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LANGHOLM - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]

"LANGHOLM, a parish containing a post town of its own name, in the district of Eskdale, county Dumfries, Scotland, 25 miles N.E. of Dumfries. It is 8 miles long, and its greatest breadth is about 6½ miles. The parish is hilly and fertile, and chiefly consists of sheep farms. The river Esk, which intersects it, is swelled by the Tarras water, Ewes water, and Wauchope water. There are three mineral springs in the neighbourhood. Here greywacke slate is worked, and lead is found in parts of the district. The parish is the seat of a presbytery, in the synod of Dumfries. The minister's stipend is £289. The church, erected in 1846, is a substantial edifice. The other places of worship are, one Free church, two United, and three Presbyterian churches. There is an endowed school, a parochial, and seven other schools. This parish and the adjoining ones of Canonbie, Ewes, Westerkirk, and Eskdalemuir, are known as the "five kirks of Eskdale." The present parish comprehends the ancient parishes of Wauchope and Staplegordon. Langholm Castle, now in ruins, was formerly the property of the Armstrongs, the border freebooters. It was on "Langholm Holm" that, when going' to meet King James V., Johnnie Armstrong and his "gallant company" of thirty-six men "ran their horse and brak their spears." Wauchope Castle, the foundation of which only remains, was the first seat of the Lindsay family in Scotland. Coins of the reign of Nero, Vespasian, Otho, and Domitian have been discovered in the district. The following are among the natives who have distinguished themselves: Admiral Sir Thos. Pasley, under Earl Howe, in the sea fight of the 1st June, 1794; Wm. J. Meikle (1734-89), translator of "Camoens' Lusiad"; Thomas Talford, the engineer; Sir Pulteny Malcolm, the admiral; General Sir John Malcolm; and Dr. David Irvine, who wrote the "Life of George Buchanan." The town of Langholm is situated on the river Esk, and the ancient Watling Street, near the Border. It is a railway station on the North British line, being connected to the main line by a branch from the Riddings station. The town is built on the Edinburgh and Carlisle road, and is composed generally of good stone houses, roofed with slate. A stone bridge of three arches connects the ancient or eastern portion with New Langholm, the latter having been founded in 1778. In the market place of the old town stands the townhall, gaol, and county police station, ornamented with a neat spire and clock, near which is a statue of Admiral Sir Pulteny Malcolm, and in the neighbourhood of Langholm Hill an obelisk has been erected in honour of his brother, General Sir John Malcolm. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the weaving of checks and plaids, and the manufacture of woollen yarn. The Eskdale Advertiser is published here once a month. There are offices of the National, the Western, and the British Linen Company's banks; a savings-bank, insurance agencies, two distilleries, a brewery, dyehouse, tannery, and several good inns, also friendly, farming, and other societies, together with a subscription library. By a charter dated the 7th April, 1643, the town was made a burgh of barony. The government is vested in a baron bailie appointed by the Duke of Buccleuch, who is superior. Sheriffs, small-debt, and justice of peace courts are held at stated periods. The Duke of Buccleuch is the chief landowner. The market day is Wednesday; the fairs are held on the 16th April, the last Tuesday in May (old style), the 26th July (for lambs), 18th September, and in November; also two hiring days-one in May, the other in November."

"STAPLE-GORDON, an ancient parish of the county of Dumfries, Scotland, now joined to Langholm."

"WAUCHOPE, an ancient parish, county Dumfries, Scotland, now joined to Langholm."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]