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Parish of Kirkmaiden

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: Kirkmaiden
1834-45: Kirkmaiden

Kirkmaiden, a parish in the southern extremity of Rhinns district, SW Wigtownshire, containing the postoffice villages of Drumore and Port Logan, the former 1v7½ miles S by E of Stranraer. As including the southernmost point of Scotland, it is mentioned, conjointly with John o' Groat's House, in Burns's phrase, ` Frae Maiden Kirk to John o' Groat's,' to indicate the extremities of the Scottish mainland. It is bounded N by Stoneykirk, E by Luce Bay, and SW and W by the Irish Sea; and it extends southward in a peninsular strip that terminates in the Mull of Galloway. Its utmost length, from N by W to S by E, is 9½ miles; its breadth varies between 1 5/8 and 4 3/8 miles; and its area is 14, 566 3/7 acres, of which 836¾ are foreshore. The Mull of Galloway (228 feet) and its lighthouse having been separately noticed, it remains to say that the south-western and western coast is mostly bold and rocky, rising steeply to 400 feet at Laggantulloch Head, 205 at Cairnywellan Head, and 214 at the Mull of Logan, and indented by Clanyard and Port Logan or Nessock Bays. It has numerous fissures and caves, many of the latter with small opening but roomy interior; and it offers very trivial aggregate of foreshore. The E coast is mostly low, and, with the exception of Killiness Point, presents from end to end a slightly waving outline. The interior is mainly a congeries of low hills, and attains 325 feet above sea-level at Berehill, 286 at the church, 507 at Barncorkrie Moor, 525 at West Muntloch, and 522 at Dunman. Eruptive and Silurian rocks are predominant, and slate was for some time largely worked in several quarries. Much of the soil is of a character to require artificial draining. Wood covers about 270 acres; some 1700 are rocky moor or moss; rather more than one-half of the entire area is pasture; and the rest is in cultivation. Antiquities, other than those noticed under Castle-Clanyard, Crammag, Drumore, Dunman, the Mull of Galloway, and Logan, are vestiges of several Caledonian or mediæval strongholds, sites or traces of five pre-Reformation chapels, and Auchness Castle, a quaint square gabled tower, now a farmhouse. Logan House, noticed separately, is the only mansion; and James M'Douall, Esq., is the chief proprietor, 2 others holding an annual value of £500 and upwards, and 6 of from £20 to £50. Kirkmaiden is in the presbytery of Stranraer and synod of Galloway; the living is worth £181. The parish church, 1 mile E of Drumore, was built in 1638, and contains 275 sittings; its bell, bearing date 1534, is said to have once been the dinner-bell of Castle-Clanyard. The ancient church, the cave near the Mull of Galloway, was dedicated to St Medana, identical probably with St Monenna or Moduenna, whose death is placed in 519, and who, consecrated a virgin by St Patrick, is said to have crossed from Ireland to Scotland, where she founded many churches, three of them in Galloway (Skene's Celtic Scotland, ii. 37, 1877). A Free church stands ½ mile NNW of Drumore; and three public schools-Central, Northern, and Southern-with respective accommodation for 230, 180, and 85 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 134, 84, and 65, and grants of £127, 8s., £74, 5s., and £54, 13s. Valuation (1860) £9380, (1883) £14, 492, 10s. Pop. (1801) 1613, (1831) 2051, (1861) 2333, (1871) 2507, (1881) 2446.—Ord. Sur., sh. 1, 1856.

Kirkmaiden, a small pre-Reformation parish of SE Wigtownshire, long incorporated with Glasserton. Its roofless church, romantically situated by the shore, not far from Monreith, is the scene of many a weird ghost story.

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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