Extracted from the Topographical, Statistical, and Historical Gazetteer of Scotland, Volume 2. Published in Glasgow in 1842.

The Parish of Lochrutton

LOCHRUTTON, a parish in the eastern division of Kirkcudbrightshire; bounded on the north-west by Irongray; on the north by Irongray and Terregles; on the east by Troqueer; on the south-east by Troqueer and New Abbey; and on the south west by Kirkgunzeon and Urr. Its form is nearly ellipsoidal, with a small angular protrusion on the south.

Its greatest length from east to west is 5½ miles; its greatest breadth is 4¼ miles; and its area is about 7,000 acres. Toward the south, the west, and the north-west, the surface is hilly; but elsewhere it is an arable valley, interspersed with knolls, mosses, and meadows. The whole prospect forms a kind of amphitheatre, and looks slopingly toward Dumfries, distant from the nearest part 3½ miles. The soil, though various, is, in general, a light shallow loam, either on white granite, or on a gravellish, and in many places a cold, springy bottom. Agriculture has walked very improvingly over it, and annually extracts from it a large surplus produce for exportation.

The hilly district was originally heathy; but, for the most part, it has completely exchanged its russet for deep green, or waving yellow. About 350 acres are moss, worth much in a district where fuel is expensive; and about the same number are marsh or woodland. A little east of the centre of the parish is Lochrutton, a lake, a mile in length, and half-a-mile in mean breadth, from which the district has its name. In the middle of it is a circular islet, about half-a-rood in extent, partly artificial, and everywhere covered with large stones, founded on a frame of oak planks, and thickly dotted in summer with flocks and nests of sea-gulls. The lake contains pike and perch, and emits a streamlet containing trout. Nearly 2 miles westward is a smaller lochlet called Deanston Loch. Merkland Well, long a celebrated and much-frequented spa in the parish, though now somewhat forgotten by whimsical fashion, is a strong chalybeate, effectual in agues and in dyspeptic and nervous disorders, and exceedingly light and very diuretic.

Limestone occurs, but of inferior quality. Shell-marl has been dug up in large quantities from the mosses. On a hill in the extreme east there is a Druidical circle of 9 stones and about 170 feet in diameter. The spot commands one of the richest and most extensive prospects in the east of Galloway. Vestiges exist of several peel-houses, some of which appear to have been surrounded with a fosse. One of them very ancient and called Castle-of-Hills, in a Scottish Chronicle of the reign of James VI., is still entire. On the corner-stone of a porter's lodge attached to it, as a modern excrescence, is the date 1598.

The Dumfries and Portpatrick mailroad runs across the parish near the northern boundary; and other excellent roads traverse it. Population, in 1801, 514; in 1831,650. Houses 114. Assessed property, in 1815, £4,174.

Lochrutton is in the presbytery and synod of Dumfries. Patron, the Duke of Buccleuch. Stipend £182 6s. 4d. ; glebe £15. Schoolmaster's salary £30, with £10 10s. fees, and £5 10s. other emoluments. There is a private school. The parish was anciently a vicarage under, first, the nunnery; and next, the collegiate church of Lincluden.