Ruthwell

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Coordinates: 54°59′36″N 3°24′27″W / 54.9934°N 3.4076°W / 54.9934; -3.4076

Ruthwell is a village and parish on the Solway Firth between Dumfries and Annan in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Ruthwell's most famous inhabitant was the Rev. Dr. Henry Duncan. He was a minister, author, antiquarian, geologist, publisher, philanthropist, artist and businessman.

In 1810, Dr. Duncan opened the world's first commercial savings bank, paying interest on its investors' modest savings. The Savings Bank Museum tells the story of early home savings in Britain.

In 1818, Dr. Duncan restored the Ruthwell Cross, one of the finest Anglo-Saxon crosses in the United Kingdom, now in Ruthwell church. This cross is remarkable for its runic inscription, which contains excerpts from The Dream of the Rood, an Old English poem.

After the Disruption of 1843 in the Church of Scotland, Dr. Duncan became one of the founding ministers of the Free Church of Scotland.

During his youth, Robert Murray M'Cheyne spent summer holidays at Clarence Cottage in the hamlet of Clarencefield near Ruthwell, the home of his maternal aunt. During these visits he would often call to see "Uncle" Henry Duncan at the manse. M'Cheyne's parents were born in this part of Scotland.

A well situated 3 km west of the village of Ruthwell is stained reddish (Latin: rutilius) by the high levels of iron salts in the water. This red well is now most noted as the place where Robert Burns hoped to cure his final illness by drinking the iron-rich water.

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