Kirkcudbrightshire  Scotland

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In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Kirkcudbrightshire like this:

Kirkcudbrightshire, maritime co. in S. of Scotland; is bounded NW. by Ayrshire, NE. by Dumfriesshire, SE. by the Solway Firth, and SW. by Wigtownshire; greatest length, NW. and SE., 46 miles; greatest breadth, NE. and SW., 31 miles; 574,587 ac., pop. 42,127. Kirkcudbrightshire is also known as the "Stewartry of Kirkcudbright" and "East Galloway." The coast line, which extends, in semicircular form, from the head of Wigtown Bay to the mouth of the Nith, a distance of 45 miles, is in general bold and precipitous, but is broken by the estuaries of the Nith, the Urr, the Dee, the Fleet, and the Cree, which form natural harbours, the principal seaports being Kirkcudbright, Gatehouse-of-Fleet, and Creetown. ...

In the NW. the co. is mountainous, with deep glens, and numerous small lochs; in the SE.-- except in the extreme SE. corner--it is for the most part level but undulating. Most of the soil in the higher regions is moorland and marsh; in the lower it is better suited for grass and green crops than for grain, and great attention is paid to the rearing of cattle. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) Granite is quarried, and lead, iron, and copper exist, but are little worked. The mfrs. comprise linen, cotton, and woollen goods, and paper. Deep-sea fishing is carried on in the Solway Firth, and salmon-fishing at the mouths of the rivers, especially the Dee and the Urr. The co. contains 28 pars., the parliamentary and royal burgh of Kirkcudbright (part of the Dumfries Burghs), the royal burgh of New Galloway, and the police burghs of Castle Douglas, Dalbeattie, Gatehouse, and Maxwelltown. Kirkcudbrightshire 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 Kirkcudbrightshire. If you want trends covering a particular location within the county, find it on our historical maps and then select "Tell me more".

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Kirkcudbrightshire | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 19th May 2022

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