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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Carsphairn, a village and a parish in the extreme N of Kirkcudbrightshire. The village lies, 600 feet above sea-level, on the left bank of the Water of Deugh, 10 miles SE of Dalmellington station, and 9¾ NNW of Dalry, under which it has a post office; it consists of a few scattered houses, with the parish church, manse, and school. The parish, formed in 1640 out of Kells and Dalry, is bounded N and NE by New Cumnock in Ayrshire, E by Dalry, S by Kells, and W and NW by Straiton and Dalmellington in Ayrshire. Its greatest length from N to S is 10¼ miles; its greatest breadth from E to W is 9¾ miles; and its area is 54,876½ acres, of which 71¼ are foreshore, and 181 ½ are water. Gala Lane runs 6½ miles northward along the western border to Loch Doon, which itself for 3¾ miles separates Carsphairn from Straiton. Rising in the NE, the Water of Deugh curves 5 miles westward along the New Cumnock boundary, and next winds 15 miles southward, east-south-eastward, and southward again, till, at the SE corner of the parish, it falls into the Water of Ken, which traces most of the eastern boundary. Besides several lesser tributaries, the Deugh receives, near the village, Carsphairn Burn, flowing 5 miles south-eastward from its source near Loch Doon, just above its own confluence with the Ken; and Pulmaddy Burn, flowing 7 miles eastward along the southern border. The drainage belongs, thus, partly to the system of the Doon, but mainly to that of the Dee, the ' divide' being marked by the summits of Meikle Craigrarson (2000 feet), Carlins Cairn (2650), Meaul (2280), Coran of Portmark (2042), Black Craig (1730), Cullendoch Hill (1120), Ben Brack (1475), Todden Hill (1565), and White Hill (1439), extending north-north-eastward along the western and north-western confines of the parish. To the left of the Deugh, the surface, sinking to 380 feet above sea-level in the extreme SE, rises to 1249 in Marscalloch Hill, 1256 in Craig of Knockgray, 1634 in Knockwhirn, 1758 in Dunoul, 2612 in Cairnsmore, 1632 in Dodd Hill, and 2287 in Windy Standard. The rocks are chiefly granitic and Silurian; at Woodhead, 3 miles NW of the village, a lead-mine has been worked since 1838, zinc, copper, and a little silver also being found. The greater part of the parish is suitable enongh for sheep and cattle grazing, the hills being green to the top. Antiquities are some very large Cairns, vestiges of an ancient Caledonian stone circle, and, near the confluence of the Deugh and the Ken, the ruins of Dundeugh Castle, at one time seat of a Gordon of the Kenmure family. Garryhorn, 1 mile W by N of the village, was the headquarters of Sir Robert Grierson of Lag (1650-1736), the Covenanters' bitter persecutor; Prof. Thos. Jackson, D.D., of St Andrews (1797-1878) was a native, as also, according to some authorities, was Sir Jn. Loudon Macadam (1756-1836), of road-making celebrity, who commonly is claimed for Ayr. Three proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 9 of between £100 and £500, and 2 of less than £100. Carsphairn is in the presbytery of Kirkcudbright and synod of Galloway; the living is worth £372. The church, erected about 1815, contains 400 sittings. A public school, with accommodation for 75 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 51, and a grant of £59,8s. Valuation (1881) £11,338,11s. Pop. (1801) 496, (1841) 790, (1861) 553, (1871) 545, (1881) 484.—Ord. Sur., shs. 8,9,14,15,1863-64.

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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