Gatehouse of Fleet
Gatehouse of Fleet (Scots: Gatehoose o Fleet Scottish Gaelic: Taigh an Rathaid) is a town in the Civil Parish of Girthon, Kirkcudbrightshire, within the District Council Region of Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, which has existed since the mid-18th century, although the area has been inhabited since much earlier. Much of its development was attributable to the entrepreneur James Murray's decision to build his summer home, Cally (now a hotel), there in 1765.
Over the next hundred years, the town developed into a centre for industry, particularly cotton mills. The western approach to the town is dominated by the imposing Cardoness Castle. Gatehouse of Fleet is the birthplace of Victorian artist John Faed. The renowned inventor of clockwork mechanisms, Robert Williamson, was also known to have set up a workshop in the town in 1778, which burned to the ground (and claimed his life) in 1794.
The town takes its name from its location near the mouth of the river called the Water of Fleet which empties into Wigtown Bay at Fleet Bay, and its former role as the "Gait House" or "the House on the Road on the River Fleet" or toll booth of the late 18th century stagecoach route from Dumfries to Stranraer, now the A75 road. It was a haven along this route, and travellers would often stop in the area rather than furthering the journey at night due to the high numbers of bandits and highwaymen at the time.
Gatehouse has the second oldest average population of towns in Scotland.[clarification needed]
- Joe Ansbro the rugby player was raised near Gatehouse of Fleet and schooled at Gatehouse Primary School.
- Katrina Bryan, the "Nina" of the CBeebies show Nina and the Neurons, was born in the town in 1980.
- John Faed, James Faed, Thomas Faed, Boab Patterson-Faed and Susan Bell Faed, members of the celebrated family of Victorian artists, were all born at Barlay Mill Royal Infirmary, Gatehouse of Fleet
- Catherwood Learmonth FRSE (1896-1981) spent his early life here
- Hamish MacInnes, the well known mountaineer and pioneer of mountain rescue in Scotland was born in the town in 1930.
- Sir John McMichael FRSE (1904-1993), Professor of Medicine at Hammersmith Hospital, London, Director of the British Postgraduate Medical Federation and a trustee of the Wellcome Trust, was born in the town.
Gatehouse of Fleet sits at the bottom of the Fleet Valley National Scenic Area (NSA). Cairnsmore of Fleet National Nature Reserve (NNR) is located at the top of the Water of Fleet catchment (info. http://www.nnr-scotland.org.uk/cairnsmore-of-fleet/). Garries Park is central to Gatehouse of Fleet. There is a restored mill next to the River Fleet, "The Mill on the Fleet." The road also leads to an attraction of historical significance, Cardoness Castle. Beaches near the town can be found at Carrick and Sandgreen. The Cream o' Galloway offers a major visitor attraction. The Clints of Dromore near the old Gatehouse of Fleet railway station provide good rock-climbing,
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