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Did you know...?

Dumfries and Galloway - naturally inspiring logo
Things you might not know about Dumfries and Galloway...
  • The Galloway Forest Park extends to a massive 96,600 hectares, or 373 square miles, is home to over 20 rare species, has approximately 300 miles of roads and an estimated 100 million trees.
  • Few places in the UK, or mainland Europe, has darker skies than Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park which are amongst the darkest skies in the world.
  • Over 5200 square kilometres of Galloway and Southern Ayrshire have been granted UNESCO Biosphere status making it one of only 6 reserves in the UK and an area of global importance.
  • Dumfries and Galloway is home to 5 of the world famous 7stanes mountain bike trails all of which plus Drumlanrig, feature in the Bike Radar top 10 best places to ride in Scotland and part of the reason Scotland was awarded IMBA Global Superstar status in 2007.
  • Dumfries and Galloway has over 200 miles of coastline, is the 3rd largest region at 2481 sq.miles, but only the 12th largest by population.
  • The Savings Bank in Ruthwell when opened in 1810 was the world’s first commercial savings bank.
  • Sanquhar is home to the world’s oldest Post Office - established in 1712.
  • The pedal bicycle was invented in Keir Mill (14 miles from Dumfries) by Kirkpatrick Macmillan , a local blacksmith, in 1839.
  • Scotland's most southerly point, The Mull of Galloway is further south than Hartlepool with Ireland, the Isle of Man and Cumbria all visible (on a clear day).
  • Scotland's first Christian Church - Candida Casa at Whithorn - was founded around 400 AD. by St. Ninian, the first bishop.
  • Dumfries and Galloway holds the record for the highest recorded air temperature in Scotland at 91 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The Belted Galloway breed of cattle are the biggest exporting breed in Great Britain and you can find them from Alaska to Australia.
  • The Southern Upland Way is Britain's only west to east coast to coast long distance footpath, stretching 212 miles from Portpatrick to Cockburnspath.

Famous Gallovidians include:

  • Edward Irving - 1792 – 1834; the clergyman, generally regarded to be behind the foundation of the Catholic Apostolic Church.
  • Hamish MacInnes - born 1930; a mountaineer, leading mountain search and rescuer, author and advisor
  • Hugh Clapperton - 1788 – 1827; a naval officer and explorer of West and Central Africa. 
  • Hugh MacDiarmid - 1892 – 1978; (real name Christopher Murray Grieve) was a poet, nationalist and communist.  
  • James Mirrlees - born 1936 is an economist and winner of the 1996 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. He was knighted in 1998.
  • John Laurie - 1897 - 1980; an actor best remembered as the dour Private James Frazer in Dad's Army.
  • John Maxwell - 1905 – 1962; a painter of landscapes and imaginative subjects. 
  • Joseph Thomson - 1858 – 1895; a geologist and explorer who played an important part in the Scramble for Africa. Thomson's Gazelle is named after him.
  • Thomas Carlyle - 1795 – 1881; a philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher during the Victorian era. 
  • Thomas Telford - 1757 – 1834; a civil engineer, architect and stonemason, and a noted road, bridge and canal builder. 
  • James Clerk Maxwell - 1831 – 1879; a mathematical physicist whose most prominent achievement was to formulate a set of equations that describe electricity, magnetism, and optics as manifestations of the same phenomenon, namely the electromagnetic field. His achievements have been called the "second great unification in physics", after the first one realised by Isaac Newton.
  • William Paterson - 1658 - 1719; a Scottish trader and banker. He was one of the founders of the Bank of England. Later he became an advocate of Union with England.