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Bridge over the River Dee designed by Thomas Telford, 1806.
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54°51′49″N4°01′51″W / 54.8637°N 4.0307°W / 54.8637; -4.0307

Tongland is a small village about 2 miles (3 km) north of Kirkcudbright, in the historic county of Kirkcudbrightshire in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. It lies on the west bank of the Dee near its confluence with the Tarff Water.


Tongland Power station Tongland power station.png
Tongland Power station


The factory where 'Galloway' cars were made Tongland Works - - 694601.jpg
The factory where 'Galloway' cars were made

Tongland Abbey, a medieval Premonstratensian monastic community, existed here during the Middle Ages. The remains of Tongland Abbey are now within the churchyard just south of the main road. Tongland Church built in 1813, is now disused and in a state of ruin, although the graveyard is still in use.

The Dee is crossed shortly downriver by Tongland Bridge, a stone arch bridge constructed in 1806 by civil engineer Thomas Telford. [1] Telford was assisted in the Works by resident civil engineer, A Blane. [1] There is also an earlier bridge dating to 1761 which is approximately 500 metres (550 yd) to the north-east.

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. [2] The Galloway Engineering Company factory was originally completed in 1917 and was powered by its own hydro-electric scheme on the Dee. [3]

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.

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thomas Telford</span> Scottish civil engineer (1757–1834)

Thomas Telford was a Scottish civil engineer. After establishing himself as an engineer of road and canal projects in Shropshire, he designed numerous infrastructure projects in his native Scotland, as well as harbours and tunnels. Such was his reputation as a prolific designer of highways and related bridges, he was dubbed the Colossus of Roads, and, reflecting his command of all types of civil engineering in the early 19th century, he was elected as the first president of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a post he held for 14 years until his death.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dumfries and Galloway</span> Council area of Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway is one of the 32 unitary council areas of Scotland, located in the western part of the Southern Uplands. It is bordered by East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, and South Lanarkshire to the north; Scottish Borders to the north-east; the English ceremonial county of Cumbria, the Solway Firth, and the Irish Sea to the south, and the North Channel to the west. The administrative centre and largest settlement is the town of Dumfries. The second largest town is Stranraer, located 76 miles (122 km) to the west of Dumfries on the North Channel coast.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kirkcudbrightshire</span> Historic county in Scotland

Kirkcudbrightshire, or the County of Kirkcudbright or the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright is one of the historic counties of Scotland, covering an area in the south-west of the country. Until 1975, Kirkcudbrightshire was an administrative county used for local government. Since 1975, the area has formed part of Dumfries and Galloway for local government purposes. Kirkcudbrightshire continues to be used as a registration county for land registration. A lower-tier district called Stewartry covered the majority of the historic county from 1975 to 1996. The area of Stewartry district is still used as a lieutenancy area. Dumfries and Galloway Council also has a Stewartry area committee.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">River Dee, Galloway</span> River in Scotland

The River Dee, in south-west Scotland, flows from its source in Loch Dee amongst the Galloway Hills, firstly to Clatteringshaws Loch, then into Loch Ken, where it joins the Water of Ken. From there, the Dee flows 15 miles (24 km) southwards to Kirkcudbright, and into Kirkcudbright Bay to reach the Solway Firth. The distance is just over 38 miles (61 km) in total. Together with its tributaries, the Dee's total catchment area is over 400 square miles (1,000 km2).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Water of Ken</span> River in Scotland

The Water of Ken is a river in the historical county of Kirkcudbrightshire in Galloway, south-west Scotland.
It rises on Blacklorg Hill, north-east of Cairnsmore of Carsphairn in the Carsphairn hills, and flows south-westward into The Glenkens, passing through Kendoon, Carsfad and Earlstoun lochs, all of which are dammed to supply the Galloway Hydro Electric Scheme. At Kendoon Dam the Ken is joined by a major tributary the Water of Deugh. From there, the river flows south, passing St. John's Town of Dalry and New Galloway, before widening to form the 9-mile long Loch Ken.
The Black Water of Dee also enters halfway down the loch, and from Glenlochar, at the south end of the loch, the river continues as the Dee towards Kirkcudbright and the coast.
There are a number of interesting bridges over the Water of Ken. Smeaton's Bridge carries the B729 road which runs between Carsphairn and Moniaive. It crosses the Ken a half mile above the confluence of the Stroanfreggan burn. This bridge has a single arch 42 ft long.
A few miles further downstream the High Bridge of Ken spans the river at a narrow ravine on the B7000 back road from Carsphairn to St John's Town of Dalry. The bridge has 2 arches each 24 ft long. British listed buildings website describes the bridge as early 18th century, possibly earlier origin.
Further downstream again the Ken Bridge lies between St John's Town of Dalry and New Galloway.This bridge carries the A712 road and dates from 1822. It has 5 granite arches and is 340 ft long. Immediately adjacent to the bridge is the Ken Bridge Hotel.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">New Abbey</span> Human settlement in Scotland

New Abbey is a village in the historical county of Kirkcudbrightshire in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. It is 6 miles (10 km) south of Dumfries. The summit of the prominent hill Criffel is 2.5 miles (4.0 km) to the south.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Balmaghie</span> Human settlement in Scotland

Balmaghie, from the Scottish Gaelic Baile Mhic Aoidh, is an ecclesiastical and civil parish in the historical county of Kirkcudbrightshire in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland and was the seat of the McGhee family. It is bordered by the River Dee to the north and east. Threave Castle stands on an island in the river. The River Dee is commonly known as the Black Water of Dee on the northern border, the name changes with the meeting of the Water of Ken to the north west and is then known as Loch Ken along the eastern border. Balmaghie parish borders Girthon to the west and Tongland and Twynholm to the south. The closest market town is Castle Douglas about 6 miles from Balmaghie Kirk.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Glenlochar</span>

Glenlochar is a hamlet on the western bank of the River Dee in the parish of Balmaghie in the historical county of Kirkcudbrightshire in Dumfries and Galloway. Glenlochar is located one and a half miles south of Balmaghie Kirk and 3 miles (5 km) north of Castle Douglas.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Galloway hydro-electric power scheme</span>

The Galloway hydro-electric power scheme is a network of dams and hydro-electric power stations in Galloway, south west Scotland. It was built between 1930 and 1936.

Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners was a British firm of consulting civil engineers, founded in 1922 by Sir Alexander Gibb, and initially headquartered in London before moving west to Reading in Berkshire in 1974 to the former site of Suttons Seeds. In 1989, the firm merged with Atlanta, Georgia-based Law Engineering and Environmental Services. In 2001 Law sold the Gibb business to another US-based firm, Jacobs Engineering Group.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alexander Gibb</span> British civil engineer

Brigadier-General Sir Alexander Gibb was a Scottish civil engineer. After serving as Civil Engineer-in-Chief to the Admiralty and Director-General of Civil Engineering at the Ministry of Transport, he established the engineering consultancy firm Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Loch Ken</span> Freshwater loch, in Dumfries and Galloway

Loch Ken is a 9 miles (14 km) long freshwater loch in the historic county of Kirkcudbrightshire in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. It lies in the Glenkens, where it is fed from the north by the Water of Ken and from the west by the Dee. It continues as the Dee south from Glenlochar, where the water is held back by the Glenlochar Barrage. Part of the Galloway hydro-electric power scheme, the barrage regulates the river's flow.

The Abbot of Tongland was the head of the Premonstratensian monastic community of Tongland Abbey in the historical county of Kirkcudbrightshire in Dumfries and Galloway. The following is a list of abbots and commendators:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tongland Abbey</span> Abbey in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, UK

Tungland or Tongland Abbey was a Premonstratensian monastic community located in Tongland in the historical county of Kirkcudbrightshire in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. It was probably founded circa 1218 by Alan, Lord of Galloway, although the church of Tongland had previously been granted to Holyrood Abbey by his grandfather Uchtred in the early 1160s. Few of its early abbots are known and its history is more generally covered by a cloud of obscurity.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Galloway (car)</span> Motor vehicle

Galloway was a Scottish car maker founded in 1920 as a subsidiary company to Arrol-Johnston. It was based at first at Tongland, Kirkcudbrightshire, and from 1923 at Heathall, Dumfries. It closed in 1928.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Reginald Mountain</span> British civil engineer (1899–1981)

Reginald William Mountain (1899–1981) was a British civil engineer.

Colonel William McLellan CBE (1874–1934) was a Scottish electrical engineer. Born in Palnackie, McLellan joined Charles Merz in 1902 to form the Merz & McLellan consulting engineering partnership. In the 1920s, then Colonel McLellan, he designed the Galloway Hydro-Electric Power Scheme.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kirkgunzeon</span> Human settlement in Scotland

Kirkgunȝeon is a village and civil parish in Dumfries and Galloway, south west Scotland. The village is 10.4 miles (16.7 km) south west of Dumfries and 4.1 miles (6.6 km) north east of Dalbeattie. The civil parish is in the former county of Kirkcudbrightshire, and is bounded by the parishes Lochrutton to the north, Urr to the west, Colvend and Southwick to the south and New Abbey to the east.

Marguerite Ellen-Gaudin Stocker MBE was governor of HM Prison Askham Grange in Yorkshire from 1959 until her retirement in 1967.


  1. 1 2 Glover, Julian (2017). Man of Iron - Thomas Telford and the Building of Britain. London: Bloomsbury. p. 363.
  2. 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. S2CID   144837053.
  3. "Galloway Motors Limited. Tongland Engineering Works to be closed down". Kirkcudbrightshire Advertiser and Galloway News. 3 March 1922.
  4. "Campbell Cowan Edgar, Department Of Antiquities". Dalrymple Crescent Families. Retrieved 19 April 2021.