Although the origins of curling are unknown, the first records of an organised game emerge in Scotland, and during the 18th and 19th centuries it was by far the most widely played sport of the nation.
Originally games were organised on a parish basis. Road travel was difficult at the best of times and particularly so during good curling weather. Matches were generally played with neighbouring parishes, although even this could involve the participants walking great distances in hazardous conditions.
By the early 1800s many of the parishes of Dumfries and Galloway had curling clubs and their matches were recorded in great detail in the columns of local newspapers.
The scene on this medal from Keir is dated 1840 and is rich in detail, showing the stone and broom of the time. The curler is wearing iron crampits over his boots to improve his foothold.
In the collection of Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura.