1868, Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson and published by A. Fullarton and Co
KIRKURD, a parish in the west border of Peebles-shire. Its postal communication is through Noblehouse, 5½ miles to the north-east. It is bounded by Lanarkshire, and by Linton, Newlands, Stobo, Broughton, and Skirling. Its length eastward is 5½ miles; and its breadth is about 3½ miles. Tarth-water runs east-south-eastward along the whole of its northern boundary. Dean-burn rises close on the southern boundary, and runs northward to the Tarth, cutting the parish into two not very unequal parts. The surface all lies high above sea-level, is beautifully diversified, and, in general, rises gradually from the Tarth to the southern boundary. A water-shedding chain of heights stretches along the whole of the southern and south-western frontier, and sends up, among other summits, that of Pyked Stane or Hell's Cleuch, 2,100 feet above the level of the sea. See PYKED STANE. The soil, toward the Tarth, is chiefly loam; in one large farm it is clay; and, in other parts, it is of a gravelly nature. One-third of the whole area is arable; 600 acres are under plantation; and nearly all the rest is sheep-walk. The woods and cultivated grounds being almost all on the north, and phalanxes of plantation pressing down upon the frontier from the conterminous parishes, the vale of the Tarth presents a rich appearance. Castlecraig-house and Cairnmuir-house are elegant modern mansions. There are four landowners. The value of assessed property in 1860 was £2,520; and the estimated yearly value of the raw produce in 1834 was £5,126. Near Castlecraig is a copious sulphureous spring, similar to those of Moffat and Harrowgate, stronger than the former and weaker than the latter. In the parks of Castlecraig are two artificial mounds, surrounded with an irregularly formed dyke, and supposed to have been used as moats or seats of feudal justice. Respectively eastward and westward of them are two circular fortifications called the Rings and the Chesters, supposed to have been military erections. The parish is traversed by the road from Glasgow to Peebles, and by that from Edinburgh to Moffat. Population in 1831, 318; in 1861, 362. Houses, 68.