The Dumfries Museum
also contains the Camera Obscura from 1836, the
oldest still in use in the world, providing
panoramic views over the town and countryside.
There is a small fee for the Camera Obscura.
Part of this building used to be a
Devorgilla Bridge connects the town centre
to the north side. The bridge seen today was
built in the 1600s, but there were a number of
bridges on this spot before.
The Nith is known for great floods, sweeping
away a number of earlier bridges, including the
original Devorgilla Bridge from the 1270s,
built for Lady Devorgilla of Galloway, great
niece of King William the Lion.
Lady Devorgilla is best know for the
building of Sweetheart Abbey seven miles
south of Dumfries. She had the Abbey built
after the death of her husband, Baron John de
The house on the north side of the bridge is
now the Old Bridge House Museum, free
to visit with a Victorian family kitchen,
nursery, bedroom, and an early dentist’s
This is the oldest house in Dumfries, built
into the bridge in the early 1600s. It once
served as an Inn.
300s? - the area of present day Dumfries is
thought to have been inhabited by Roman's
during their incursions into Scotland.
410 - the Roman's left Britain leading to
the Scots and English fighting over the border.
The Dumfries area was often under English
1160 - Lincluden Abbey
is built 2 miles north of the present day town
centre. There are remains of an earlier castle
close to the Abbey remains.
1186 - the Scots king William the Lion made
Dumfries a Royal Burgh. This king was known for
fighting to extend Scotland's border south.
1100s - the first St Michael's Church is
built in Dumfries.
Dumfries grew from this time as a market
1237 - the Treaty of York between Scotland
and England defined the border between the two
countries, close to what is seen today.
1200s - a Royal Castle was built in the area
now known as Castledykes Park. Nothing of that
1297 - William Wallace and his army pass
through the town in pursuit of a fleeing
English army after the Battle of
1300 - King Edward I of England leads his
mighty army through Dumfries as he sets about
taking control of Scotland.
1306 - Robert the Bruce slew his rival John
Comyn at Greyfriars Monastery in Dumfries so he
could become king of Scotland.
1306 - Bruce's brother in law and two
companions were executed in Dumfries by the
English for the murder of Comyn. The brother in
law was executed by hanging then beheaded.
1314 - victory at the Battle
of Bannockburn by Stirling led to Bruce
becoming king of an independent Scotland.
1659 - ten women accused of being witches
were taken to the Whitesands where they were
tied to stakes, strangled, and burnt to
1705 - the Midsteeple is completed on the
High Street for council buildings and to serve
as a prison.
1745 late - Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed at
the Commercial Hotel on Dumfries High Street
while his army was camped outside the town
during the Jacobite Risings. The risings ended
after the Battle of Culloden by Inverness
1788 - Robert Burns takes a lease on a farm
at Ellisland by Dumfries.
1791 - Robert Burns moves into a small flat
in Bank Street in Dumfries town.
1796 - Robert Burns dies and is buried at St
1800s - quarries at Dumfries produce vast
amounts of a hard wearing red sandstone for
local buildings and grave stones.
This premium red sandstone was also used for
many buildings in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Country
Mansions, and for the steps of the Statue of
Liberty in New York Harbour.
1848 - the Glasgow, Dumfries and Carlisle
Railway was opened.
1868 - Greyfriars Church is completed in
Dumfries centre as the town needed a larger
1940 - RAF Dumfries was opened for light
1960 - RAF Dumfries is sold to a private
1977 - the Dumfries and Galloway Aviation
Museum is opened on the grounds of the former
RAF Dumfries, 3 miles east of the town.
Today - the town is the main town in
Dumfries and Galloway.
The Locharbriggs Quarry at the northeast of
the town still produces this hard wearing red
Viewing the many historic buildings in
Dumfries, you will see they are like the day
they were built.