KIRKCUDBRIGHT - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868
"KIRKCUDBRIGHT, a parish containing a royal burgh of its own name, in the county Kirkcudbright, Scotland. It is situated on the coast, and is bounded on the S. by the Solway Frith, on the N. by the parish of Kelton, on the W. by Kirkcudbright Bay and the river Dee, and on the E. by the parish of Rerwick. It is 8¾ miles long, and measures 3½ miles at the broadest point. The greater portion of the surface is hilly, and the number of acres under tillage is about 3,000. It possesses fine pasture for black cattle and sheep. The river in this parish partakes both of the nature of a river and of an estuary, and is navigable as far as Tongland, 2 miles above the town. In the upper part of its course it forms several cataracts. There are two or three streamlets or burns. Loch Fergus, which once contained two islets, is now a meadow. The islets, now hills, bear decided marks of ancient fortification, and appear to have been the sites of castles belonging to Fergus, Lord of Galloway. In the 17th century the parishes of Galtway and Dunrod were annexed to this parish Near the burgh is a chalybeate spring. The parish is the seat of a presbytery in the synod of Galloway, in the patronage of the crown. The minister's stipend is £306. The parish church is a modern building, with accommodation for 1,500 persons. The original church, erected in the 8th century, was dedicated to St. Cuthbert, who has given his name to the parish, Kirkcudbright signifying "the church of St. Cuthbert." Its site is still marked by a cemetery. There is a Free church, an United Presbyterian church, and a Roman Catholic chapel. The burgh school is attended by 200 pupils. There are several schools for both sexes, some being endowed. In the neighbourhood of the town are many vestiges of British and Roman camps; and Baxter identifies Kirkcudbright as the ancient Benutium, situated on the banks of the Dee, which was called by the Romans Deva. There is also a battery constructed by William III., when wind-bound here or his voyage to raise the siege of Londonderry. The foss of Raebury Castle, which overhung a precipice on the Solway, is yet visible; but the castle of Kirkcudbright, a massive building, erected in the 16th century by the Maclellans, is the most entire of all the ancient fortresses in this part of the country. The mansions are St. Mary's Isle, Janefield, Balmae, and St. Cuthbert's Cottage. The Earl of Selkirk is the principal landowner."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of
Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
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