Castle Douglas, King Street with Town Clock tower at centre
|Population||4,174 (2011 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|o Edinburgh||76 mi (122 km)|
|o London||285 mi (459 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||CASTLE DOUGLAS|
Castle Douglas (Scottish Gaelic: Caisteal Dhùghlais) is a town in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. It lies in the lieutenancy area of Kirkcudbrightshire, in the eastern part of Galloway, between the towns of Dalbeattie and Gatehouse of Fleet. It is in the ecclesiastical parish of Kelton.
Castle Douglas is built next to Carlingwark Loch in which traces of prehistoric crannogs can be found, evidence of early inhabitation of the area. A large bronze cauldron containing about 100 metal objects was found in Carlingwark Loch near Fir Island about 1866. The hoard of tools of iron and bronze is probably Romano-Belgic of the late first or early second centuries AD and is likely to have been a votive offering. It is now in the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh. To the North of the town Glenlochar is the site of two successive Roman forts, the first being erected during the invasion of Agricola and the second during the Antonine period. They appear to have been for cavalry units and evidence has been found that a "vicus" grew up around them. They were abandoned completely about 160.
Nearby Threave Castle was a seat of the powerful "Black" Earls of Douglas. A small collection of cottages developed by the shores of Carlingwark, which was a source of marl. These cottages can still be seen on the Western approach to Castle Douglas and are known as The Buchan. The development of a military road through Galloway built by Major William Caulfeild passed through the Carlingwark area and improved transportation connections in the 18th century.
Castle Douglas was founded in 1792 by William Douglas, who claimed but had no close connection with the ancient Douglases of Threave Castle. He had made his money in an 'American Trade' and created a planned town on the shores of Carlingwark Loch. The town's layout is based upon the grid plan pattern of streets as used in Edinburgh's New Town, built around the same time. Sir William Douglas also created a number of industries in Castle Douglas, including hand-woven cotton factories from which Cotton Street derives its name.
The Torrs Pony-cap and Horns is an Iron Age bronze horned cap for a pony found in Torrs Loch at Castle Douglas in 1812. It was acquired by Joseph Train, FSA Scot., the local antiquarian and author who presented it to Sir Walter Scott for his collection of antiquities at Abbotsford House. It is now in the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh.
The completion of the Castle Douglas and Dumfries Railway in 1859 further improved the town's connections, and it soon developed into a major market town for the surrounding area. This is still true today and the 1900 hexagonal market building is in constant use. Although the railway was closed in 1965, the A75 trunk road was developed roughly following the lines of the original military road and passes through Castle Douglas. The many hotels and pubs which derived from coach stops are an indication of the town's importance as a stopping place for travellers.
Castle Douglas Town Hall was built in 1863 to the designs of Dumfries architect James Barbour.
The Clock Tower was built 1934-35 and stands at the corner of King St and St Andrews St and is a listed Category C building. It was designed by the architect William Forrest Valentine (1885-1957).  The first tower, built by Sir William Douglas, was destroyed by fire in 1892 as was a second clock tower forty years later. A plaque records that in 1935 Henry J. Hewat of Paterson, New Jersey, USA, donated the present clock tower to the town.  Capt Hewat was a native of Castle Douglas who had emigrated to the US in 1893.
Freeman Wills Croft set a key scene in his 1930 novel "Sir John Magill's Last Journey" at Castle Douglas Railway Station.
St John the Evangelist Catholic Church was built in 1867 by the London architect George Goldie and is Category B (S) listed building.
The Castle Douglas War Memorial was designed by Captain Frank Mears and was unveiled in 1921.
Castle Douglas was a reception area for Glasgow's evacuated children during World War II.
From March 1943 to April 1944, the town was the base for 92nd (Loyals) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery, which was training for Operation Overlord, the invasion of occupied Europe. Their headquarters were at Craigroyston, a large Victorian house near the railway station. Nissen huts were set up at Carlingwark Loch to house the troops while other billets included a church and a bowling clubhouse.
Castle Douglas Art Gallery is an offshoot of the Stewartry Museum at Kirkcudbright. It was bequeathed to the town by local artist Ethel Bristowe and opened in I938. It is an exhibition space and used as such by local artists to display their work. Near the centre of town is Carlingwark Loch, a loch and SSSI, home to numerous water birds.
Castle Douglas hosts an annual Civic Week which is the focal event of the year. Its usual format is a week of events around the last week in July, culminating on Douglas Day when a street procession and carnival in Lochside Park takes place.
As with the remainder of the UK, Castle Douglas has a climate classified as Oceanic (Köppen: Cfb), resulting in moderate temperatures, year round rainfall, and windy, often cloudy conditions. The nearest Met Office weather station is at Threave, about miles (2.4 km) west of the town centre.
|Climate data for Threave, 73m asl, 1971-2000, Extremes 1960-|
|Record high °C (°F)||12.1
|Average high °C (°F)||5.8
|Average low °C (°F)||0.5
|Record low °C (°F)||-13.9
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||144.7
|Source: Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute/KNMI|
The town is commonly used by tourists as a base for exploring the rest of the area. There is a camping and caravan park by Carlingwark Loch and many hotels.
The main shopping street in Castle Douglas is King Street. It has a wide range of shops, including many shops not often found on many town high streets. Castle Douglas has two supermarkets (Co-op and Tesco) and a Scotmid convenience store. Also on King Street are Italian, Chinese and Indian restaurants as well as pubs and hotels serving meals and several take-aways. Castle Douglas is designated Scotland's Food Town and boasts some 50 outlets connected with the food industry.
Parking in the town is free. There is a large car park at Market Hill at the top of the town next to the Heart of Galloway Visitor Centre. There is also free parking on many of the side streets that lead away from the town centre.
There are several churches in Castle Douglas, including a Church of Scotland, a Betheren who have recently acquired a new building, an Episcopalian St Ninian's and the New Life Church Castle Douglas an Elim Pentecostal Church.
Castle Douglas Cottage Hospital. The cottage hospital in Castle Douglas was built in 1897 as a memorial to Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. It was designed by Richard Park of Newton Stewart and opened on 13 October 1899. 
The town is home to The Fullarton, a theatre opened in the mid 1990s in the building of the old St Andrew's Church. It's currently hosts plays and conferences as well as providing a local cinema.
2329 (Castle Douglas) Sqn[a]Air Training Corps is located in the town and are active within the local community, as well as offering young people between the ages of 12 and 20 opportunities to fly, visit RAF stations across the UK and experience adventures.
There is a library, swimming pool and bus hub in Market Street. Castle Douglas Library situated,on the Market Hill, was designed by architect George Washington Browne and opened in 1904 with funding from Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish -American industrialist and philanthropist . As well as books and a local history section it offers a range of services including internet access; the swimming pool has a fitness suite attached; the bus hub provides services throughout Dumfries and Galloway, and onward through Scotland and England.
The first stage from Glasgow of the 2016 Tour of Britain ended in Castle Douglas on 4 September. The winner was Germany's André Greipel (Team Lotto-Soudal). Mark Cavendish who had been favourite to win crashed on the final corner. Cavendish rode away from the crash, which also involved Team Sky's Elia Viviani.