Travelling back in time with pictures of Castle Douglas

A new book by Mary Smith and Allan Devlin shows, through a fascinating selection of photographs, how Castle Douglas has changed throughout time.
Castle Douglas Through Time new book by Mary Smith and Allan DevlinCastle Douglas Through Time new book by Mary Smith and Allan Devlin
Castle Douglas Through Time new book by Mary Smith and Allan Devlin

The market town of Castle Douglas, beside Carlingwark Loch in the southern Scottish region of Dumfries and Galloway, is relatively new, though the area has been inhabited from prehistoric times and the Romans had a military base close by.

In the fourteenth century, Archibald the Grim, the third Earl of Douglas, built Threave Castle nearby.

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The town came into being thanks to fertiliser found in the loch and wealthy merchant William Douglas, who laid out the present town in 1792. Though his dream of creating a cotton industry failed, Castle Douglas became a flourishing market town. The opening of the rail line to Dumfries in 1859 improved the town’s connections.

Though the railway closed in 1965, the A75 trunk road ensured the town’s survival as a major stopping point for travellers.

Today, it is a major tourist destination, with many visitors using it as a base for exploring this beautiful part of Scotland.

All these changes are recorded in this unique and fascinating series of new and old photographs, making this book essential reading for anyone interested in the history of Castle Douglas.

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Mary Smith’s previous publications include fiction and non-fiction titles, such as Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan. She has also written for a number of local and national publications including the Dumfries & Galloway Life and The Herald.

Allan, whose photographs in the book bring the history and memories to life, spent most of his young life travelling around Scotland before settling in Dumfries and Galloway.

The book, the latest title in Amberley’s extensive and highly successful Through Time series, is due to be published on March 15. Priced at £14.99 it contains 180 illustrations in 96 pages.