Newton Stewart

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Newton Stewart
Cree Bridge.jpg
The River Cree with Newton Stewart beyond
Newton Stewart is located in Dumfries and Galloway
Newton Stewart
Newton Stewart
Newton Stewart shown within Dumfries and Galloway
Population4,092 (2011 Census)
OS grid referenceNX405655
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtDG8
Dialling code01671
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
54°57′29″N 4°29′31″W / 54.958°N 4.492°W / 54.958; -4.492Coordinates: 54°57′29″N 4°29′31″W / 54.958°N 4.492°W / 54.958; -4.492

Newton Stewart (Gd: Baile Ùr nan Stiùbhartach) is a former burgh town in Dumfries and Galloway, southwest Scotland. The town is on the River Cree with most of the town to the west of the river, and is sometimes referred to as the "Gateway to the Galloway Hills".[1]

The main local industries are agriculture, forestry and tourism. The town hosts a local market, and a number of services to support the farming industry. There are many mountain biking trails in the area. Newton Stewart lies on the southern edge of the Galloway Forest Park, which supplies a large amount of jobs to the town.

Newton Stewart FC, nicknamed the "Creesiders" play in the South of Scotland league, their ground is called Blairmount Park.


There are numerous nature trails nearby as part of Galloway Forest Park, managed on behalf of the state by Forest Enterprise. There is a local museum at St. John's Church, and a doll's house exhibition and a butterfly and tropical plant house nearby. The last two are no longer open for visitors. Newton Stewart is seven miles from Scotland's book town Wigtown.


The town was founded in the mid 17th century by William Stewart, fourth and youngest son of the 2nd Earl of Galloway. The "New Town of Stewart" was granted burgh status by charter from King Charles II, allowing a weekly market and two annual fairs to be held.

It was on a pilgrimage to the shrine of St Ninian at Whithorn in 1329 that Robert the Bruce forded the river where the present bridge stands.[2] Designed by John Rennie the Elder and built in 1813 the present bridge replaced the old bridge of 1745 which was destroyed by floods in 1806.

The industrialist Sir William Douglas (died 1809), best known for founding the planned town of Castle Douglas, also established cotton mills in Newton Stewart, which was temporarily renamed "Newton Douglas" in his honour.

Granite from the area was used in the construction of most major docksides in Britain.[citation needed]

Newton Stewart has also recently been twinned with the French town of Marcoussis.[citation needed]


The A75 road runs along the southern edge of the town, and connects the town to Stranraer in the west and Dumfries in the east. Public transport in and around the town and to places in South Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway is mainly provided by Stagecoach Western,[3] and local company James King Coaches.

Newton Stewart's railway station was on the Portpatrick and Wigtownshire Joint Railway and closed in 1965, as a result of the Beeching Axe.[4] The nearest railway stations are at Stranraer and Barrhill which are respectively 25 miles and 18.5 miles away from Newton Stewart.


Newton Stewart has three primary schools:

  • Penninghame
  • Minnigaff
  • St Ninian’s RC

The town has one secondary school, the Douglas Ewart High School.


The horror film The Wicker Man, set on the fictional privately-owned Scottish island of Summerisle, was filmed almost entirely (some opening scenes filmed in Plockton, Wester Ross also) on location around Newton Stewart, and had its premiere at its cinema in 1972.[5]

Notable people[edit]

The artist and musician Bill Drummond of the KLF and K Foundation grew up in the town.

Scottish Under 23 international footballer Ian Gibson 30 March 1943 – 25 May 2016, played for Middlesbrough, Coventry City and Cardiff City amongst others.

Educationalist Prof William Wither McClelland FRSE (1889–1968) professor of Education at St Andrews University.[6]


  1. ^ "Newton Stewart, Gateway to the Galloway Hills, Dumfries and Galloway South West Scotland". Retrieved 2014-07-28.
  2. ^ "Three Trails... One Tale" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-07-28.
  3. ^ West Scotland - Home Archived 2008-07-14 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ RAILSCOT | Chronology | Portpatrick Railway
  5. ^
  6. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X.