As a rule the soil of the parish is fertile and kindly, especially in the lower lands which lie around the valley of the Urr. The portions not amendable to cultivate are a conparatively small proportions of the whole probably not more than one-twelfth, and consists of the higher hills, some moss lands, and the usual granite excrescences and whinstone scaurs characteristics of Galloway. Plantations are plentiful and mostly comprise oak, ask, elm, and Scotch fir, all of which grow rapidly in the district. These not only provide cover for game and shelter for stock, but greatly enhance the appearance of the landscape. The prevailing rock formations are whimstone and granite; and iron ore is said to be plentiful, but the want of coal prevents it from being exploited.
The greater part of the population is concentrated in the town of Dalbeattie, which occupies a fine situation in the lower end of the parish, about five miles from the mouth of the Urr. Being tidal up to the town, the river affords communication with the Solway by vessels of small tonnage. In the upper or landward district, besides several large mansion houses and many comfortable and commodious farm buildings, there are five villages of varying size: Haugh of Urr, about four miles from Dalbeattie, with the parish church and manse standing above it: Hardgate, half a mile further on, containing the United Free church and manse: Springholm, three miles to the north, on the coach road to Dumfries: (part of) Crocketford, two miles beyond Springholm, on the same road: and Milton, about two miles east from Crocketford, on the old military road.
On the east, it is bounded by the parishes of Lochrutton, and Kirkgunzeon; on the south, by Colvend; on the west, by Buittle and Crossmichael; on the northwest and north, by Kirkpatrick Durham and Kirkpatrick Irongray. For a distance of ten miles upon its western side it is skirted by the river Urr....
The Parish of Urr, by David Frew, 1909. Reprinted 1993.