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Parish of Kirkmahoe

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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1791-99: Kirkmahoe
1834-45: Kirkmahoe

Kirkmahoe, a hamlet and a parish in Nithsdale, Dumfriesshire. The hamlet stands, 45 feet above sea-level, near the left bank of Duncow Burn, 1 mile E of the Nith, and 4 miles N of Dumfries, under which it has a post office.

The parish, containing also the villages of Dalswinton and Duncow, and including the ancient chapelry of Kilblane, is bounded NW by Closeburn, NE by Closeburn and Kirkmichael, E by Tinwald, SE by Dumfries, SW by Holywood, and W by Dunscore and Keir. Rudely resembling a kite in outline, it has an utmost length, from N by W to S by E, of 8 miles; an utmost breadth, from E to W, of 4 3/8 miles; and an area of 12, 699¾ acres, of which 147 ¼ are water. The Nith sweeps 7 5/8 miles south-south-eastward along or close to all the western and south-western boundary; Park Burn, a head-stream of Lochar Water, runs 4 1/8 miles south-by-eastward along most of the Tinwald border; Goukstane Burn and the Water of Ae trace most of the north-eastern boundary; and the interior is drained to one or other of these streams by a number of pretty rivulets, of which Duncow Burn, rising just within Closeburn, runs 8 miles south-by-eastward till it falls into the Nith at a point 3 miles N by W of Dumfries. The portion of the parish S of Duncow village is all of it low and nearly flat, sinking to 40, and nowhere exceeding 138, feet above sea-level; but northward the surface rises gradually to 704 feet at Dalswinton Wood, 693 at Duncow Common, 883 at Whitestanes Moor, and 984 at Auchengeith Moor-heights that command a magnificent view of the Nith's lower basin and across the Solway Firth to the Cumberland mountains. Old Red sandstone prevails in the S, greywacke in the N; and the soil along the Nith is rich alluvium, on the sloping ground and braes is sandy or gravelly, and on much of the high grounds is moss 6 inches deep, incumbent on a bed of earthy gravel. Two-thirds or so of the entire area are in tillage, woods cover nearly 600 acres, and the rest is either pastoral or waste. The antiquities include tumuli, circular moats, and vestiges of hillforts. Mansions, noticed separately, are Carnsalloch, Dalswinton, and Milnhead; and 4 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 15 of between £100 and £500, 9 of from £50 to £100, and 6 of from £20 to £50. Kirkmahoe is in the presbytery and synod of Dumfries; the living is worth £332. The parish church, at Kirkmahoe hamlet, is a neat and commodious Gothic building of 1822, with a pinnacled tower. There is also a Free church; and two public schools, Dalswinton and Duncow, with respective accommodation for 65 and 140 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 49 and 65, and grants of £33, 1v2s. and £51, 11s. Valuation (1860) £10, 824, (1883) £13,092, 1s. Pop. (1801) 1315, (1831) 1601, (1861) 1462, (1871) 1332, (1881) 1250.—Ord. Sur., shs. 9, 10, 1863-64.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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