Langholm /ˈlæŋəm/, also known colloquially as the "Muckle Toun",
is a burgh in
Dumfries and Galloway
Dumfries and Galloway in southern Scotland. Langholm
lies between four hills in the valley of the River Esk in the Southern
Uplands. It is eight miles north of the
Anglo-Scottish border and 73
miles south of Edinburgh. It is the traditional seat of Clan Armstrong
with its most famous descendant being Neil Armstrong, the first man to
walk on the Moon. In 1972 he accepted in person being bestowed the
first Freeman and Honorary Burgess of the burgh of Langholm. On
accepting the distinction he said, "The most difficult place to be
recognised is in one's home town. And I consider this now my home
1 Location and geography
3 Notable visitors and residents
3.1 Neil Armstrong
5 Local media
9 Arts & leisure
13 External links
Location and geography
Whita hill with obelisk commemorating Sir John Malcolm
Langholm sits eight miles north of the
Anglo-Scottish border on the A7
road running between
Edinburgh in east central
Scotland and Carlisle
in north-west England.
Edinburgh is 73 miles north and Carlisle 19
Langholm is immediately surrounded by four hills in the River Esk
valley within Scotland's wider Southern Uplands. The highest of the
four hills is 300m Whita hill on which stands an obelisk (locally
known as 'The Monument'). The Monument commemorates the life and
Sir John Malcolm
Sir John Malcolm (1769‑1833), former soldier,
statesman, and historian. The other three hills are Warblaw (in
Langholm it is pronounced Warbla), Meikleholmhill (a knowe of which is
known as 'Tinpin') and the Castle Hill.
Clan Armstrong Trust Centre
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 4.5 mi (7.2 km) south
Langholm and 2.3 km (1.4 mi) north of Canonbie. The
Episcopalian church on Castle Holm went into disuse before conversion
Clan Armstrong museum.
The town was an important centre for the Border Reivers. The town
later grew around the textile industry.
Notable visitors and residents
In 1972, astronaut Neil Armstrong, was welcomed and made the first
freeman and Burgess of the burgh. The depute town clerk at the time
later said, “The town council had made the approach because this is
Armstrong country and we thought it would be appropriate. It turned
out that he was coming to
Edinburgh to deliver the Mountbatten lecture
so he could accept and come to Langholm.”
The ceremony took place at Langholm's largest building of the time,
the parish church. With his manner of modest dignity he stated: 
"The most difficult place to be recognised is in one's home town. And
I consider this now my home town."
He also commented:
“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
He then walked for lunch at Buccleuch Hall. His visit is captured in
online video. In coverage by the international press the
Chicago Tribune's front-page story included a map of the British Isles
London and Langholm. Armstrong universally known for his
humility is remembered as having no interest on his visit of
boasting of his achievements. Instead he was absorbed in finding out
more of his Armstrong heritage and making a connection with the
"Here comes Langholm, birthplace of Hugh Macdiarmid."
Thomas Telford was born nearby and worked in
Langholm as an apprentice
early in his career.
Christopher Murray Grieve (known as Hugh Macdiarmid) was born in
Langholm. The Scottish poet was a leading light in the Scottish
Renaissance of the 20th century. Unusually for a communist, he was a
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
David Thomas Richardson, a linguist and officer of the
Bengal Army was
born in Langholm.
The 95/X95 cross-border bus service runs through Langholm. The service
largely follows the route of the A7 road between
Edinburgh to the
north and Carlisle to the south for its duration.
Langholm railway station opened in April 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 nearest operational railway stations are at Carlisle in England
Lockerbie in Scotland.
The local newspaper is the Eskdale & Liddesdale Advertiser based
Langholm High Street. The Advertiser is owned by the CN Group
Ltd. The paper covers news from
Langholm and its surrounding areas
Canonbie & Newcastleton) and is commonly referred to
locally as 'The Squeak'. Established in 1848, the newspaper was the
first penny newspaper in Scotland.
Outside of the nationwide services it is possible to receive
BBC Radio Cumbria
BBC Radio Scotland
The population in 2001 was 2,311.
Langholm Academy is a combined primary and secondary school.
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.
Langholm RFC was founded, being the oldest Rugby club in the
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
As well as the
Scottish Episcopal Church
Scottish Episcopal Church now used as the Clan
Armstrong museum, The
Roman Catholic church of St Francis of Assisi
closed in 2010 and is now a fine art gallery.
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
There is also an active Archive Group with a steadily increasing
collection of information, much now on-line.
Industry for a long time was based on textiles with at one time 22
mills in the town. There has been much consolidation and closure since
that peak. The High Street retail brand The
Edinburgh Woollen Mill is
based in Langholm.
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:
aim to establish a commercially viable driven grouse moor. Within the
time frame of the project, it is the intention to sell driven grouse
days producing an annual income in excess of £100,000.
aim to restore an important site for nature conservation to favourable
seek to demonstrate whether the needs of an economically viable grouse
moor can be met alongside the conservation needs of protected raptors,
especially the hen harrier.
This more recent study is officially titled The
Demonstration Project, but like its predecessor it is generally known
Langholm Project'. The current project is a joint venture
between Buccleuch Estates, Scottish Natural Heritage, Game &
Wildlife Conservation Trust,
RSPB and Natural England.
^ a b "NEIL ARMSTRONG IN LANGHOLM" National Library of Scotland
^ "Neil Armstrong's Scots roots celebrated as
Moon landing hero makes
his final journey"
^ a b c
"Mission To… Langholm?" The Scots Magazine 15 June 2015]
^ "Armstrong's Lantern: Spaceflight Scottish Connections" Scottish
^ BBC 31 Aug 2012 "
Neil Armstrong remembered by Scottish town
^ BBC Scotland, Watch and listen 1970s
Neil Armstrong in Langholm, Tyne Tees
Moon man's 'muckle' leap" BBC, 20 July 2009
^ "Neil Armstrong: 'We have lost a humble giant, but his legacy is
forever'" NASA 27 August 2012
^ Eskdale and Liddlesdale Advertiser
Langholm Archive Group. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Langholm.
Langholm from the Air
Langholm Walks and Walking Festival
Search the local paper archive
The Buccleuch Centre
The Eskdale & Liddesdale Advertiser
2007 Press release regarding new Raptor and Grouse project
Langholm Cricket Club
Centre Stage Youth Theatre
Civil parishes in
Dumfries and Galloway
Hutton and Corrie
Colvend and Southwick