Famous residents and visitors
Over the year there have been several Royal visitors to the parish. The Queen and Prince Philip passed through Dundrennan.
James IV visited the Abbey in the 15th century
But the most famous royal visitor was Mary, Queen of Scots who spent her last night on Scottish soil here in 1568
There are several different opinions as to where she actually stayed.
The first is that she stayed at the Abbey itself. One fact to support this was that it would have been easier to defend being an enclosed building
The opposing theory is that she stayed at Hazelfield House just outside Dundrennan. Was the Abbey large enough for the Queen and her entourage? Did she require something less stark? This is supported in the story of the gifts that she gave the family when she left
( and the story that she was taken with the beauty of the young boy of the household and asked for him to spend the night in her chamber!!!)
She certainly spent time in the Abbey before making her way to the shore in the afternoon. But here again we have two different theories. Some believe that she left from the shore of what is now known as Port Mary. This property was at the time called Nether Riddick, and has no proper harbour.
Why would the monks take her to place with no harbour when they had a good harbour which they used constantly at the foot of Abbey Burn?
A member of an old Rerrick family , Macartney, rowed Mary, Queen of Scots across the Solway to her exile in England.
Sir Halliday Macartney K.C.M.G. was a descendant of that person. He served as a doctor in the Crimean War before being drafted to Shanghai in 1859. For many years he looked after the munitions and arsenal for the Chinese Government. He married a Chinese princess and after her death married again to a French woman. He is buried in the family vault in Dundrennan Abbey.
John Copland was born in the parish of Balmaghie in 1854 and moved into the Studio at Dundrennan when he married Miss Margaret Bennet of Fagra Mill. He was an artist and inventor. He studied optics and photography. He was a friend of E.A. Hornel of Broughton House, Kirkcudbright.
Norman C. Macmillan
Norman Macmillan was born in Dundrennan in 1880. He was one of nine children and his father was a shoemaker in the village before opening a ranch of the business in Kirkcudbright.
He was a passionate Burns fan and his own poetry is written in a similar style.