Kirkcowan – What's Going On?


In 1880, William Armstrong and Son of Dumfries announced in the Free Press the transfer of their business to Tarff Mills, Kirkcowan

By 1895, William Armstrong of Lincuan, Kirkcowan, had written a pamphlet for the benefit of Highland weavers under the auspices of the Scottish Home Industries Association. It was translated into Gaelic .

In that same year, Mr. Walter Armstrong of Tarff House exhibited two of his paintings, “Fishing Boats Waiting for the Tide on Solway and “The North Ford from Benbuda, Harris, in the shop window of Mr. J. F. Finninghame of Newton Stewart. The paintings were later shown at the Kilmarnock Art Exhibition. This Walter Armstrong, ten years earlier, had traded an extensive collection of rare antiquities from all over Britain for a second hand tandem tricycle.

Correspondence between him and a Captain Kennedy to negotiate this exchange is published in the accounts of the Dumfries and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society transactions, Volume LI, 1975, p. 33.

According to family tradition, the Armstrongs originally decided to move from the Border area to Wigtownshire because of “the decline”, a period of time when consumption in the Border country reached epidemic proportions and many young people were dying of the disease.