I have looked over every possible reference source in the Ewart & Library, Dumfries and these are the ones I found most useful. They are in no particular order.
Books and Booklets
A Country Schoolmaster, James Shaw Robert Wallace 1899
Tynron in Picture, Poetry and Prose William A. Wilson 1927
Tynron, Topography and Historical Notes William A. Wilson 1940
Tynron, Dumfriesshire from the Mists of Antiquity and Verse William A. Wilson 1957
Tynron Reminiscences William A. Wilson 1960-6, (lodged in Dumfries Museum, an unpublished handwritten manuscript)
The Churchyard of Tynron Rev J. M. McWilliam 1959
The Natural and Genealogical History of the Shire of Dumfries, Penpont Presbytery Rev Peter Rae 1747
Covenant and Hearth vol. iii Tynron Parish No 34 Robert A. Shannon 1973
Diary of Andrew Hunter, Surgeon, Camling, Tynron 1781
Annals of Glencairn John Corrie 1910
The Parish of Glencairn Rev John Monteith 1876
Why Forget? Moniaive in Bygone Days Jock Black 1992
The Gallovidian, Winter 1902 R. de Bruce Trotter
Glencairn and Tynron Scrapbook, 1893-1911 Mrs Pollock of Tynron Kirk
Making of the Scottish Landscape R. N. Millman 1975
Evolution of Scotland’s Scenery J. B. Sissons 1967
The South of Scotland, British Regional Geology, 3rd edition 1971
The Place-names of Dumfriesshire Col. Sir Edward Johnson-Ferguson 1935
The Book of Dumfriesshire James Anderson Russell 1964
History of the Douglas Family Percy W. L. Adams 1921
The Lag Charters 1400-1720 Scottish Record Society 1958
The Queensberry Papers
General View of the Agriculture, State of Property and Improvements in the County of Dumfries Dr Singer 1812
Birds of Dumfriesshire Hugh S. Gladstone 1910
Early Education in Dumfriesshire James Anderson Russell 1967
Glenesslin, Nithsdale The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland 1994
Inventory of Monuments in Dumfriesshire Historical Monuments (Scotland) Commission
History of Dumfries and Galloway Sir Herbert Maxwell 1896
Caledonia George Chalmers 1902
An Historical Atlas of Scotland c400 – c1600 Peter McNeill and Ranald Nicholson editors 1975
1st Statistical Account of Dumfriesshire 1791-3 Tynron by Rev James Wilson
2nd Statistical Account of Dumfriesshire 1836-41 Tynron by Rev Robert Wilson
Unpublished Statistical Account 1873 (bound in Ewart Library) Dumfries and Galloway Courier
3rd Statistical Account of Scotland 1958, County of Dumfries Tynron by Rev J. M. McWilliam
The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, 16 Bernard Terrace, Edinburgh EH8 9NX has all the historical and architectural monuments on a card index and on maps plus photos of listed buildings and aerial photos of Tynron.
The National Library of Scotland on George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EW has a copy of any book for reference.
Tynron Parish Registers, births, marriages and deaths, available at New Register House, Edinburgh and Dumfries Archive Centre in Burns Street on Microfiche, 1743-1854. (Marriages and deaths missing 1783-1823. Later marriages give no place names).
Tynron Census Records 1841-91 available at New Register House and Dumfries Archive Centre.
The Ewart Library has most of these records, all of the books, but it also has the records of Highway Authorities, County Treasurer’s Department, Tynron School Board and Log Books, the MacRae Papers, Newspaper Index, Photo Collection for Tynron, Map Collection, Electoral Rolls and Valuation Rolls.
Electoral Rolls from 1914 and Valuation Rolls from 1863 are also available at 27, Moffat Road, Dumfries. Staff there were very helpful.
The Domesday Disk contains information on Tynron by Tynron’s children and others. The disk is kept in the Ewart or is more likely to be on tour around the county.
General Register House, Edinburgh EH1 3YY has tax registers and sasines.
TDGNHAS = Transactions of the Dumfries and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society;
many articles with Tynron connections, including
1885 List of Birds in Tynron Parish Tom Brown
1887 Glencairn Bird Report Corrie, plus Gladstone’s bird reports
1949-50 Wilson of Croglin R. C. Reid
1957-8 Churchyard of Tynron Rev J. M. McWilliam
1958-9 Tynron parish records
1964 and 1971 Tynron Doon A. C. Truckell and J. Williams
1:50000 Geological Maps New Galloway, solid and drift
Thornhill, solid and drift
1:63360 Geological Map Maxwelltown, solid and drift
1:25000 sheets NX 69/79, 89/99; 1:50000 sheets 77 and 78 Ordnance Survey Maps
1850s large-scale Ordnance Survey maps are lodged in Dumfries Museum.
West Register House, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh has eighteenth and nineteenth century Buccleuch estate maps
The National Map Library, 33 Salisbury Place, Edinburgh EH9 1SL has copies of every OS map available and is open to the public. First and second edition Ordnance Survey maps are especially interesting. The older maps are here too.
The Tynron Challenge
There are thirteen tops over 500 metres in Shinnel Glen. You have to be fit and mentally unbalanced to do them all in one walk, but the stupendous views are worth it.
Start at Countam. The 300 metre climb up from Old Auchenbrack takes 40 minutes. Countam to Bail is about 20 kilometres and the total climb, starting from Old Auchenbrack is about 900 metres, so it is the equivalent of doing a serious Munro. This was my schedule at my steady amble, pausing to speculate, cogitate, masticate and urinate. I then had the long walk into Moniaive, giving a total of nine hours.
height time taken
Countam 502m 00.00
(Keb Hill) 499m 00.11 (too low, it does not count)
Ox Hill 505m 01.04
Allan’s Cairn 497m 02.02 (doesn’t count either)
High Countam 502m 02.22 The Southern Upland Way makes walking easier on this stretch, although ATV tracks can be followed for much of the way.
Black Hill 550m 02.45 (the top is not in Shinnel Glen)
Colt Hill 598m 03.03
Lamgarroch 573m 03.46 It is tedious then retracing your steps.
Lagdubh Hill 560m 04.27
Blackcraig Hill 555m 04.32 Going up and down Conrick Hass is a pain!
Mullwhanny 535m 05.15 (twin peaks)
Transparra 528m 05.31
Cormunnoch 500m 05.57
Green Hill 540m 06.07
Bail 517m 06.19 get a helicopter to meet you here
Potentilla erecta. I have not included a section on wildflowers, as this would be an enormous undertaking. The glen is predominantly sheep pasture and the tormentil provides such a beautiful display on the cropped turf from June to September that I regard it as the flower that would always remind me of Tynron.
Dramatist, John Fletcher, expressed the widespread belief in the medicinal power of tormentil in the seventeenth century, when he wrote:
This tormentil, whose vertue is to part
All deadly killing poison from the heart
In the “Country Farme”, a book of rustic lore published in 1616, a powder or decoction of tormentil roots was recommended “to appease the rage and torment of the teeth”. Tormentil roots are grand for curing colic, diarrhoea and cystitis, so if you are suffering from all three it is a good bet, as there must be millions of tormentil flowers in the glen in July.
A local name for tormentil, blood root, refers to a red dye extracted from the roots and used to colour clothing. Tormentil roots were also used as an alternative to the oak bark in tanning hides, their highly astringent quality proving ideal for the purpose.
The tormentil’s buttercup-like golden-yellow flowers secrete a nectar that attracts pollinating insects. In wet weather or at night, when the four petals close up, the tormentil flower has the clever ability to pollinate itself, producing up to twenty fruits on its seed head.
Vanessa Gourlay’s beautiful watercolour shows the height tormentil can reach on ungrazed land. Sheep obviously enjoy it and munch it down to the level of short grass pasture.