Friday, 22 March 2013

Week 1: Creetown Flags

Week 1 - An Introduction to Creetown 

The following notes were made on my first day in Creetown - during a Local History Group meeting on the 13th March 2013. The speaker (a local resident) gave a fascinating talk exploring some of the overlooked 'nooks and crannies' around Creetown. 

I have organised some of my notes under headings, with pictures below. 

  • There is a bridge over Balloch Burn - named after the local man nick-named ‘Beardie’ who leapt from it to test the sheepskin wings he had made. He was attempting to cross the river Cree.
  • The Ferrythorn. A Hawthorn tree, said to be as old as the village - meeting place for local people and waiting area for ferry travellers crossing the Cree.
  • Along from the Ferrythorn Tree.....a 'sheepslat' – a wooden frame (without it’s shutter), which allowed the sheep to be moved between fields. Below you can see the view towards the village -  and the view outwards.... towards the Cree.

  • Further along - is the "old packhorse bridge".
  • NO 38 St John Street – a former Coaching Inn & Temperance Hotel with stables at the rear. Today (see below) - a view of a window directly across the street.

  • Further down the street adjacent to the heritage museum, another former coaching inn. Also, a renovated coach house to the rear of Cherrytrees B&B on St John Street.
  • Creetown Caravan Park – a former gypsy camp/resting place for Galloway travellers.
  • 'The Rambler', the last Creetown owned trading sail ship (owned by Adam Mac Donald).
  • No 2, Silver Street. ‘Hurcheon Cottage’ – Scots word ‘Hurcheon’ = hedgehog.

  • On Kirk Brae, is the former  ‘School Of Industry For Girls’ – now known locally as the ‘Church Hall’ – its facade is pure Creetown granite. The local history group meet here on the second Wednesday of every month.  
  • On Adamson Square – A granite sphere made in 4 parts (apparently not Creetown granite).
  • On ‘Harbour Street’ (Creetown's original ‘main’ street) - locals ensured that a section of the original (Ferrytown of Cree) pavement was preserved. Apparently, it was made using rounded stones carried up from the beach. 

  • ‘The Crusher’ – a granite crushing plant situated on a jetty on the river Cree. An important  landmark for Creetonians - now gone.
  • “Brick Raw”.......there are 15 houses on Grimshawe Terrace – if you stand directly in front of the middle house on this street, you can see that the houses on either side are a mirror version of each other. Just above the ground floor windows there is a broken line of decorative bricks, which look like they once ran the full length of the street. 


  • The clocktower – erected by John Rae in 1897. It’s wooden door fabricated by Archie McKie and carved by Jim Lupton. 

  • The Ellangowan Hotel  also erected by John Rae (one of it's windows pictured below) – a year after the clocktower in 1898. 

  • There is a tin shed in one of the back gardens on Harbour Street, where the gas lamps were kept - you can see the wall mounted stands/frames (right) which supported these lamps around Creetown.
  • Creetonians remember the lamp-lighting as Johnny Clary’s job.

  • Above the doorway of the Ellangowan Hotel is a Victorian Lantern. 

  • ‘St John‘ Street – the current 'main' street (after ‘Saint John the Baptist'?)
  • The ‘main’ street in ‘Ferrytown of Cree’ days was ‘Harbour Street’
  • Directly opposite the church hall on Kirk Brae – is Kilmabreck church, which has an Ordnance Survey ‘benchmark’ on one of its walls – indicating the registered height above sea-level.
  • The ‘Bug Hole’ a deep pool where local children learned to swim.  
  • 'The Rambler', the last Creetown owned trading sail ship (owned by Adam Mac Donald).
  • The 1954 Flood that washed the Iron Bridge away.
  •  There are ‘water pumps’ all over the village from the days before the houses had a mains water supply.  
  • Across from the Butchers shop – the site of another pool – the Mill Lade, where local women washed their families clothes.
  • In one of the gardens along from the Mill can see two ornate iron poles – there are others around Creetown - were these used for washing lines?
  • A marble drinking fountain (inscribed - 'Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow') – no longer in use.

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