From Wikishire
Jump to: navigation, search
Penninghame Pond - - 445802.jpg
Penninghame Pond
Grid reference: NX382697
Location: 54°57’28"N, 4°29’7"W
Postcode: DG8
Local Government
Council: Dumfries and Galloway
Dumfries and Galloway

Penninghame is a village and parish in Wigtownshire, 8 miles northwest of the county town, Wigtown. It sits beside the River Cree,

The parish is some 16 miles in length, and from 5 to 6 miles width, bounded on the north and east by the Cree and on the west by the Bladnoch, comprising nearly 38,000 acres, of which 12,000 were arable, 600 woodland and plantations, 1600 meadow, and the remainder hill pasture, moorland and moss.[1]

There are numerous nature trails nearby, managed on behalf of the state by Forest Enterprise. [2]

The village

The village of Penninghame was a township which existed before Newton Stewart was built and is therefore of some antiquity as the first few houses in Newton Stewart were built in 1677 by William Stewart. Newton Stewart was a planned village and eventually it superseded the "Clachan" (village). [3]

There has been a school in the Penninghame area for over 100 years. Also, Merton Hall has been considerably extended and altered over the years, previously being occupied as a school.

The church

The church of Penninghame belonged of old to the bishops of Galloway, who were the proprietors of Penninghame and had their chief residence at Clary, formerly called Clachary, less than a mile from the church. [3]

The recorded history of Penninghame Parish begins with the Mediæval Bishops of Galloway. The burial ground was used to 1777 when the church was closed and the new Penninghame Church was built in Newton-Stewart. [4]

Penninghame Old Kirk and Manse in ruins at the Clachan of Penninghame are shown on Ainslie's 1782 map. [5] The building showing in the back of the photo of the Clachan of Penninghame graveyard is said to be an old Inn. In 1877, a guide reports that the ruins of the Church were barely visible.

In the new churchyard a tombstone commemorates the Rev. Robert Rowan, minister of the parish, a friend and correspondent of the historian Robert Wodrow. Having studied at Glasgow College, he obtained licence to preach in July, 1695, and in the following year was ordained minister of Penningham (ten years after the persecution of Margaret Wilson). Taking deep concern in the affairs of the Church, he communicated to Wodrow minute accounts of the persecutions inflicted on his parishioners and others during the latter Stuart persecutions. He died on the 9th August 1714, in his fifty-fifth year, and the eighteenth of his ministry. [5]

Barony of Merton or Myrtoun alias Frethrid

In 1477 James III granted a charter of Merton Hall to John Kennedy of Blairquahan. [6] [7] [8]

On 1 March 1504-5 The terras et baroniam de Myretoun, cum turre, fortalicio (etc.) vic. (sheriffidom of) Wigtoun are in Registrum magni sigilli regum Scotorum AD1424-1513 (RMS) Vol.II, deed no.2829 p.601. Also in the same volume were deeds re the Barony of Myretoun sometimes shown as "Baronium de Frethird or Frethrid, vic. (sheriffdom of) Wigtown", pp.236-237 no. 1162; pp.272-3 nos. 1336 & 1337 (10 Dec 1477); and no.1654. [9]

On 27 Feb 1506 the Register of the Great Seal of Scotland records a charter p.624 no.2943, Gawino Kennedy de Blarequhan had terres et Baronium de Frethird.

On 20 June 1508, p.693 no.3245, Joh Kennedy de Blairquhan re Capella S. Ninian in baronia sua de Myrtoun alias Frethrid vic. Wigtoun. This St Ninian's chapel is just to the south of Glenhapple, Penningham, near Cruise of Cree and Penningham House. [10] [11]

10 January 1541 Barony of Martyn-Kennedy alias Frethrid, vic.(sheriffdom of) Wigtoun Gilbert Kennedy and his wife Margaret Cunninghame had these lands, recorded in R.M.S. vol.III, p.592 deed 2576. [12]

Viscount Boyd of Merton, of Merton-in-Penninghame in the County of Wigtown, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1960 for the Conservative politician and former Secretary of State for the Colonies, Alan Lennox-Boyd, 1st Viscount Boyd of Merton. As of 2010 the title is held by his eldest son, the second Viscount, who succeeded in 1983.

A bronze axe, now in the Stranraer Museum, was found in boggy ground at Merton Hall, about 2 miles west of Newton Stewart. Merton Hall is a category B Listed Building.


1 June 1557 - (lands of) Clarie / Clary and Over Bar [13] had previously been leased for 19 years by Bishop Andrew Durie to Walter Stewart of Barcly, as recorded in the book "Wigtownshire Charters" (Scottish Records Society) p.248 no.347. Also in this book, Penninghame was the usual residence of the Bishops of Galloway, Bishop Alexander Gordon of Clary died here in 1576. The 10 merkland of Grange of Penninghame, 5 merkland of Clarie, 5 merkland of Over Bar, 5 merkland of Barchelauchlyne (Barcly ?, AD1189 there was a Walter de Berchelay, chamberlain ), 5 merkland of Barquharrane, all lying in the Merse of Cree, were granted by bishop Alexander Gordon to Alexander Stewart of Garlies and Katherine Stewart spouses, and the 5 merkland of Carnestik and Polchullie (Polwillie ?) were feued to Mr. John Stewart and Egidia Gordon spouses.

Castle Stewart is north of Newton Stewart. Sir Alexander Stewart of Garlies and his 3rd wife, Catherine Stewart (dau of Water Stewart of Barclye / Barcly, see above) had a son, Anthony Stewart who was parson of Penningham and ancestor of Colonel William Stewart who purchased lands of Castle Stewart - formerly styled Kilcreuchie.[14] [15]

Colonel William Stewart bought the lands previously known as Calcruchie and built Castle Stewart. See ref. for plan of the Castle in "The Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland". by David MacGibbon and Thomas Ross, pub. 1892. pp.246-248 [16]

Skaith Mote

Skaith Mote is the site of a small timber castle of mediæval date.


The National Gallery of Scotland - Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, has - Bronze implements, (Sir Herbert Eustace Maxwell, 1885) lists (item 48) 8 x 21in. and (item 49) 2 x 21in bronze axes from Penninghame. [17]

There were between 1200 and 1500 ancient English coins found in a field in the Parish of Penningham, showing the heads of King Edward, King Alexander, etc. [18] Some minted in Bristol may have been about AD1280. [19]

Some places in north Penninghame which are of interest to archaeologists, [16] artists, and walkers on the Southern Upland Way are:

  • Castle Stewart, (on lands of Kilcreuchie or Calcruchie) north of Newton Stewart. [20]
  • Skaithe Motte and Bailey.
  • Castle Loch (Black Loch which drains into Ochiltree Loch) with Mickle Castle between both Lochs. [21] [22]
  • Ochiltree Loch with Little or Mickle Castle on the north shore [22]
  • Ochiltree, north of Ochiltree Hill [23]
  • Loch Maberry with a castle on the eastern shore [24]
  • The Machars [25]


Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Penninghame)


  1. Parish of Penninghame Map
  2. Forestry Commission - Galloway Forest Park
  3. 3.0 3.1 Caledonia. vol. 3. p.434 by George Chalmers.
  4. Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae. New Edition. Vol. II. pp.373-375
  5. 5.0 5.1 View: A map of the county of Wigton. - Counties of Scotland, 1580-1928 - National Library of Scotland
  7. of the burgh in barony of the town of Myretoun
  8. The History of Galloway, by William Makenzie Vol. I. p.413
  9. Register of the Great Seal of Scotland. Vol.II. pp.272-273.nos. 1336-1337
  10. Register of the Great Seal of Scotland. p.693 no.3245.
  11. Caledonia; or, An account, historical and topographic, of North Britain; from the most ancient to the present times
  12. Registrum magni sigilli regum Scotorum : The register of the Great seal of Scotland, A.D. 1306-1668
  13. Mains Of Penninghame | ScotlandsPlaces
  14. Scots Peerage vol.IV p.155. Stewart, Earl of Galloway.
  15. Records of Parliament.1696/9/195.William II:Manuscript. Ratification in favour of William Stewart of Castlestewart
  16. 16.0 16.1 The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth century
  17. Read the ebook Catalogue of the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland by National Gallery of Scotland (page 12 of 31)
  18. Gentleman's Magazine. vol.158 p.540.
  19. Early Edwardian Halfpennies
  20. Scottish History Society, vol. LI (51) : Wigtownshire Charters. ed. by R.C. Reid, LLD. Parish of Penninghame.
  21. Canmore Mapping
  22. 22.0 22.1 Site Record for Loch Ochiltree Details Details
  23. 3. New Luce to Bargrennan
  24. Site Record for Loch Maberry Castle Details Details
  25. Machars Guide