Newton Stewart (Gd: Baile Ùr nan Stiùbhartach) is a former burgh town on the Machars peninsula in Dumfries and Galloway, southwest Scotland. The town lies around the River Cree with the majority of the town to the west of the river, and is sometimes referred to as the "Gateway to the Galloway Hills". Newton Stewart has also recently been twinned with the French town of Marcoussis.
The main local industries are agriculture, forestry and tourism. The town hosts a local market, and a number of services to support the farming industry. There are many mountain biking trails in and around the area and shops like kirkcowan cycles in newton stewart its self a perfect place to ride and enjoy your mountain bike. Newton Stewart lies on the southern edge of the Galloway Forest Park, which supplies a large amount of jobs to the town.
The town was founded in the mid 17th Century by William Stewart, fourth and youngest son of the 2nd Earl of Galloway. The "New Town of Stewart" was granted Burgh status by charter from King Charles II allowing a weekly market and two annual fairs to be held.
It was on a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Ninian at Whithorn in 1329 that Robert the Bruce forded the river where the present bridge stands. Designed by John Rennie the Elder and built in 1813 the present bridge replaced the old bridge of 1745 which was destroyed by floods in 1806.
The industrialist, Sir William Douglas (died 1809), best known for founding the planned town of Castle Douglas, also established cotton mills in Newton Stewart, which was temporarily renamed "Newton Douglas" in his honour.
The nearby village of Blackcraig was once a major lead-mining centre. Granite from the area was used in the construction of most major dock-sides in Britain.
Refer to the parish of Penninghame