Stranraer and District Local History Trust - Antiquarian Society

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Wigtownshire Antiquarian & Natural History Society


Meeting will be held in Stranraer Library, Upper Meeting Room.

Thursday 21 September 2017


Stranraer Library

Bill Gill Memorial Lecture:

The Wigtownshire Antiquarian & Natural History Society hosts a lecture each year in memory of the late Bill Gill, local historian and former Principal Teacher of History at Stranraer High School and Stranraer Academy.

The Glenkens - an area at the heart of Covenanter persecution in the 17th century: Stories from those troubled times - Rev Dr David Bartholomew

As parish minister of the Glenkens for over 20 years, Rev Dr David Bartholomew has developed a special understanding of local Covenanters and the struggles they endured in this area which was at the heart of the conflict. Bringing these stories alive with reference to familiar places, the presentation will also set events in the wider context of who the Covenanters were and what they stood for.

Thursday 19 October 2017


Stranraer Library

Coastal place names and their power of survival - Nic Coombey

All names begin by describing a place to other people as a way of helping us find our way in the world. Some place names have existed for hundreds of years while others have been lost, and some names remain in our oral tradition despite never appearing on maps or official documents. Nic Coombey, Coastal Ranger, will look at our amazing coastline and reveal some of the meanings and stories behind place names lost and found.

Thursday 16 November 2017


Stranraer Library

James Clerk Maxwell: The man who changed everything and was then forgotten - Dr Francis Toolis

James Clerk Maxwell was a Galloway man - the laird of Glenlair, near Castle Douglas. He is considered by scientists to be the third greatest physicist of all time, ranked up alongside Newton, Einstein and Galileo. If the Nobel Prize had existed in his time, he would have undoubtedly won it twice and possibly three or even four times for his contributions to science. He is most famous for his Equations, which underpin the entire span of telecommunications. Yet, few outside the field of Physics have ever heard of him, even in Scotland.

Thursday 18 January 2018


Stranraer Library

Jack Gordon’s ‘Birds of Wigtownshire’: The story and images behind the book’s publication - Chris Rollie

Jack Gordon’s ‘Birds of Wigtownshire’ book was begun in 1912 but only published in 2016! Chris Rollie of RSPB will reveal the story illustrated by images including evocative old Wigtownshire postcards from John Adair’s impressive collection. Jack Gordon, though small in stature, was a major figure in UK ornithology between the wars and an inspiration to Gavin Maxwell.

Copies of the ‘Birds of Wigtownshire’ are available from The Bookshop, Wigtown, but please note that stocks are low. A few copies may be available from the speaker on the night.

Thursday 15 February 2018


Stranraer Library

Balgreggan House: Exploring the rich history of this lost country mansion - Howard Sunderland

Howard Sunderland will uncover the changing fortunes of Balgreggan estate in the parish of Stoneykirk based on extensive research of the area where he lives. The drama of early settlements was followed by re-modelling of Balgreggan House around 1730 to create a William Adams designed mansion. Changes to landownership, land use and war were factors in the dismantling of the estate and ultimately the demolition of Balgreggan House in 1966.

Thursday 15 March 2018


Stranraer Library

AGM & Open Forum - All welcome!

The AGM will be followed by an Open Forum with short talks from Members and anyone with an interest in the Society. This will include contributions from Donnie Nelson and Pam Taylor about Stranraer’s historic buildings and the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme which is underway to help preserve them.

Anyone interested in joining our sister organisation, Wigtownshire Antiquarian and Natural History Society should contact the Secretary, Pam Taylor, Email -

Telephone Number: 07717 571720

Scottish Charity No SC021441