Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Answers to BT1307


Kirkmahoe Free Church

At the division of the whole Cameronian Church in 1763, the Kirkmahoe congregation formed an original part of the Southern congregation. In 1781 the district was divided into two separate congregations and this was part of the eastern section. In 1798, a church was built in the village of Quarrelwood, which was considered the centre of the congregation until 1832. At that time the centre of the congregation was moved to Dumfries and the Quarrelwood church was used as a preaching station.


At the Disruption in 1843, a probationer, non–ordained minister, secured the use of the old church at Quarrelwood. Here he conducted services for adherents of the Free Church from the parishes of Torthorwald, Tinwald, and Kirkmahoe. The charge was sanctioned in February 1844.


The new church, on the South side of the road which runs East-West just north of the village of Kirkton, was built in 1845 and reconstructed in 1864–1865. A hall was added in 1891. The church was again renovated in 1894.  Relations between the Free Church and the Church of Scotland were not good, there being frequent arguments.  It is believed that the Kirkmahoe parish war memorial is sited outside the village because the Free Church congregation objected to it being near the established church and insisted on it being visible from their building.

Declining population told seriously on the membership and in 1938  the church ceased to be a place of worship.  It is said that the late Walter Duncan of Newlands, a polymath, could recite the last sermon preached there from memory.  Kirkdale, the house east of the church was the Manse.

During World War II, the church building had a variety of uses.  The extension on the west side was built about 1950 to increase its capacity as a Council store.  It is likely that the building will shortly be put on the market.  Apparently, during searches in preparation for this, it has been discovered that the deeds show that the Free Church, D&G Council and the Church of Scotland all have interests in it.
it seems there had been a fire in the manse Kirkdale, early last century which had occurred during the holiday season, consequenty by the time the fire brigade arrived the fire had been put out by the local quarry men.
Last known ministers at this church were Rev Adamson, with the final one being Rev McDowell.

Thanks to Gordon Bissett,  and Dobie & Connie Davidson for help with this information.
We should be most grateful for anything anyone else can add to this so that it can be put in our archives.




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