Dorothee Pullinger and the Galloway Car

The Mill on the Fleet


Dr Nina Baker

Friday August 31st 2018 7.30 pm

Talks £2 (inc. refreshments)   Under 16s free

Excursion: Saturday 1st September

enquiries: or telephone 01557 814824

Excursions free but booking essential. All excursions taken at own risk



Mill on the Fleet, High Street, Gatehouse of Fleet

The Mill on the Fleet is a charity registered in Scotland: SCO19830

Rock Art in Kirkcudbrightshire

Jennifer Roberts has kindly submitted this item describing the experiences of the Kirkcudbright Rock Art Group.

The term rock art refers to marks and symbols that have been engraved or painted onto natural rock surfaces. In the UK engravings on rocks generally occur in the North of England and Scotland. One third of all known prehistoric rock art in the UK is found in Scotland. Almost all prehistoric carvings in Scotland are ‘abstract’ symbols, or motifs. The area around Kirkcudbright has a large concentration of prehistoric carvings. These motifs do not represent anything recognisable to us, consequently they are known as abstract rock art.

In September last year Dr Joana Valdez-Tullett gave a talk to the K.H.S. about the Scottish Rock Art Project (ScRAP) The website can be found at This is an informative website with an associated database that has been recently set up to record all the rock art sites in Scotland. The area around Kirkcudbright has hundreds of such sites. Rock art has been a sadly neglected area of academic research in the UK. Until recently the majority of sites had been recorded by dedicated and knowledgeable amateurs. In the Kirkcudbright area sites were recorded mainly by F.R.Coles in the nineteenth century and by Ronald Morris and Maarten van Hoek in the twentieth, and as such are recorded on Canmore, the database for Historic Environment Scotland. Many of these sites had been recorded in a detailed and careful way, but as there was no common recording method or a recognised way for doing this the records are not suitable for inputting on a database. ScRAP hoped to rectify this and provide a database that would have the information recorded in such a way that it was useful for research. To this end ScRAP have devised a generic way to record the sites. Each site in Scotland would be recorded systematically with a common written and photographic record. The photographic record will include a 3D image using photogrammetry. ScRAP also hopes to find and record new sites.

Although similar carvings occur throughout the Scotland, the north of England and Western Europe no one knows why these intriguing carvings were made, although there are many theories, some more outlandish than others. It is not known for certain when they were carved, although it is thought that most in the Kirkcudbright area, with the exception of those Trusty’s Hill, date from the Neolithic to Early Bronze Age, so are between 6000 and 4000 years old.   By far the most common type of carved symbol is the cupmark – a roughly circular hollow in the rock surface. Cupmarks are often surrounded by one or more concentric rings, and these motifs are known as cup and ring markings. Also common in this area are carved linear motifs, or grooves. There are also a wide range of variations on these simple motifs, such as rosettes (a circle of cupmarks surrounded by a ring), or pennanulars (a central cupmark surrounded by one or more incomplete rings). In some of the motifs it is possible to see tool marks, known as peck marks

Many of the carvings in this area are in situ, but some have been reused in buildings and in dykes. Some are also visible on the megaliths of Cairn Holy.

Continue reading…

The Camera, Social Networks and The Inaccessible, from the Nineteenth Century to the Present Day

The National Trust for Scotland is pleased to invite papers for the first Morton Photography Symposium, to be held on Tuesday 9th April, 2019 at Broughton House & Garden, Kirkcudbright:

 This symposium is inspired by a collection of photographs held at Broughton House in Kirkcudbright; the home of Scottish painter, Edward Atkinson Hornel.

Please send a proposed title and abstract of 200-300 words for a 20-25 minute paper to Ben Reiss at by Friday 12th October. Scholars at any stage of their career are encouraged to submit proposals. Any enquiries about delivering a paper or attending the symposium may also be directed to Ben at this address, or please phone 07864 918969.

Continue reading…


The Kirkyard trail continues to be a popular event during the summer in the town. The next trail will be your last chance to take part, so don’t miss out.

Although a little off the beaten track for many visitors, the setting and history of Kirkcudbright kirkyard makes it well worth seeking out. Up the hill and out of town on the Gelston Road, Kirkcudbright kirkyard occupies a tranquil location with outstanding views over Kirkcudbright and the River Dee. It is particularly important as the site of the original kirk of St Cuthbert, possibly built around 750-800 AD, which gave the present town of Kirkcudbright its name. It is also the site of the most southerly Viking burial in Scotland, of renewed significance now following the recent discovery of the Galloway Viking Hoard. There is much of historical interest besides this, not least the variety of gravestones and the individuals commemorated on them. Of particular note is the headstone of Billy Marshall – the ‘Gypsy King’ – which records that he lived to the age of 120. It is also said that he was legally married 17 times!

The walks are free and open to all. Guides from Kirkcudbright History Society will lead the walks and look forward to explaining more about the site’s fascinating history.

Meet at the kirkyard’s main gate.

An interested group during a recent walk

Wednesday August 15th 2.30pm

Kirkcudbright History Society

Contact details







A conference organised by the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society, in collaboration with The Crichton Trust


Past, Present and Future

Sunday September 16th 2018, The Duncan Room, Easterbrook Hall,

The Crichton, Dumfries

A conference organised by the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society, in collaboration with The Crichton Trust

The cost (non-returnable) is £25 per person (£10 for full-time students), including coffee, tea, and lunch. The deadline for registration is August 29 2018



If you would like a copy of the programme and entry form please contact

An electronic copy can be obtained from


The Scots in Australia

Following on from our talks by Donald Cowell and the recent research to be found in Featured Articles, this book might be of interest.

The Scots in Australia, 1788-1938 (1) (Scottish Historical Review Monograph Second Series) Hardcover – 17 Nov 2017

by Benjamin Wilkie (Author)

Despite their significant presence, Scots have often been invisible in histories of Australian migration. This book illuminates the many experiences of the Scots in Australia, from the first colonists in the late-eighteenth century until the hopeful arrivals of the interwar years. It explores how and why they migrated to Australia, and their lives as convicts, colonists, farmers, families, workers, and weavers of culture and identity. It also investigates their encounters with the Australian continent, whether in its cities or on the land, and their relationship with its first peoples; and their connections to one another and with their own collective identities, looking at diversity and tension within the Scottish diaspora in Australia. It is also a book about the challenges of finding a place for oneself in a new land, and the difficulties of creating a sense of belonging in a settler colonial society.

Dr Benjamin Wilkie is a Lecturer in Australian Studies and Early Career Development Fellow at Deakin University, Australia.



The Solway Military Coast Book

Sarah Harper has collated the research gathered by herself and Edwin Rutherford, to produce “The Solway Military Coast: A Story of Conflict, Courage and Community”. Using first-hand accounts, primary and secondary sources from newspapers, local museums and archives, this book highlights the impact of the Second World War on the Solway Coast area. It explores the stories of evacuees coming to the area, the MOD Depots at Eastriggs and Longtown, ICI Powfoot, the Gretna Bombing, RAF Annan and the introduction of Chapelcross Nuclear Power Station. The book is available at the museum for £9.95. Copies can be mailed for an additional £2.