The surface is flat, and the soil good. The interior is traversed by the rivers Nith and Cluden, with their several tributary burns. The Glasgow and Dumfries road passes through the parish, and upon it stands the village. This parish is in the presbytery and synod of Dumfries. The minister has a stipend of £235. The church was built in 1779. Here are three parochial schools and a subscription library. The chief residences are, Newtonairds, Gribton House, Broomrig House, Cowhill House, and Portract House. Remains of Holywood Abbey existed as late as 1779, but they were subsequently used to furnish building material for the present church. It was a cruciform structure, supposed to have been founded in the 12th century by one of the Maxwell family. It was restored, and had a hospital added in 1372 by Archibald Douglas, Lord Galloway. Its site was that of the present burial-ground. The old bells now hang in the parish church. Here are remains of a Druidical oak grove and circle. The rivers abound in salmon and trout. Dr. Irvine, who invented the apparatus for rendering salt water fresh, was born here. Dr. Bryce Johnston was minister for many years."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]