Thursday, 11 July 2013


Garlieston was started as a planned village in 1764 by the 7th Earl Of Galloway, Lord Garlies - hence the name - on the site of an earlier settlement called Cashwhill.  The new development included two elegant crescent-shaped streets along the seafront on either side of the Mill Bridge.  The village is on the Machars Peninsula, and the north side of the bay is dominated by Eggerness, a headland where there is an ancient camp with rock carvings.  The harbour used to be used by cargo vessels until the arrival of the railway, although the latter fell foul of Beecham's cuts.  Garlieston was once a thriving fishing port, but this activity is now greatly reduced, making way for yachts and leisure craft.  There used to be regular excursions from here to the Isle Of Man, this being the closest port in Scotland to the island. Today there are occasional trips to the island in the summer courtesty of Waverley Excursions. A short coastal walk over Cruggleton Cliffs leads to Cruggleton Castle, dating from the 12th century and now ruined.  The castle was an English garrison during the time of Robert The Bruce.  Later in its history it was captured by Edward I during the Wars Of Independence, then it was retaken by William Wallace.  The castle was abandoned in 1680.  Near Garlieston is the privately owned Galloway House, with gardens open to visitors.  The main features are a woodland garden with ornamental trees and shrubs and a walled garden. 

During World War II Garlieston was chosen as the location for sea-trials of the floating Mulberry harbours which were installed off the Normandy coast to supply the armies just after D-Day.  The reason for the choice was that the behaviour of the tides at Garlieston was very similar to that of Normandy.  Prototypes of the harbours were brought from Conwy in North Wales to be tested in Wigtown Bay.  There is a large stone next to the Village Hall in Garlieston commemorating the trials.

Map of the area. 

File:Garlieston - - 1281127.jpg
Photo by Leslie Barrie, via Wikimedia Commons

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