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Brydekirk (Scottish Gaelic: Eaglais Bhride) is a village in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland located approximately 2.5 miles north of Annan.
The village sits adjacent to the River Annan, and was the concept of the Paisley Dirom family of Mount Annan and building started about 1822.
Excerpts From 'Our Village Brydekirk' - Produced by the children of Brydekirk School in 2014.
The original village was called Bridechapel and was north west of what is now Brydekirk Mains farm. In 1507, over 500 years ago, it was known as Bridechapel, in 1517 Brydekyrk and in 1660 Brydekirk. It had its own water at St Brydes Well and the spring is still there 500 years later.
The pond which is over grown was the village pond at Brydekirk Mains Farm. You may see signs of the old village. The chapel had a rough stone wall surrounding it, it was in 1100 over 900 years ago. We also found out before Dirom’s time the village north west of Brydekirk called Brydechaple was built round a small chaple dedicated to Saint Bryde, or Saint B9riget born 452. In 1983 it was excavated by archaeologists they found coins dating back to 1496 these are in the Dumfries Museum.
Mains Farm. The Bell family have lived there for over 200 years. Mr Bell showed us the oldest part of the tower. We saw St Brides Tower it is about 15m high. The people lived above and the animals lived underneath to help keep the people warm. You could still see the beams that held the floor where the people lived. Mr Bell also showed us a pond in front of the farm where water was dammed so it could power the waterwheel. Brydekirk Mains Farm had their own corn mill and Mr Bell said his father can remember it working over 70 years ago. Mr Bell also said the Quarry, where the boys from school probably went to work, was nearly all filled in. It is about a field away from the school park. That field is known locally as “The American” because of its size.
A landowner Lieutenant General Alexander Dirom wanted to build an industrial village by the River Annan to increase the value of his land. Dirom made a great many plans for Brydekirk.
Dirom was born in 1757 at Banff near Aberdeen and came to Annan when he married Miss Magdalene Paisley the heiress of mount Annan Estate. They lived at mount Annan for many years had 7 sons and 5 daughters. He died in October 1830 at mount Annan Aged 74. The first job was to make the planned village easy to get to. He had to build roads and between 1799 and 1800 a bridge. A stone bridge with three arches went over the river Annan, that’s over 200 years ago. Now Dirom had four roads that came into Brydekirk. He made a new road from Mount Annan to Brydekirk one mile with a gate and a porter’s lodge at each end. Dirom was interested in the river to power all the industries of Brydekirk including a corn mill, woollen mill and a bleach field to bleach the cloth by the sun. Dirom was also interested in quarrying his lands fine sandstone from Corsehill and a lime from a quarry at Brownmoor. In 1791 over 200 years ago he tried to bore for coal but was unsuccessful. The houses were to be built by the people themselves and then a set rent was paid to Dirom. He wanted hardworking people to live in his village. The first six houses were built by Dirom. The houses were all built to his plan; each had a slated roof and was built with limestone from quarries at Brownmoor. Each house was to be white washed in the spring of every year, the cottages were said to glisten in the sun and Brydekirk was nicknamed “The White Wash City”.
In 1837, over 200 years ago the list of people in the village were, 1 clergy, 2 clog makers, 1 cooper, 3 grocers and spirit dealer, 4 mason builders, 1 miller, 1 tailor, 1 vinter, 1 flax dresser and 2 black smiths. The village was thriving but Dirom never completed his elaborate plan. New power came along like steam and water power was not going to last. Dirom died in October 1830 at Mount Annan Aged 74. This is Annan old Parish Churchyard the burial ground of Lieutenant General Dirom of Mount Annan and his family.
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