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Hanover Street and Hanover Square

McCulloch Place in London Road taken 1959 by Joe Blain

As we move from London Road into Hanover Street we pass, on the right, Bellevilla Road, a street in earlier times known as the Far Fey, an indication of its distance from the town centre of three hundred years ago. Between these names it was, for a time, Glenwell Street, a reference to an early public park in the area.

Turning south off Hanover Street into Dalrymple Street we cross the town burn again, now hidden below the modern roadway as is the Mountain Bridge crossing the burn and taking its name from the nearby Reformed Presbyterian Church. Some older people can still recall the church's local name of the Muntin' Kirk (from Mountain Meeting House), a reminder of days when members met in secret in the hills or mountains to avoid religious persecution.

On the other side of the street was the site of Rankin's Mill, a manufactory which took its power from the burn and gave Its name to Rankin's Close. Stranraer people never seemed to accept official names easily and they nicknamed it the Pretty Mill Close. Farther up the street on the same side was Sloss's Close and here again it was locally referred to as the Navvy Raw.

Back on the west side of the street there was, until some thirty years ago, a roadway named Trade Street, a reminder of earlier days when this area was Tradeston, a place of cottage industries of weavers, stocking-makers and glove- makers. Dalrymple Terrace still marks the southern boundary of this redeveloped area and its line was formed by an old rope-walk, an industry which pre-dated Stranraer Reformatory on this site. The rope-walk was continued in existence in 1852 when the reformatory opened up and added practical subjects and trades for the boys. It closed in 1927 and houses on the older side of the terrace were once classrooms and dormitories for the boys.

Turning right into Academy Street, then right again towards the town centre, we are in Lewis Street and passing the western entrance to the town centre redevelopment of Hanover Square. Here in the 1840s and 1850s was Little Ireland, an area of cheap housing quickly erected to cope with immigrants escaping the potato famines in Ireland. Forgotten street names include Little Ireland, Mill Street and Little Dublin Street. Earlier the lower central part of the square was known as Swan's Isle, a reference to areas created by the meeting of two burns and their use to fill the pits of one of the town's tanyards.

Where next? 

map the sea front (link to further information) Lewis Street to George Street (link to further information) Hanover Street and Hanover Square (link to further information) Portrodie to London Road (link to further information) The Strand into Harbour Street (link to further information)

The Strand l Portrodie to London Road l Hanover Street and Hanover Square l Church Street into George Street l The Sea Front

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