INHABITED SINCE PREHISTORIC TIMES
Ship Inn History
The Ship Inn has been a hostelry since 1794.
Dorothy Sayers, a regular guest at the Ship, wrote the novel ‘Five Red Herrings’ whilst on holiday here. Britt Eckland and Edward Woodward also stayed whilst filming the original Wickerman.
In 1794, Gatehouse of Fleet was an emergent harbour town built to be the “Glasgow of the South” with four cotton mills as well as a brewery, soap factory, tannery, brickworks and brass foundry. Up to 150 ships used the town’s harbour, Port Macadam, and the town was even known for a while as the Glasgow of the South. The town’s population was double the current 900 or so residents but heavy industry struggled to compete.
Over time the industries closed and the population shrank, and nowadays Gatehouse of Fleet is a very picturesque, quiet village. The Mill on the Fleet is the only remaining mill, and this historic building is now a visitor centre housing very informative displays about the local area and its history.
For more information about the history of the town, see www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/gatehouseoffleet/gatehouseoffleet/
Gatehouse of Fleet dates back to the mid-1700s. Initially just a staging post on the route to Ireland, the town developed after the entrepreneur James Murray of Broughton built his mansion, Cally House, in 1765. However, there is evidence that the area has been inhabited since prehistoric times, with a small Roman fort, while the sites at Cairnholy and Trusty’s Hill Fort providing fascinating glimpses into the past. The Pictish stone carvings known as the De’il’s Specs (Devil’s Spectacles) at Trusty’s Hill Fort are particularly unusual in this part of Scotland and well worth a look.
For more information about this unusual prehistoric fort, see http://www.gatehouse-of-fleet.co.uk/index.php/trustys-hill