In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Wigtownshire like this:
Wigtownshire, a maritime co. in SW. extremity of Scotland, forming the W. division of Galloway; is bounded N. by Ayrshire and the mouth of the Firth of Clyde, E. by Kirkcudbrightshire, S. by the Irish Sea, and W. by the Irish Channel; greatest length, E. and W., 30 miles; greatest breadth, N. and S., 28 miles; area, 310,742 ac., pop. 38,611. The coast, about 120 miles in extent, is for the most part bold and rocky; the chief headlands are Burrow Head, the Mull of Galloway (the most southerly land in Scotland), and Corsewall Point. ...
The interior is divided into three great districts - the double peninsula W. of Loch Ryan and Luce Bay, known as the Rhinns of Galloway; the peninsula between Luce Bay and Wigtown, called the Machers; and the Moors, in the N. of the co. The surface is mostly low and moderately level, except in the Moors, which are hilly, and abound in mosses. There is much excellent arable land in the Rhinns and the Machers. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) The chief streams are the Cree, which flows along the E. boundary, the Bladenoch, and Luce Water. Lochs are numerous, but small. Agriculture, dairy-farming, and sheep-farming afford the chief employments. The co. comprises 17 pars., the police burghs of Newton-Stewart, Stranraer, and Whithorn, and the royal burgh of Wigtown. It returns 1 member to Parliament.
Vision of Britain presents long-run change by redistricting historical statistics to modern units. However, none of our modern units covers an area close to that of Wigtownshire. If you want trends covering a particular location within the county, find it on our historical maps and then select "Tell me more".
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Wigtownshire | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 19th June 2013
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