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Isle of Whithorn

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.

This edition is copyright © The Editors of the Gazetteer for Scotland, 2002-2020.

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Isle of Whithorn, a seaport village in Whithorn parish, SE Wigtownshire, at the head of a small bay, 2 miles NE of Burrow Head, and 3¼ SE of Whithorn town. The most southerly village in Scotland, it stands upon what was once a rocky islet, and conducts some commerce with Whitehaven and other English ports, having a well-sheltered harbour, with a pier erected about 1790, and with capacity and external advantages sufficient to invite extensive commerce. It contains remains of a Scandinavian fort or camp and the roofless ruin of ` St Ninian's Kirk,' which has been falsely identified with the Candida Casa (397 a.d.), and so believed to represent the earliest place of Christian worship in Scotland, but which was probably merely a chapel attached to the priory of Whithorn. The village has a post office, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments, an inn, some tasteful villas, a lifeboat, a public school, and a neat Free church. Pop. (1831) 697, (1861) 458, (1871) 459, (1881) 352.—Ord. Sur., sh. 2, 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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