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Parish of Stoneykirk

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: Stonykirk
1834-45: Stonykirk

Stoneykirk, a post-office village and a coast parish in the Rhinns of Galloway, SW Wigtownshire. The village stands 2 miles N by W of Sandhead, and 5¾ SSE of Stranraer.

The parish, containing also the larger village of Sandhead, comprises the ancient parishes of Stephenkirk (Steeniekirk and Stoneykirk), Clachshant, and Toskerton or Kirkmadrine-all three united about the middle of the 17th century. It is bounded N by Inch, NE by Old Luce, E by Luce Bay, S by Kirkmaiden, W by the Irish Channel, and NW by Portpatrick. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 8¼ miles ; its breadth decreases southward from 65/8 to 2 miles ; and its area is 3 square miles, or 20,769¼ acres, of which 1274 are foreshore and 14½ water. The E coast, 6¾ miles in extent, to the N of Sandhead is fringed by the Sands of Luce, a continuous belt of sandy foreshore, 3 to 52/3 furlongs broad. S of Sandhead it is stony but still low, attaining a maximum altitude of 70 feet above sea-level. The W coast, measuring 8¼ miles, is mostly bold and rocky, and in places precipitous, rising rapidly to 125 feet at Grennan Point, 150 at Ardwell Point, 384 at Cairnmon Fell, and 437 near Cairngarnoch. It is slightly indented by Ardwell Bay, Cairgarroch Bay, and Port-of-Spittal Bay, and several minor inlets. The interior ascends slowly from the E, more abruptly from the W, abounds in inequalities and tumulations, and culminates on Barmore Hill at an altitude of 463 feet above sea-level. Piltanton Burn runs 3¾ miles east-by-northward along all the Inch boundary ; and two or three considerable burns rise near the W coast, and run eastward to Luce Bay. The rocks are chiefly Silurian. The soil of about 650 acres on the E coast, and of 60 on the W, is barren sand ; that of the greater part of the eastern and southern districts is light, dry, sharp, and tolerably fertile ; and that of much of the western district is heavy vegetable mould, reclaimed from heath and moss. Rather more than oneninth of the entire area is pastoral or waste ; about 370 acres are under wood ; and the rest of the land is in tillage. The principal antiquities are noticed under Ardwell, Balgreggan, and Garthland. A prominent natural curiosity is the Goodwife's Cave, situated near Port Float, and yielding a very remarkable echo. Five proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards. Stoneykirk is in the presbytery of Stranraer and the synod of Galloway ; the living is worth £434. The parish church was built in 1827 at a cost of £2000, and is a handsome Gothic edifice, containing 660 sittings. There is also a Free church ; and four public schools-Ardwell, Meoul, Sandhead, and Stoneykirk-with respective accommodation for 160, 70, 117, and 141 children, had (1884) an average attendance of 86, 59, 74, and 73, and grants of £68, 8s., £65, 4s. 6d., £63, 15s., and £74, 15s. 6d. Valuation (1860), £14, 727, (1885) £21,360. Pop. (1801) 1848, (1831) 2966, (1861) 3228, (1871) 2993, (1881) 2766.—Ord. Sur., sh. 3, 1856.

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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