Tongland Abbey, a medieval Premonstratensian monastic community, existed here during the Middle Ages. The remains of this may still be seen together with a church, which is in a state of disrepair. The Dee is crossed shortly downriver by Tongland Bridge, a stone arch bridge constructed in 1806 by civil engineer Thomas Telford. Telford was assisted in the Works by resident civil engineer, A Blane.
Since the 1930s, Tongland has been the site of a hydro-electric power station, part of the Galloway Hydro Electric Scheme. The station used to be open to visitors during the summer months, since 2007 this has no longer been the case. Slightly earlier, between 1921 and 1922 'Galloway' cars were made in Tongland in a First World War factory staffed mainly by female apprentice engineers. The Galloway Engineering Co. factory was originally completed in 1917 and was powered by its own hydro-electric scheme on the Dee.
Since 2004, there have been several construction projects, with the site of a former garage now home to three new houses. There are also several more houses being constructed. In 2006, street lights were installed along the A711 which passes through the village.
- Joe Dobson, co-founder of Interflora was born in Tongland in 1875.
- Glover, Julian (2017). Man of Iron - Thomas Telford and the Building of Britain. London: Bloomsbury. p. 363.
- Clarsen, Georgine (1 September 2003). "'a fine university for women engineers': a Scottish munitions factory in world war I". Women's History Review. 12 (3): 333–356. doi:10.1080/09612020300200363. ISSN 0961-2025.
- "Galloway Motors Limited. Tongland Engineering Works to be closed down". Kirkcudbrightshire Advertiser and Galloway News. 3 March 1922.
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