Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Urr

Urr, a Kirkcudbrightshire parish, towards the S containing the town and station of Dalbeattie, 14½ miles SW of Dumfries and 5 ¼ ESE of Castle-Douglas. It is bounded NE by Kirkpatrick-Irongray and Lochrutton, E by Kirkgunzeon, SE by Colvend, SW by Buittle and Crossmichael, and NW by Kirkpatrick-Durham. Its utmost length, from N by W to S by E, is 12 1/8 miles; its breadth varies between 4½ furlongs and 3 miles; I and its area is 24 3/5 square miles or 15, 750½ acres, of which 41 ¼ are foreshore and 263½ water. Urr Water winds 10 3/8 miles south-south-eastward along all the Crossmichael and Buittle boundary, though the point where it first touches and that where it quits the parish are only 7½ miles distant as the crow flies. Kirkgunzeon Lane or Dalbeattie Burn, after flowing 2 ¼ miles southward along the Kirkgunzeon border, winds 2 miles westward and south-south-westward across the interior, till it falls into the Urr at a point ¾ mile SSW of Dalbeattie. Three lakes are Edingham Loch (1 ¼ x ¼ furl.), 1½ mile N by E of Dalbeattie; Milton Loch (6 x 3¾ furl.; 420 feet), in the northern interior; and Achenreoch Loch (9 x 1¾ furl.; 340 feet), on the Kirkpatrick-Durham boundary. In the S the surface declines to less than 50 feet above the sea, and thence it rises northward to 408 feet at Little Firth-head, 500 at Barr Hill, 668 near Meikle Auchenreoch, and 900 at Larganlee Hill, so that Urr, compared with other Kirkcudbrightshire parishes, is pretty low and level. Granite, in places protruding at the surface, is the predominant rock; and limestone occurs, but is very hard, and little suited for economical purposes. Coal is supposed to exist in the hills to the N,-but only in small quantity; iron ore is plentiful, but cannot be worked for want of cheap fuel; and shell-marl abounds, but has long ceased to b-e used as a manure. The soil, except on some mossy land in the S, and in some moorish land in the N, and at the protrusions of granite, is generally light and fertile. The proportion of arable land to that which cannot be ploughed is 12 to 1; and about 800 acres are under wood. A remarkable artificial mound, the Moat of Urr, stands on the right bank of Urr Water, 2 5/8 miles NNW of Dalbeattie. It rises in successive concentric terraces, with a diameter and a height unexcelled by those of any other ancient moat in Scotland; was formerly surrounded by outworks of different construction from its own, and by Dr Skene is regarded as marking the sight of Carbantorigum, a town of the Selgovæ mentioned by Ptolemy. A standingstone, consisting of a rude block of granite, is in a field 1 mile to the E of the moat; and - bronze vessels and Roman coins have been found at various times and in different places. Pre-Reformation chapels were in several places, and one of them has left to its site the name of Chapelton. In the extreme N is a tombstone over the grave of four Covenanters; and the fanatical sect of Buchanites, after their flight from Ayrshire, resided for a time at Auchengibbert, from whence they removed to Crocketford. Spottes, noticed separately, is the chief mansion, and 10 proprietors hold each an annual value of more than £500. Giving off the quoad sacra parish of Dalbeattie, Urr is in the presbytery and synod of Dumfries; the living is worth £395. The parish church, near Haugh of Urr, and 3 miles NNW of Dalbeattie, was built in 1815, and contains 815 sittings. Besides those noticed under Dalbeattie, three public schools-Hardgate, Milton, and Springholm-with respective accommodation for 162, 72, and 70 children, had (1884) an average attendance of 89, 30, and 42, and grants of £34, 12s., £28, 6s., and £71, 10s. 6d. Valuation (1860) £14,674, (1885) £28,162, 5s. Pop. (1801) 1719, (1831) 3098, (1861) 3585, (1871) 4606, (1881) 5490, of whom 1350 were in Urr ecclesiastical parish-Ord. Sur., shs. 5, 9, 1857-63.

(F.H. Groome, Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4); © 2004 Gazetteer for Scotland)

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a Kirkcudbrightshire parish"   (ADL Feature Type: "countries, 4th order divisions")
Administrative units: Urr ScoP       Kirkcudbrightshire ScoCnty
Place: Urr

Go to the linked place page for a location map, and for access to other historical writing about the place. Pages for linked administrative units may contain historical statistics and information on boundaries.