Dumfries town is situated in Dumfries
& Galloway southwest Scotland, 72
miles east of Stranraer, 23 miles west
Dumfries attracts visitors for its
shopping, largest in the area, many
museums most are free, restaurants,
famous bar diners, river fishing, golf,
and the poet Robert Burns who spent his
final years in the town, with his home
and grave now top attractions.
See also a large Click On Map for the
area Top Attractions.
The Dumfries and Galloway Aviation
Museum is a top attraction 3 miles east of
The image top is of the street named White
Sands that runs alongside the River Nith with a
large free car park. You need a disk from a
local shop to show how long you are using the
There are scenic walks alongside the river
with interesting bridges.
Buccleuch Street runs from White Sands up to
the town centre with a number of fine buildings
built from local hard wearing red
These buildings include the Sheriff Court,
Town Hall and Robert the
Bruce bar diner. This bar diner is situated
close to where Greyfriars Monastery once stood,
where Robert the Bruce murdered Sir John Comyn
in 1306 so he could become king of
At the top of Buccleuch Street, east end of
the High Street, is Greyfriars Church /
Kirk completed in 1868 in neo-Gothic style,
as the largest church in the town.
A Bronze Age hoard was found during
excavations for the church in the 1860s, with
four axes from the hoard on display in Dumfries
The statue of Robert Burns is in front of
the church, carved in Carrara by Italian
craftsmen to designs of Amelia Hill. The Earl
of Rosebery unveiled the statue on the 6th
The Midsteeple was built
in 1705 on the High Street by the Market Cross.
It was used as a prison, council offices, and
to store arms and ammunition. It now serves as
a booking office for events in the area.
Also on the High Street by the large
shopping centre is the Dumfries Fountain,
unveiled on the 5th of December 1882 by Provost
Lennox. This is a popular spot for bursars.
The Globe Inn is situated
by the fountain, opened in 1610, it was a
favourite pub of Robert Burns.
The Hole in the
Wall bar diner is another famous pub in
Dumfries, situated on the High Street by
Greyfriars Church. The original hole in the
wall is still there, where people not allowed
in the pub would have their beer passed
Robert Burns House is a free
museum situated on Burns Street, a short walk
from the High Street. This is the house Burns
lived in from 1793 till his death in 1796, a
top museum with scenic gardens.
The statue of Burns wife Jean Armour is
situated at the end of Burns Street, outside St
St Michael's Church is the oldest
church in Dumfries with records going back to
the 1100s. The present church is the third on
this site, completed in 1746.
Robert Burns was buried at St Michael's on
the 25th of July 1796, in a cramped plot at the
rear, in the left corner of the graveyard.
The Robert Burns Mausoleum was completed in
1817. Burns and two of his young sons were then
re-buried in the Mausoleum.
The Suspension Bridge is situated at the
south side of Dumfries centre crossing the
River Nith, built in 1875.
The bridge leads to the north side of
Dumfries with a large peaceful grassland
The Robert Burns
Centre is a former 1700s watermill on the
north side of the river, directly across from
the main riverside car park. It is a short walk
across the Suspension Bridge or the Old Stone
The Robert Burns Centre is a film theatre,
cafe / diner, and free museum giving
information on Robert Burns and the History of
The Dumfries Museum is situated a short walk
up behind the Robert Burns Centre. This is a
free museum crammed full of interesting
artifacts from the area over many
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 Balliol.
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.