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Rhins of Galloway (Wigtownshire) Combination, Stranraer

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The Rhins of Galloway Combination, formed in around 1850, comprised the 10 parishes of Ballantrae, Inch, Kirkcolm, Kirkmaiden, Leswalt, New Luce, Old Luce, Portpatrick, Stoneykirk and Stranraer.

The Combination's poorhouse was erected in about 1851-3 in Stranraer and could accommodate 362 inmates. Its location and layout are shown on the 1894 map below.

Wigtownshire poorhouse site, 1894.

In the mid-1860s, the Combination was joined by the parishes of Colmonell, Glasserton, Kirkinner, Kirkowan, Mochrum, Penninghame, Sorbie, Whithorn and Wigtown. The enlarged union became known as the Wigtownshire Combination.

Wigtownshire poorhouse from the south.

After 1930, the poorhouse became the Wigtownshire Home Poor Law Institution. In 1946, an official report described the building as 'worn out and dreary, without proper sanitary accommodation or heating'.

The building was demolished in 1977.

In addition to the Combination poorhouse, at least two of its member parishes operated their own local almshouses or lodging houses. These were administered by the Parochial Board rather than operating as statutory poorhouses under the central Board of Supervision. Kirkcolm's establishment was established by the 1850s, partly purchased and partly as a gift. By 1904, it could house two men, four women and six children. In about 1896, Penninghame purchased premises in Newton Stewart which could accommodate four men and six women under the supervision of a matron.

Penninghame almshouse site, 1908.




Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.

  • Dumfries and Galloway Archives, 33 Burns Street, Dumfries DG1 2PS, Scotland. Holdings include: Wigtownshire Combination Poorhouse Board records (1882-1937).


  • None.


  • None.

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