Parton, Dumfries and Galloway

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Coordinates: 55°00′29″N 4°02′31″W / 55.008°N 4.042°W / 55.008; -4.042

The village of Parton

Parton is a hamlet situated on the banks of the River Dee in the historical county of Kirkcudbrightshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Notable buildings[edit]

Parton Row is the name of the cottages rebuilt in 1901 by the laird, Benjamin Rigby Murray, of Parton House. One was used as a library and reading room.  The clock tower was added to an existing byre but later converted to a communal laundry. In later years the building nearest the hall was the village shop and post office and was the home of Sam Callander (1922 - 2012), who devoted much of his life to promoting the memory of Maxwell.

Murray also built the village hall in 1908 with the motto over the entrance " Floreat Partona ".

Parton railway station was part of the Portpatrick line, but closed in 1965. The station building was converted as a private house.

Parton Kirk[edit]

Parton Kirk is by Walter Newall and was built in 1832-33. Of the old church of circa 1593 only the east gable wall survives and serves as part of the burial enclosure of James Clerk Maxwell and his wife Katherine Clerk Maxwell and the Rigby-Murrays of Parton. The oak pulpit  from Old Parton Church dated to 1598 is now in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. It bears the initials 'I.G.', for John Glendonwyn of Parton, patron of the parish church whose arms are included in the carved decoration. [1]

Prominent mathematical physicist James Clerk Maxwell lived at the nearby Glenlair House. He was famous for developing formulae governing electricity and magnetism as well as the Maxwell distribution in the kinetic theory of gases. He is commemorated by a monument beside the Parton war memorial in front of the church.

Also buried in the kirkyard is Maxwell's father John Clerk Maxwell of Middlebie and Elma Yerburgh (1864–1946)[2] of the Thwaites Brewery family from Blackburn, who lived at nearby Barwhillanty.[3] Here also is buried Dr David Summers (1947- 2009) Physicist and poet of Napier University, Edinburgh. [1] [2] Dr Summers lived in Parton Row.


  • Airds of Parton, by Peddie and Kinnear, architects, 1884, former home of Sir Arthur Henniker Hughan, MP for Galloway. [3]
  • Barwhillanty, by architect A Thompson 1887, home of the Yerburghs of the Daniel Thwaites brewing family. [4]
  • Glenlaggan, home of the Sanderson family, stood on an elevated spot overlooking Loch Ken, demolished 1950s. [5]
  • Glenlair, home of James Clerk Maxwell. House by Walter Newall 1830, for John Clerk Maxwell additions by Peddie and Kinnear,1884. Partially destroyed by fire 1929, undergoing restoration by the Glenlair Trust. [6]
  • Parton House, formerly the seat of the old Catholic Glendonwyn family and later the Rigby-Murrays. Visited by Robert Burns and his friend John Syme on their first Tour of Galloway on 27 July 1793. [7] 18th century mansion replaced with Victorian mansion of 1884, demolished 1966, modern house on site. In the grounds are the remains of the Catholic domestic chapel and priest's house. [8]

James Clerk Maxwell[edit]


  1. ^ "Pulpit of oak from Parton Church". National Museums of Scotland. n.d. Retrieved 2019-02-24.
  2. ^ "Monumental Inscriptions at Parton Kirkyard". Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  3. ^ "The Woodfold Estate". Documents relating to the Woodfold Estate, Pleasington, Blackburn. The National Archives. Retrieved 13 February 2011.

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