Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Troqueer

Troqueer, a parish of E Kirkcudbrightshire, containing the burgh of Maxwelltown. It is bounded N by Terregles, E by Dumfries and Caerlaverock, SW by Newabbey, and W by Lochrutton. Its utmost length, from NNW to SSE, is 8 ½ miles; its utmost breadth is 47/8 miles; and its area is 19 ½ square miles or 12, 448 acres, of which 567 ¾ are foreshore and 112 water. The Nith here broadening to a tidal estuary, curves 83/8 miles south-by-eastward along or near to all the Dumfriesshire border; Cargon Water and Crooks Pow run across the interior to the Nith; and March Burn, with continuation to the Nith by NewAbby Pow, traces most of the south-western boundary. The surface, generally level throughout the N and E, has yet some agreeable though gentle diversities, and from S to N attains 191 feet near Airds, 639 near Auchenfad House, 817 at Marthrown Hill, and 125 at Corbelly Hill. The last of these in particular, rising at the S end of Maxwelltown, and opposite the lower part of Dumfries, is a lovely eminence, crowned by the fine convent and church (1881-84) of the Immaculate Conception, and commanding a delightful prospect. The congregation of burghal buildings spreads away from the hill's base, sectioned off into two bodies by the river, yet united by three bridges. The steeples, some churches, one or two civic buildings, Burns's mausoleum, and the gorgeous assembly of elegant monuments in the cemetery, look out from among the general mass, and challenge individual attention. The Crichton Institution stands on an undulating declivity below the town; and a profusion of mansions, villas, and cottages ornees are scattered over the face of all the burgh's environs on either side of the river. A broad and luxuriant valley stretches away on the N till it becomes narrowed and shut in by cultivated hills, and overhung at the extremity by the conical form of Queensberry. The same valley, flattened down over much of its area into dead level, and cut into a sort of tesselated work of brown and green by Lochar Moss, is screened at 4 miles' distance on the E by a range of hills over which the plough passes yearly. The shining, silver-sheened Nith directs the eye southward among grounds rich as a garden, and points onward to the sombre, cloud-capped Criffel, the far expanse of the Solway Firth, and the blue dim outlines of Skiddaw and other Cumberland mountains. In all this there is nothing sublime, or even strikingly picturesque; yet there are a calm beauty and a certain rich fulness which completely win the heart and live most soothingly in the imagination. The general surface of the parish is naturally sectioned into three parts by three ranges of elevations, which extend parallel one to another, and at almost equal distances, like waves of the sea. The first range rises with a gradual acclivity from the Nith, lies all within the burgh-roods of Maxwelltown, and, in so far as not occupied by the streets of the burgh, presents a richly cultivated aspect. The tract between this range and the second is traversed from end to end by sluggish Cargen Water, and is all in a state of high culture. The second range rises to a greater height than the first, extends considerably farther to the S, and is likewise all under cultivation. A large portion of the tract between the second range and the third is either moss or meadow, in an unsightly state, but largely capable of reclamation. The third range is much higher than the second, extends from end to end of the parish, and is mainly under tillage, but partly occupied by extensive plantations. The predominant rock of all the ranges is mica slate, running into syenite, with occasional protrusions of granite; and the soil of both the slopes and level grounds is mostly fertile, but ranges in character from reclaimed moss to rich loam. The chief antiquity is a moat, or circular artificial mound, supposed to have been anciently a seat of courts of justice. Besides numerous villas of commodious and elegant character, the principal estates and mansions - all noticed separately - are Cargen, Carruchan, Dalskairth, Goldielea, Kirkconnell, Mabie,Mavis Grove, and Terraughtie. The present parish of Troqueer comprises the ancient parish of Troqueer and -the northern part of the ancient parish of Kirkconnell. The ancient church of Troqueer belonged to the abbey of Tongland, and passed in 1588 to William Melville, the commendator of that monastery, but was annexed in 1605 to the see of Galloway. The parish of Kirkconnell was suppressed in the reign of Charles I., and divided between Troqueer and Newabbey. Its church stood in the Troqueer section, 1 ½ mile NE of Newabbey village. The Rev. John Blackadder (161585), who figured conspicuously among the ministers ejected at the introduction of prelacy, was minister of Troqueer from 1652 till 1662. Giving off the quoad sacra parish of Maxwelltown. Troqueer is in the presbytery and synod of Dumfries; the living is worth £475. Its parish church, near the right bank of the Nith, 7 furlongs SSE of the centre of Maxwelltown, contains 840 sittings. Four public schools - Drumsleet, Lauricknowe, Maxwelltown, and Whinnyhill - with respective accommodation for 127, 300, 359, and 78 children, had (1884) an average attendance of 57, 284, 245, and 24, and grants of £54, 11s. 6d., £277, 4s., £238, 19s. 1d., and £22, 18s. 6d. Valuation (1860) £17, 509, (1885) £32,095, 12s. 8d. Pop. (1801) 2774, (1831) 4665, (1861) 4743, (1871) 5402, (1881) 5524, of whom 3454 were in Troqueer ecclesiastical parish.—Ord. Sur., shs. 9, 10, 5, 6, 1857-64.

(F.H. Groome, Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4); © 2004 Gazetteer for Scotland)

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a parish"   (ADL Feature Type: "countries, 4th order divisions")
Administrative units: Troqueer ScoP       Kirkcudbrightshire ScoCnty
Place: Troqueer

Go to the linked place page for a location map, and for access to other historical writing about the place. Pages for linked administrative units may contain historical statistics and information on boundaries.