"The physical appearance of the parish is varied. About three-fourths of it is mountainous, bleak, and heathy, with but a few spots devoted to tillage, or capable of producing corn. The remainder, chiefly on the south, though undulating, is rich, fertile, and susceptible of raising the best crops; but is chiefly occupied in grazing cattle.

The only village and market town in the parish is Gatehouse of Fleet, which contains, as prevoiusly mentioned, a population of 1377....

...In 1795, Mr Murray erected the town into a burgh of barony, to be governed by a provost, two bailies, and four counsellors, with the privilege of holding a weekly market on Saturdays, and an annual fair on the first Monday of June.

The late James Murray, Esq.. of Broughton, who, as shall soon be more particular stated, exerted himself to make Gatehouse a flourishing town, was the means of introducing the cotton manufacture into this place in 1790...

...The number of hands employed is above 200, of whom about a half are eighteen years and upwards...

...After the course of a few miles, this stream is joined by a similar small river, termed the Great Water of Fleet. From these the Fleet is formed, which, dividing Girthon from Anworth, discharges itself, after many windings, into the Fleet Bay, an estuary of the Irish Sea. This river is navigable for vessels of 160 tons burden, to the town of Gatehouse of Fleet, a distance of 3 miles..."

Girthon is bounded on the east by Borgue, Twynholm, and Balmaghie; on the north, by Kells and Minnigaff; on the west, by Kirkmabreck and Anwoth; and on the south, by the Irish Sea. Its length is 16 miles; its breadth varies from 2 miles on the south, to 5 miles towards the north..."


Rev. George Murray, Minister, New Statistical Account, Blackwood.



History, Kirkcudbright. The New Statistical Account of Scotland, 2nd Series, W Blackwood, 1845.



The Church Yard of Gatehouse has had pre 1855 monumental inscriptions transcribed and indexed. The index and transcribed inscriptions are included in a series of volumes that cover all of Kirkcudbrightshire. Gatehouse is in volume 3. Refer to the county page for additional details.



Presbyterian / Unitarian
Girthon, Church of Scotland
Secession churches (Scotland)
St Mary, Gatehouse of Fleet, United Presbyterian

Church History

"The parish church was situated, from the remotest date, about two miles south of Gatehouse, till 1818, when a new and substantial church, capable of containing 800 sitters, was built at Gatehouse...

The following table shows the relative proportions of the different sects of Christians in the parish, previously to the late disruption.

Established Church3731631
Reformed Presbyterian Church36
Associate Synod734
Roman Catholic23134

Not ascertained to belong to any sect - 32. Public worship in the parish is well attended. The number of Roman Catholics are visited periodically by the priest who is settled in Dalbeattie, in the parish of Urr, about twenty miles distant..."

Rev. George Murray, Minister, New Statistical Account, Blackwood.


Church Records

Church of Scotland records are held at the General Register Office in Edinburgh. Copies of the pairsh register on microfilm may be consulted in LDS Family History Centres around the world. Refer to the county page for additional details.

Records AvailableBaptismMarriageBurialReference
Church of Scotland1699-18551700-18541699-1735, 1823-1854OPR 866

Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Girthon which are provided by:






You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NX573626 (Lat/Lon: 54.937974, -4.229332), Girthon which are provided by: