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Lochmaben

LOCHMABEN, a royal and police burgh of Dumfriesshire, Scotland, 8 m. N.E. of Dumfries, with a station on the Caledonian railway company's branch from Dumfries to Locherbie. Pop. (1901) 1328. It is delightfully situated, there being eight lakes in the immediate neighbourhood, while the river Annan, and the Waters of Ae, Kinnel and Dryfe are in the vicinity. The town hall is a handsome edifice with clock tower. At the south end of Castle Loch, the chief lake, stand the ruins, a mere shell, of Lochmaben Castle, dating from the 13th century, where local tradition declares that Robert Bruce was born an honour which is also claimed, however, for Turnberry Castle on the coast of Ayrshire. In the parish church is a bell said to have been presented to King Robert by the pope after reconciliation with him. A statue of the king stands in front of the town hall. Whether it were his birthplace or not, the associations of Bruce with Lochmaben were intimate. He exempted his followers in the district from feudal service and their descendants the " kindly tenants of Lochmaben " were confirmed in their tenure by the court of session in 1824. The Castle Loch is the only fresh water in Scotland, and possibly in the British Isles, where the vendace (coregonus vandcsius) occurs. This fish, which is believed to be growing scarcer, is alleged on doubtful authority to have been introduced by Queen Mary. It is captured by the sweep-net in August, and is esteemed as a delicacy. The lakes adjoining the town afford the inhabitants exceptional advantages for the game of curling. There was once a team of Lochmaben Curlers entirely composed of shoemakers (souters) who held their own against all comers, and their prowess added the phrase " to souter " to the vocabulary of the sport, the word indicating a match in which the winners scored " game " to their opponents' " love." Lochmaben unites with Annan, Dumfries, Kirkcudbright and Sanquhar (the Dumfries burghs) in returning one member to parliament.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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