Dumfries and Galloway Online

Dumfries and Galloway
This page: updated 27th August 2022

A few surprises about south west Scotland Facts about Dumfries and Galloway Dumfries and Galloway

A Few Surprises
Dumfries and Galloway

Dumfries & Galloway A Few Surprises

Geographical Surprises

  • Dumfries and Galloway is a mountainous region with many peaks over 2000 ft! “The Merrick” in the West is 2764 ft & “White Coomb” in the East 2696 ft. Scotland's highest village is Wanlockhead (1409 ft).
  • Scotland's most southerly point is The Mull of Galloway, further south than Hartlepool. On a clear day, Ireland, The Isle of Man and Cumbria are visible!
  • The coastline of Dumfries and Galloway stretches for over 200 miles.

It all started first in Dumfries and Galloway ...

  • The world's first Savings Bank, founded by Rev. Henry Duncan at Ruthwell -in 1810 - now a museum.
  • The world's first steamboat sailed on Dalswinton loch 1788 and legend has it that Robert Burns, the world famous Scots poet, was a passenger on the one and only voyage.
  • The world's first pedal cycle - Kirkpatrick Maemillan, Keir Mill 1838/40.
  • Britain's oldest working post office - Sanq'uhar 1763.
  • Scotland's first Christian Church - Candida Casa, Whithorn - was founded around 400 AD. St. Ninion was the first bishop.
  • Only Buddhist temple in Britain is the Tibetan Samye ling, at Eskdalemuir, Langholm, established in 1967 and officially opened In 1988.
  • The first penny newspaper in Scotland, founded in 1843, was the Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser.
  • The invention of the first successful milking machine with pulsators (now displayed at the South Kensington Science Museum) by Mr Nicholson, Bombie farm, Kirkcudbright, who then went to work for J. R. Wallace and Co., Castle Douglas, where the machine was developed for sale to the public.
  • The first operation in Europe under anaesthetic was carried out on 19th December 1846 by Dr. Scott at the original Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, Dumfries. Two days earlier than other claims!
  • The first nursing lectures in Great Britain (possibly In the world!) were given in 1854 at the Crichton Royal, Dumfries, six years before Florence Nightingale!
  • Dumfries & Galloway was the home of the first ostrich farmer in Britain! The first Scottish experiment in artificial insemination took place at Hoddom Castle!
  • The world's first submarine was made at N. E. 1, Cochrane, Newbie, near Annan.
  • Patrick Millar, of Dalswinton, designed the 'Carronade', an armament which later helped repel the French Navy. He also introduced'the threshing mill and drill plough to Scotland and was the first to feed cows on steamed potatoes! Furthermore, the first turnip seeds in Scotland were sent to him as a gift by King Gustav of Sweden - hence the name “swede” for turnips.
  • James Anderson of Dumfries, born in 1824, was the first man to lay transatlantic cables in 1866.
  • Thomas Watling, a forger from Dumfries before being deported to Botany Bay, was the first artist to portray Australia's wildlife and make, the earliest oil painting of Sydney.