"WESTERKIRK, a parish in the district of Eskdale, county Dumfries, Scotland. It extends 10 miles in length from S. to N., with an extreme breadth of 6½ miles; and it is bounded on the N. by Roxburghshire, and on the other sides by the parishes of Ewes, Langholm, Tundergarth, Hutton and Corrie, and Eskdalemuir. The surface is generally hilly and mountainous, abounding in sheepwalks. The predominant rocks are graywacke and graywacke-slate, with shell marl at Megdale, and antimony at Jamestown. In the vicinity are ruins of Westerhall and Glendonwyn or Glendenning towers, with some remains of Crooks and Enzieholm towers, besides several hill forts and burians or "picts" houses, and Druidical circle and several ancient camps. The village is about 5 miles N.W. of Langholm, and stands at the confluence of the rivers Meggot and Stennis with the Esk, and on the road from Langholm to Ettrick and Selkirk. The parish formerly belonged to the Glendonwyns, and contained Eskdalemuir till 1703. The parish is in the presbytery of Langholm and synod of Dumfries. The stipend of the minister is about £153. The parish church was erected in 1788, and the churchyard contains the mausoleum of the Johnstone family. There are a parochial school and a public library, the latter founded and endowed in 1795 by Telford, the civil engineer, who was a native of this parish. Sir J. Malcolm, author of "History of Persia," Governor Johnstone, and Admiral Palsey were also born here. The principal seats are Westerhall, Burnfoot, Dowsglen, and Hopesrigg."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]