Gavinton Fogo & Polwarth Community Council

view of Gavinton


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Yesterday & Today

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Gavinton, Then and Now

Gavinton village green

Properties on the village green

The village of Gavinton, in the parish of Langton, replaced the original Langton settlement. (Some documents record the village as being called 'Gavintown' at this time but it is unclear whether this is simply a mistaken hearing of 'Gavinton'.) In 1759, the laird of the Langton estate, David Gavin, agreed to provide new accommodation for the people of Langton and, it is thought, the move took place in 1760.

Gavinton millenium plaque

The millenium plaque
on the village hall

Some reports say Gavin wanted to improve the efficiency of his estate in order to increase its agricultural output. Others suggest he simply wanted to rid himself of the sight of the residents so close to the estate house. Either way, given that the Langton settlement has been described as 'dilapidated', the move to a purpose built village was probably beneficial.

The original village was built of two straight roads with crossways around an open area intended to become a market. The market never opened and the area became the village green.

Around twenty properties were originally built and, in 1795, the population was reported as 150. According to a survey conducted, in 1844, by the minister, Rev David Dunlop, the population of the village had risen to 225 while that of the parish as a whole was just over 500.

General view of Gavinton

Typically, for villages at that time, Gavinton was largely self-contained and self-reliant and the Rev Dunlop noted tradesmen capable of providing for the needs of the area amongst the residents. These included a joiner, slater, blacksmith, hedger, stonemason, grocer, baker and schoolmaster.

Many of the other residents were employed by the estate though there were a few with their own smallholdings.

Langton church

The name, Langton, survives in the parish church. Please, click here to visit the Langton Church section of this site.

In the second half of the 20th century the area to the east of the original village was developed. This increase in the number of properties, to just under 100 in total, could not overcome the decrease in the population per household and the 2001 census recorded Gavinton as having a population of 201. Early in the 21st century, plans have been put forward for a large development to the west which could add up to 45 new properties. As is to be expected, these have proved controversial.