Port William  Wigtownshire


In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Port William like this:

Port-William, a small seaport in Mochrum parish, SE Wigtownshire, on the E side of Luce Bay, 7 miles WNW of Whithorn, 6¾ SW of Whauphill station, 11 SW of Wigtown, and 24 SE of Stranraer. Founded about 1770, by Sir William Maxwell of Monreith, in honour of whom it is named, it chiefly consists of a terrace-line of cottages, well built, slated, and fronting the sea, and has a neat appearance. ...

In 1788 a small barrack-house was erected for the accommodation of military, and of custom-house officers occasionally sent for the suppression of smuggling. The harbour, though small, is safe, and sufficiently commodious. On all sides but the S, it is well-sheltered by the land; on the S, it is defended by a artificial rampart or strong wall; and it easily admits vessels of 200 tons burden. The principal trade consists in the exportation of agricultural produce to England. The village has a post office, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments, a branch bank of the British Linen Co., 4 hotels, excellent sea-bathing, a good bowling-green, a masonic lodge, a Free church, a U.P. church, and a public school of recent erection. Pop. (1792) 210, (1841) 634, (1861) 884, (1871) 829, (1881) 755.—Ord. Sur., sh. 4, 1857.

Port William through time

Port William is now part of Dumfries and Galloway district. Click here for graphs and data of how Dumfries and Galloway has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Port William itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Port William, in Dumfries and Galloway and Wigtownshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 27th May 2022

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