For the suburb of Auckland, New Zealand, see Laingholm.
Scottish Gaelic: Langaim
Scots: Langhowm
The Muckle Toun

Langholm and the River Esk
 Langholm shown within Dumfries and Galloway
Population 2,311 (2001)
Southern Scots
OS grid referenceNY364847
Council areaDumfries and Galloway
Lieutenancy areaDumfries
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post town LANGHOLM
Postcode district DG13
Dialling code 013873
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK ParliamentDumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale
Scottish ParliamentDumfrieshire
List of places

Coordinates: 55°09′07″N 2°59′56″W / 55.152°N 2.999°W / 55.152; -2.999

Langholm /ˈlæŋəm/, also known colloquially as the "Muckle Toun", is a burgh in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, on the River Esk and the A7 road.


The town grew around the textile industry, but is now best known as the birthplace of Hugh MacDiarmid and Thomas Telford, and the ancestral home of Neil Armstrong. The population in 2001 was 2,311.

The town was an important centre for the Border Reivers.


A branch of the Carlisle to Hawick railway line to Langholm was completed in 1864, but closed 100 years later. The last regular passenger train was on 13 June 1964, although a special ran in March 1967 - complete with restaurant car; the freight service continued until September 1967. The X95/95 bus line runs through Langholm. The A7 road runs through the town.


Langholm Academy is a combined primary and secondary school.


In 1858 Langholm Cricket Club was founded. The club play their matches on the picturesque Castleholm Ground. They currently play their matches in the Border League, finishing mid table for the 2009 season. The 2010 season started against Gala at home on 24 April.

In 1871, Langholm RFC was founded, being the oldest Rugby club in the Borders. Langholm RFC play in Scottish National League Division 1 and in the Border League.

Langholm also has a minor football team, Langholm Legion, who also play on the Castleholm

The town also has a karate club, Langholm Shotokan Karate Club, which is part of the JKS Scotland.

Arts & leisure

The unused Episcopalian church on the Castle Holm in the burgh has been converted into the Armstrong clan museum.

The town is home to a music and arts festival, a food festival and the Langholm walks.

Each year many visitors come for the annual Common Riding, which takes place on the last Friday of July.

Langholm has both a pipe band and a brass band (known as the Town Band - or colloquially as The Toon Ban'). The Town Band is allegedly the oldest surviving brass band in Scotland.

The town is also home to the Eskdale and Liddesdale Archaeological Society.

There is also an active Archive Group with a steadily increasing collection of information, much now on-line.[1]

The Roman Catholic church of St Francis of Assisi closed in 2010,[2] and is now a fine art gallery.[3]


Whita hill with obelisk

Langholm is surrounded by four hills. The highest is 300m Whita hill, on which stands an impressive obelisk (locally known as 'The Monument') commemorating the life and achievements of Sir John Malcolm (1769‑1833), the distinguished soldier, statesman, and historian.

The others are Warblaw (in Langholm it is pronounced Warbla), Meikleholmhill (a knowe of which is known as 'Tinpin') and the Castle Hill.


The local newspaper is the Eskdale & Liddesdale Advertiser, which is part of the CN Group Ltd. The paper covers news from Langholm and its surrounding areas (notably Canonbie & Newcastleton) and is commonly referred to locally as 'The Squeak'. Established in 1848, the newspaper was the first penny newspaper in Scotland.


Langholm has long been home to a thriving woollen milling trade, and at one stage there were 22 mills in the town. There has been consolidation and closure since then, but many people still earn their living in the trade. The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, seen on many a high street, is based in Langholm.

Another local business is Border Fine Arts, set up in the early 1970s. It makes figurines of local wildlife, each one hand-painted by local people. The company trades around the world.

Notable people

The Clan Armstrong Trust Centre
"Here comes Langholm, birthplace of Hugh Macdiarmid."

In 1972, astronaut Neil Armstrong, a descendant of the clan, was welcomed to the town, and made the first freeman of the burgh. He happily declared the town his home:

My pleasure is not only that this is the land of Johnnie Armstrong, rather that my pleasure is in knowing that this is my home town and in the genuine feeling that I have among these hills among these people.[4]

The BBC have a video clip of the visit.

Langholm is the traditional seat of Clan Armstrong, which is currently represented globally by the official Clan Armstrong Trust. Home of the Clan Armstrong line is Gilnockie Tower 2.3 km (1.4 mi) north of Canonbie.

Langholm was the birthplace of Christopher Murray Grieve (known as Hugh Macdiarmid), the Scottish poet, who was a leading light in the Scottish Renaissance of the 20th century. Unusually for a communist, he was a committed Scottish nationalist and wrote both in English and in literary Scots. The town is home to a monument in his honour made of COR-TEN(r) steel which takes the form of a large open book depicting images from his writings.

The first female corporate member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Dorothy Donaldson Buchanan, was born and raised in Langholm, daughter of Rev. James Donaldson Buchanan, the longtime minister in Langholm Parish.

David Thomas Richardson, a linguist and officer of the Bengal Army was born in Langholm.


The 'Langholm Project' or 'Langholm Study' is a reference to the Joint Raptor Study, a scientific study undertaken in the 1990s on Langholm Moor into the effects of raptors on red grouse populations. This was a large scale project involving a range of organisations including Game Conservancy Trust, CEH (or ITE as they were then known) and Buccleuch estates. The project was followed by a two-year study on the effects of supplementary feeding of harriers, which ended in 1999. The findings of the study and the effect on the moor have been the subject of much debate. In 2007 the Scottish Government announced a further 10-year project with the following aims:

This more recent study is officially titled The Langholm Moor Demonstration Project, but like its predecessor it is generally known as 'the Langholm Project'. The current project is a joint venture between Buccleuch Estates, Scottish Natural Heritage, Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, RSPB and Natural England.


  1. Langholm Archive Group. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
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