Castle Douglas

(Causewayhead, Carlingwark)
Dumfries and Galloway

Clock Tower, Castle Douglas
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Clock Tower, Castle Douglas

A small market town in the Stewartry, Dumfries and Galloway, Castle Douglas lies on the edge of Carlingwark Loch, 18 miles (29 km) southwest of Dumfries. Previously known as Causewayend and later Carlingwark, the settlement was rebuilt on a grid pattern and renamed in 1789 by Sir William Douglas of Gelston (1745 - 1809) who obtained a charter for his burgh two years later in 1791. Castle Douglas began to prosper as a post town with a cotton mill, a foundry, a branch of the Paisley Union Banking Company and a fair. In the 19th Century, the town became the principal livestock market for Galloway. During the 20th Century it developed as a tourist and local service centre, its through railway having operated between 1859 and 1965. In addition to a livestock market (1900), modern industries include knitwear and the manufacture of dairy equipment. Castle Douglas benefits from a fine Town Hall (1863), a library and art gallery, post-office, swimming pool, the Lochside Theatre, Castle Douglas High School (1958), a primary school (2009), community education centre, fire station, community hospital, three churches and a large supermarket on the site of the former railway station on the northern edge of the town. Also noted for its restaurants and independent shops, Castle Douglas has been branded as 'Food Town' since 2010 and has an annual Food Town Day in June. It is the headquarters of the Galloway Cattle Society and has a 9-hole golf course. Football is played at Meadow Park, while Lochside Park overlooks Carlingwark Loch and lies alongside Lochside Caravan Site. To the northwest is the Stewartry rugby ground and the Abercromby Industrial Park.

Nearby stand the ruins of Threave Castle (14th century tower on an islet in the River Dee, 1½ miles (2.4 km) west) while the Threave Estate (National Trust for Scotland) covers some 24 ha (60 acres) of parkland, and the Threave Wildfowl Refuge (National Trust for Scotland) on the River Dee attracts several varieties of geese and ducks.

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