HISTORY of PORT WILLIAM
Man has been active on the shores around Port William for the last 6,000 years. There is evidence of a Mesolithic site to the south of the Port William signs of habitation and flints to the north. There are standing stones at Drumtroddan, just behind Port William, and cup and ring markings at Balcraig and Monreith. An Iron Age fort is sited on the headland at Barsalloch Point. There are old Christian sites at Chapel Finian and Barhobble. The Vikings have also left their mark on the countryside in some of the place names.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, smuggling was rife, due to the proximity of the Isle of Man. The main company involved in this trade was based at Clone Farm, but many of the local farms had 'brandy holes' - hiding places for smuggled goods - some of which are still being uncovered today when foundations are being excavated for new buildings.
Captain Francois Thurot, the French privateer, smuggler and naval officer, a protege of Madam de Pompadour, is buried at the small churchyard lying beneath the golf course at Monreith. His body was washed ashore there following a sea battle with a British fleet off the north of the Isle of Man in 1760. He had been responsible for introducing the Order of Coldin to Sweden and this order unveiled a plaque to him at the churchyard. In 1967 a detachment of the French Fleet came there to honour him.
Iron Age Settlement
The picture above shows archeologists working on an iron age (300BC to 300AD) roundhouse with walls some 3.5 metres thick. This is one of several in a small area just to the north of Port William and is totally different to those found in surrounding areas.
Similar buildings have been found in Ireland, Argyll and some Scottish islands, suggesting that this may be a group of Irish Iron Age people who settled here 1700 to 2300 years ago
Before the building of the A75 and M6, deliveries to farms and the transportation of farm produce, cattle, sheep etc was by boat.
Each coastal farm had its own "port" by clearing the rocks away so that a ship could beach at high tide, unload and reload and float off at the next high tide. Many of these are still visible a little before and after high tide and one is shown below.
Later these inlets were used by smugglers for landing brandy, tea and other high duty items brought across from the the Isle of Man, stored on the farms and then transported to the Central belt of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
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Archaeology, Standing Stones, Iron Age Fort, early Christian sites and much more. Port William is central to many visitor attractions. (more)
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Cycling, hill walking, fishing, gardens, golf courses, horse riding and pony trekking, bird-watching, bingo, loch, river and sea angling and bridge club...something for all ages and interests. (More)
Self catering cottage holidays, caravan parks and camping, guest house/bed and breakfast's and hotels. Plenty of choice to suit all budgets. (More)
Whether it's provisions for your stay or a gift to take back home, you'll always receive a friendly welcome and good service from all local shops and businesses. (More)
Where is Port William? Local maps, travel links and directions to Port William. (More)
OLD CORN MILL PROJECT
One of the first buildings to be erected in Port William (1796) the mill was in use until 1968. Now purchased by a local man, Frank Gilmour, the mill is undergoing sympathetic restoration. The aim is to bring the mill back to full working order with its overshot waterwheel turnng once again to produce the power.
For more details and updates