LOCKERBIE, a thriving and populous town, in the parish of Dryfesdale, district of Annandale, county of Dumfries, 11 miles (N. N. W.) from Annan, and 12 (E. N. E.) from Dumfries; containing 1315 inhabitants. This place derives both its origin and its name from an ancient castle or fortress on a hill between two lakes, which castle was the baronial residence of the Johnstones, a branch of the family of the Johnstones of Lochwood, ancestors of the present Marquess of Queensberry. The small hamlet which arose round the castle gradually increased under the liberal patronage of its proprietors, who granted lands for building upon long and favourable leases; and its situation in the centre of an extensive pastoral and agricultural district has contributed to render it a prosperous and flourishing town. It is on the turnpike-road from Glasgow to Carlisle, and consists of one spacious and regularlyformed street, extending for more than half a mile from north to south, and from the northern extremity of which a similar street, of half that length, branches off at right angles to the east. The houses are well built, and of handsome appearance. A public library was formerly supported; and there was a public reading and news room, supplied with most of the Scottish and English journals and periodical publications. No manufactures have hitherto been established; but all the handicraft trades requisite for the wants of the adjacent district are carried on to a great extent; and there are numerous shops, abundantly stored with merchandize of every kind for the supply of the vicinity. Branches of the Edinburgh and Glasgow, and Western Banks have been opened in the town. The post-office has a tolerable delivery; and there are some excellent inns for the accommodation of the visiters who attend the fairs and cattle-markets for which this place is celebrated.
   Fairs for lambs and wool, which are largely resorted to by persons for many miles around, are held at Lammas and Michaelmas; the former is on the 2nd of August, O.S., except it happen on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, in which case it is postponed to the following Tuesday. At this fair, which was formerly held at the base of Lockerbie hill, from 70,000 to 80,000 lambs are now frequently sold to various dealers; and so much has the business of late years increased, that the whole of that hill, of which the superiority was purchased from the corporation of Glasgow by Lady Douglas, of Lockerbie House, is now appropriated to the purpose. The Michaelmas fair is held, with the same restrictions, on the 2nd of October, and is also numerously attended. There are markets for cattle, sheep, and horses on the second Thursdays, O.S., of January, February, March, April, May, July, September, October, November, and December, all of which are free of toll. Markets are also held fortnightly during the winter for the sale of pork, in the purchase of which £1000 are often expended in one day; and fairs for hiring servants take place in April and at Michaelmas. At the northern extremity of the village is the parish church, which, after having been twice removed from its original situation, to protect it from encroachments of the river Dryfe, was finally built on its present site, which is well adapted for the convenience of the parishioners. There are also in the village places of worship for members of the Free Church, and for Antiburghers. The old tower of Lockerbie has been adapted for the custody of prisoners previously to their commitment to the gaol of Dumfries; but it is scarcely ever occupied.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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