"GLENCAIRN, a parish in the district of Nithsdale, county Dumfries, Scotland, containing the post town and burgh of barony of Minnyhive, and the villages of Kirkland and Dunreggan. It is situated on the river Cairn, and extends over 14 miles in length; its average breadth is 4 miles. It is bordered by the county Kirkcudbright and the parishes of Dunscore, Keir, and Tynron. The surface is hilly, particularly in the W. and N., from which district issue the Dalwhat, Craigdarroch, and Castlephairn, streams of much beauty, and all tributary to the Cairn. Loch Urr is situated in the S.W. The arable districts consist of a fertile soil, but the greater portion of the surface is pasture. This parish is in the presbytery of Penpont and synod of Dumfries. The minister has a stipend of £280. The church was built in 1836. There are Free and United Presbyterian congregations in the parish. There are three parish schools and two private establishments. The church of Glencairn anciently belonged to the bishops of Glasgow. An old church, dedicated to St. Cuthbert, stood near the Castlephairn. The principal seats are: Auchenchain, Craigdarroch, Crawfordton, Caitloch, Hastings Hall, Dalwhat House, and Maxwellton. A large mound or earthwork, of a kind similar to those in the valley of Urr, in Galloway, is to be seen on the Cairn, usually supposed to be an ancient Saxon place of justice; but recent investigations give these mounds a still more ancient origin, and seem to prove them to have been raised over the tombs of distinguished persons, after the manner of the pyramids in Egypt. There are also remains of an old fortification of Saxon origin near Maxwellton. Slate was formerly quarried here. This parish gave title of earl to the Cunningham family, which passed out of that line in 1796, on the death of John, the fifteenth earl."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]