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Site created by
Duncan Mackintosh

Kelton

Latitude: 55 01'N
Longitude: 03 35'W
Country: Scotland

Website: www.nith-navigation.co.uk


About Kelton

The port of Dumfries covers Dumfries, Kingholm Quay, Kelton, Glencaple and Carsethorn.

The key exports were grain, potatoes, sheep, cattle, pigs. By 1810 navigation in the Nith had become very dangerous even for small vessels and virtually impassable above Kelton for vessels over 60 tons, except at high tides. Kelton was an out-port of Dumfries for vessels unable to go further up the river. There are records of vessels unloading at Kelton back to the mid 17th century. A small amount of shipbuilding was also carried out here.

A survey of the Nith was undertaken by James Hollingsworth, a civil engineer, who drew up a plan for improvements in the course of the river. An Act of Parliament passed in 1811 appointed commissioners to superintend improvements, with powers to borrow 16,000 to execute the work. The aim was to improve navigation so that vessels with a depth of at least six feet could come and go. The cost of the many improvements to the channel, however, was too great for the traffic generated and the coming of the railway in 1850 started a slow decline in seaborne trade.

The twentieth century has seen an almost complete decline and there is now no sign of a quay at Kelton.


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