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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Dumfries & Galloway

by Peter Kessler, 6 May 2020

Dumfries & Galloway Part 2: Churches of Whithorn to Glasserton

Whithorn Parish Church, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

Whithorn Parish Church, Whithorn, is on the western side of Main Street, just forty metres or so north of Harbour Row on the Isle of Whithorn. It originally belonged to Whitern Priory, which was founded here in 1153. Following the Reformation the priory's chapel became a parish church (see below), remaining so until 1822 when the present parish church was built close by. After the 1929 United Free union, Whithorn parish church gained the town's UF congregation.

St Ninian's Chapel, Isle of Whithorn, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

St Ninian's Chapel at the centre of the Isle of Whithorn was originally the chapel to Whitern Priory, although it replaced an earlier building of the late 1100s. The Reformation saw it created the parish church of Whithorn, and it remained so until 1822, when a new church was built on the approach road to the isle (see above). In 1898 it was repaired and partially rebuilt by the marquess of Bute, but lack of attention during the twentieth century saw it become the ruin it is today.

Glasserton Parish Church, Glasserton, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

Glasserton Parish Church sits in a broad churchyard at the southern end of a lane which leads off the A746 and A747 junction at Glasserton. The kirk (church) session of Glasserton was united in 1618 with the parish of Kirk-Maiden-in-Fairnes by the commissioner of Teinds. The original church, which sat within the parish of Wigton and the synod of Galloway, belonged to Whitern Priory. That old parish church was rebuilt into the beginnings of what exists now in 1732.

Glasserton Parish Church, Glasserton, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

The church was enlarged into its present form in 1837 when the north aisle and Gothic tower were added. On its west gable is a good seventeenth century belfry, said to have come from Kirkmaiden. Glasserton united with the parish of the Isle Whithorn on 13 January 1946 to form Glasserton and Isle of Whithorn. Despite the local union both churches continued in use. Whithorn's St Ninian's Priory (see above) was linked with Glasserton and Isle of Whithorn in 1990.

All photos on this page kindly contributed by Douglas Law via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group.



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