St John's Town of Dalry

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Looking south from St John's Town of Dalry
The fountain, Clachan Inn, the town hall and the A702/A713 junction in St John's Town of Dalry

St. John's Town of Dalry, usually referred to simply as Dalry, is a town in Dumfries and Galloway, in the historic county of Kirkcudbrightshire. It is located 16 miles (26 km) from Castle Douglas along the A713 road, and is at the southern terminus of the A702 road (to Edinburgh). It is located on an old pilgrimage route to Whithorn and St Ninian's Cave and named after the Knights of St John.[1] The town was the centre of the 1666 Pentland Rising [2] The village is sited on a bend of the Water of Ken,[3] about 3 miles (4.8 km) from the northern edge of Loch Ken.[4]

Parish Church (Church of Scotland ) of 1831 by William McCandlish approached via an avenue of lime trees said to have been planted in 1828.

Detached, at side of the kirk is the Gordon Aisle of 1546, the burial place of the Gordons of Lochinvar.

St. Johns Town makes a good base for exploring the surrounding region, the Southern Upland Way, and the nearby Galloway Hills, including the peaks of Corserine and Cairnsmore of Carsphairn. St. Johns Town of Dalry was recently named 'Bird Town', to celebrate the work of renowned bird artist and writer Donald Watson who lived in Dalry for many years.[5]

Climate[edit]

In common with the rest of the country, Dalry benefits from a climate classified as Oceanic (Köppen Cfb), encompassing cool summers and mild winters with year round rainfall. Temperature extremes at Glenlee, under 1 mile to the South West, have ranged from 31.0 °C (87.8 °F) during July 2005[6] to −18.3 °C (−0.9 °F) in both January 1940[7] and December 1995.[8]

Climate data for Glenlee 55m asl, 1971-2000, extremes 1960- (Weather station 1 mile (2 km) to the SW of Dalry)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.3
(55.9)
14.1
(57.4)
18.3
(64.9)
24.0
(75.2)
27.0
(80.6)
28.9
(84)
31.0
(87.8)
29.3
(84.7)
25.8
(78.4)
21.8
(71.2)
15.7
(60.3)
13.9
(57)
31.0
(87.8)
Average high °C (°F) 6.4
(43.5)
6.8
(44.2)
8.9
(48)
11.8
(53.2)
15.5
(59.9)
17.6
(63.7)
19.4
(66.9)
18.9
(66)
15.8
(60.4)
12.6
(54.7)
8.9
(48)
7.0
(44.6)
12.5
(54.4)
Average low °C (°F) -0.0
(32)
0.2
(32.4)
1.5
(34.7)
2.5
(36.5)
4.8
(40.6)
7.8
(46)
9.9
(49.8)
9.5
(49.1)
7.4
(45.3)
4.9
(40.8)
1.8
(35.2)
0.5
(32.9)
4.2
(39.6)
Record low °C (°F) −18.3
(−0.9)
−15.6
(3.9)
−13.9
(7)
−6.7
(19.9)
−5.3
(22.5)
−1.7
(28.9)
1.1
(34)
0.0
(32)
−3.6
(25.5)
−6.0
(21.2)
−11.3
(11.7)
−18.3
(−0.9)
−18.3
(−0.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 206.96
(8.148)
145.79
(5.7398)
144.68
(5.6961)
87.37
(3.4398)
80.86
(3.1835)
78.64
(3.0961)
81.66
(3.215)
104.24
(4.1039)
139.27
(5.4831)
183.65
(7.2303)
183.11
(7.2091)
207.33
(8.1626)
1,643.56
(64.7073)
Source: Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute/KNMI[9]

Notable people from Dalry[edit]

  • John Johnston 1791-1880 , a farmer born in nearby Knocknalling, is credited with introducing agricultural drainage to the United States.
  • Prof William Young Sellar FRSE, LLD (1825-1890) Classics Professor University of Edinburgh. Son of Patrick Sellar. Lived and died at Kenbank, Dalry.[10] Buried in Dalry Churchyard.
  • Sir Halliday Macartney, 1833-1906. Military surgeon, diplomat in the Chinese Government. Lived and died at Kenbank in Dalry. Buried at Dundrennan Abbey.
  • William Robert Gourlay (1874- 1938) MA , ICS, C.I.E 1917. Indian Civil Service, Private Secretary to Governor of Bengal. Lived in retirement and died at Kenbank, Dalry. The library in Dalry was presented to the town by Mrs Gourlay and named the W.R.Gourlay Memorial Library to the honour of her late husband who had been library chairman between 1928 and 1938. [11]
  • Henry John Dobson ARCA, RSW (1858-1928) Genre painter. Lived and worked in Dalry. His studio is now the public library. Father of artists David Cowan Dobson and Henry Raeburn Dobson.
  • Allan Stewart, artist, (1865-1951) lived and died at Rose Cottage, and is buried at Dalry Kirkyard.
  • Donald Watson, artist, (1918-2005) was a Scottish ornithologist and a wildlife artist and writer, lived here for over 50 years.[12]He is buried in Dalry Kirkyard.
  • Hugh Foss 1902-1971, cryptographer and Scottish country dance deviser, worked on the Enigma machines at Bletchley Park during World War II. Lived at Gleddarroch in the town from his retirement in 1953 until his death in 1971. Buried in Dalry Kirkyard.
  • Neil Gunn 1891-1973, novelist, lived at Kenbank from the age of 12 before moving to London in 1907 to enter the Civil Service.[13]
  • Cedric Thorpe Davie, composer and teacher, being professor of music at St. Andrews University, bought Rose Cottage in 1959 initially for holidays (of which he spent as many as possible here with his family), and retired here in 1977. He died at Rose Cottage on 18 January 1983.[14]
  • Dr. Joseph Rhymer BA.; M.Th.; Th.D died 2009, author of 14 books on theology including, The Illustrated Life of Jesus Christ.[15] Lived at Grayrigg in the town and is buried in Dalry Churchyard.
  • Sir Alex Fergusson (1949-2018), Scottish Conservative Member of the Scottish Parliament and Presiding Officer (2007-2011), lived and farmed near Dalry.
  • George Thompson, Catholic priest, teacher. MP for Galloway, SNP 1974-1979. Maintained his family home and lived there in his retirement. Died in 2016 and is buried in Dalry Churchyard.
  • Colin Douglas (novelist) MBE born 1949, author of a series of novels following the career of a young Edinburgh medical graduate from the late 1960s into the 70s beginning with The Houseman's Tale, which was adapted for BBC Television in 1986. Lived in Dalry.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.scottish-places.info/towns/townfirst[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Jack Hunter, The Upper Glenkens. Stenlake Publishing 2001
  3. ^ The Topographical, Statistical, and Historical Gazetteer of Scotland. Vol 1: A-H. Edinburgh: A. Fullarton. 1845. p. 304.
  4. ^ St John's Town of Dalry Feature Page on Undiscovered Scotland
  5. ^ Bowles, Judith; Green, Steve; Crofts, Roger (December 2009). "Watson Bird Centre and Celebration: Scoping and Feasibility Study" (PDF). Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  6. ^ "2005 temperature". KNMI.
  7. ^ "1940 temperature". UKMO. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013.
  8. ^ "1995 temperature". KNMI.
  9. ^ "Glenlee Climate". KNMI. Retrieved 5 Nov 2011.
  10. ^ Lang, Andrew; Curthoys, M. C. "Sellar, William Young (1825–1890)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/25056. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  11. ^ The India List and India Office List. London: Harrison and Sons. 1905. p. 16.
  12. ^ Rollie, Chris (23 April 2012). "Donald's Biography". Watson Birds. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  13. ^ Bold, Alan Norman (1989). Scotland: A Literary Guide. Routledge. pp. 76–. ISBN 978-0-415-00731-3.
  14. ^ Wright, David C.F., Cedric Thorpe Davie (1913-1983) (PDF)
  15. ^ Rhymer, Joseph (1991). The Illustrated Life of Jesus. Grove Publications.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°06′22″N 4°09′54″W / 55.106°N 4.165°W / 55.106; -4.165