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Kirkcolm

(Stewarton)

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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Kirkcolm, a village and a parish in the N of the Rhinns district of Wigtownshire. The village stands near the W shore of Loch Ryan, 6 miles NNW of Stranraer, under which it has a post and telegraph office. It is sometimes called Stewarton, after a Galloway family who at one time were chief proprietors in the parish; and it takes the name of Kirkcolm from the dedication of its ancient church to St Columba. pop. (1861) 355, (1871) 387, (1881) 332.

The parish is bounded W and N by the Irish Sea, E by Loch Ryan, and S by Leswalt. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 61/8 miles; its utmost breadth, from E to W, is 4¾ miles; and its area is 14,165¾ acres, of which 759 are foreshore and 88½ water. The coast, along the WNW and N, with an aggregate length of 8 miles, is all a breastwork of bold and ridgy rocks, partly torn with fissures, and slightly diversified with baylets and small headlands. Rising in places to over 100 feet above sea-level, it includes at its NW extremity, Corsewall Point, surmounted by a lighthouse; whilst, at the entrance to Loch Ryan, it terminates in the round headland of Milleur or Kirkcolm Point, being here and at Clachan-Heughs pierced deeply with caves. The coast along Loch Ryan, 5¾ miles in extent, over the first 3 resembles the western and northern; then, opposite Kirkcolm village, projects south-eastward into Loch Ryan a shelving bank of sand called the Scar, 1½ mile long, and not quite covered by the sea at the highest spring tides. Beyond this is a fine natural basin, the Wig, flanked by the Scar on the lochward side, and large enough to shelter a number of small vessels; and thence to the Leswalt boundary the shore is all low and sandy. The interior offers a gently undulating aspect, with numerous rising grounds or small hills of such easy ascent as to admit of ploughing to the summit. The highest, Tor of Craigoch (409 feet), rises right on the southern boundary; and from it the surface declines in gentle gradients to the western and eastern shores. Its streams are all mere rivulets; and its principal sheet of water is shallow Loch Connell, lying ¾ mile WSW of Kirkcolm village, and measuring 3¼ furlongs either way. The predominant rocks are Silurian. The soil, on a narrow belt round the shore, is thin, and either sandy or gravelly; here and there is mossy and moorish; but mostly is either a fertile loam, a deep clay, or a mixture of the two. About one-eleventh of the entire area is waste; plantations cover some 100 acres; and nearly all the rest is either regularly or occasionally in tillage. The chief antiquities are noticed under Corsewall and Kilmorie, or the Virgin Mary's chapel; and a curious cist was discovered on Ervie farm towards the close of 1875. Corsewall is the only mansion; and 4 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 2 of between £100 and £500, 1 of from £50 to £100, and 4 of from £20 to £50. Giving off a portion to Leswalt ecclesiastical parish, Kirkcolm is in the presbytery of Stranraer and synod of Galloway; the living is worth £405 (20 chalders, with unexhausted teinds). The parish church was built in 1824, and contains 650 sittings. There is also a Free church; and Douloch public, Kirkcolm public, and the Village schools, with respective accommodation for 90, 140, and 50 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 57, 106, and 46, and grants of £39, 10s., £98, and £33, 9s. Valuation (1860) £9508, (1883) £13,329, 1s. 11d. Pop. (1801) 1191, (1841) 1973, (1861) 1860, (1871) 1948, (1881) 1847, of whom 1657 were in the ecclesiastical parish.—Ord. Sur., shs. 3, 7, 1856-63.

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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