Sorbie Old Parish Church, Galloway, SW Scotland.

I came across this ruin completely by accident when out e-biking in Galloway. It’s a cracking wee ruin although much of its history is hard to come by.

It is a Category B building. Built circa 1750, probably to design by James Douglas; restored 1826. T-plan church with long 4-window, elevation single bay jamb to N containing private family gallery for Earl of Galloway. The rubble walled churchyard contains many good 18th and 19th century stones. To W of the church a rectangular-plan classical mausoleum to the Stewart family probably also to the designs of Douglas.

It re placed former churches until it, in turn, was replaced in 1877 by the Parish Church at Millisle, near Garlieston. This move, however, didn’t seem to go down too well by the inhabitants of Sorbie  and environs., and prompted the building of a Free Church in Sorbie and a Congregational Church in Garlieston. Took their religion seriously in those days!

There was a couple of real disappointments though. The first was the state of the whole site which, as you can see from the photos, was really overgrown when I visited it. This was a real shame as it is a designated Commonwealth War Grave containing the names and remains of WW1 dead. I know times are tight and Covid dictates a lot but…

The second disappointment was that walking around the site didn’t half set off my hay fever after many years of sneeze free Summers! Ah well, onwards and upwards sniff, sniff…

By photos,poetry and haiku by Derek Ross

I am a photographer/ poet from Dumfries in South West Scotland. I concentrate on minimalist images and prefer using an iPhone these days. As far as my writing is concerned, I usually write short poems (some in Scots dialect), hence my interest in haiku and related forms.


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