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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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Twynholm, a post-office village and a parish of S Kirkcudbrightshire. The village is pleasantly situated in a little glen, 3 miles NNW of Kirkcudbright and 2 SSW of Tarff station, this being 6¾ miles SW of the post-town, Castle-Douglas.

The parish, which comprises the ancient parishes of Twynholm and Kirkchrist, united about 1654, is bounded N by Balmaghie, E by Tongland, SE by the broadening Dee and Kirkcudbright Bay (dividing it from Kirkcudbright), S by Borgue, and W by Borgue and Girthon. Its utmost length, from N by W to S by E, is 9 miles; its utmost width is 2¾ miles; and its area is 16 square miles or 10,816½ acres, of which 95¾ are water and 103¾ foreshore. Culcaigrie Loch (2 x 1½ furl.; 375 feet) lies on the boundary with Tongland, Loch Whinyeon (41/3 x 41/3 furl.; 725 feet) on that with Girthon; and the latter sends off Glengap Burn, a headstream of Tarff Water, which, lower down, winds 2 miles south-south-eastward along the Tongland border, till it falls, near Compstone House, into the Dee. The Dee itself, here broadening into its tidal estuary, Kirkcudbright Bay, curves 3½ miles south-south-westward along all the south-eastern border, past Kirkcudbright town, to a point nearly opposite the southern extremity of St Mary's Isle. Chief elevations, from S to N, are Kirkeoch Hill (292 feet), Fuffock Hill (1050), and Bengray (1203) on the Girthon boundary. The general surface of the parish lies so comparatively high, that, if regarded in the aggregate, or as seen from a distance, it might be pronounced a tableland or elevated plain. But the parts of it fringing the Dee and Tarff Water comprise some haugh-ground; the southern and central parts are rolled into knolls and hillocks, with intervening vales and hollows: and only the northern parts rise into high hills, of pastoral character, and incapable of cultivation. Silurian rocks, comprising greywacke, greywacke-slate, and clay slate, predominate; and large granite boulders have now been nearly all removed. The soil of the arable lands is variously clay, sand, gravel, and moss-mostly light, dry, friable, and fertile. Nearly two-thirds of the entire area are capable of tillage; rather more than 300 acres are under wood; and the rest of the land is chiefly hill pasture. Antiquities are a number of Caledonian forts, the ruins of Compstone Castle, the site of an old castle, and probably of a nunnery at Nunton, and a circular mote near the parish church. Mansions, noticed separately, are Barwhinnock and Compstone; and the Earl of Selkirk owns nearly a third of the entire parish, 5 other proprietors holding each an annual value of £500 and upwards, and 5 of between £100 and £500. Twynholm is in the presbytery of Kirkcudbright and the synod of Galloway; the living is 18 chalders (half meal and half barley), with a glebe valued at £62 per annum. The parish church, at the village, is a neat Gothic edifice of 1818, with aisle, bell-cote, and 410 sittings. In the churchyard, which is surrounded by trees, is the grave of Andreu M'Robert, who, with four other Covenanters, was shot by Grierson of Lag on Kirkconnell Moor in Tongland parish. The public school, built in 1876-77, with accommodation for 184 children, had (1884) an average attendance of 76, and a grant of £73, 5s. Valuation (1864) £7563, 15s., (1885) £9783, 9s. 9d. Pop. (1801) 683, (1831) 871, (1861) 815, (1871) 717, (1881) 681.—Ord. Sur., sh. 5, 1857.

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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