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Dumfries, New Wark

Barracks (14th Century), Prison (19-20th Century)

Site Name Dumfries, New Wark

Classification Barracks (14th Century), Prison (19-20th Century)

Canmore ID 65603

Site Number NX97NE 69

NGR NX 9724 7615

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/65603

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Dumfries And Galloway
  • Parish Dumfries
  • Former Region Dumfries And Galloway
  • Former District Nithsdale
  • Former County Dumfries-shire

Archaeology Notes

NX97NE 69 9724 7615.

(Name: NX 9724 7615) Site of New Wark (NR)

OS 1:1056 map (1852)

The New Wark, built in the late 14th century, was a massive stone structure (the O N B, following Chalmers, states that it was built in 1583/5 - possibly some rebuilding took place at that time.) Its purpose may originally have been defensive; it is know to have served both as a prison and a barracks. Most of it was removed in 1764, and what remained was converted into dwelling houses which were in turn pulled down in 1846. It occupied most of what is now Queensberry Square, and part of its vaulting was discovered when digging the foundation of the Duke of Queensberry's monument. More of the vaults were revealed when digging the foundations of a public urinal in 1908.

SBS Dumfries 1977; R Edgar 1915; Name Book 1850; G Chalmers 1824

Activities

Publication Account (1977)

The New Wark, built in the late fourteenth century, was a massive stone structure. Its purpose may have originally been a defensive one, indeed in its day it served both as a prison and barracks (Shirley, 1915, 25). Most of the New Wark was removed in 1764, what remained was converted into dwelling houses which were in turn pulled down in 1846. A portion of the vaults of the building were laid bare when workmen were digging the foundations of a public urinal in 1908 and one of the discoveries was an iron cleek found in a fireplace (Shirley, 1915, 46). Edgar described the structure as having a forestair with vaults or cellars 'having four shops before and dwellings and shops for the fleshers on the back parts, with many rooms and apartments which are now all thrown down and demolished' (Reid, 1915, 55).

Information from ‘Historic Dumfries: The Archaeological Implications of Development’ (1977).

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