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Kirkcudbright-shire - The Tumultuous History of the Prosper Town of Kirkcudbrightshire


Formerly known as East Galloway, Kirkcudbrightshire used to be a county of the southernmost part of Scotland. Now a Stewartry, Kirkcudbrightshire is bounded by Ayshire on the north and north-west, by Wigtownshire on the west and south-west, by Dumfriesshire on the east and north-east, and faces the Irish Sea on its southern and south-eastern limits.

Even though the area that made up Kirkcudbrightshire is now a part of the unitary authority of the Dumfries and Galloway council, its inhabitants still call it a Stewartry. But, since it is a part of a council, Kirkcudbrightshire is now represented by eight councilors. However, the local administration is still overseen by the Stewartry Area Manager.

On its central part, below the forest of Galloway, Kirkcudbrightshire sports a wide, fertile area brimming with all kinds of cattle and natural sites.

Short History

As a county, Kirkcudbrightshire's history goes all the way back to the year 79 AD when it formed part of Britannia. Then around the 7th century, Galloway, of which Kirkcudbrightshire was part of, became a part of Northumbria.

Years later, there was a notable immigration from Ireland to the Galloway, which explains the Irish influence that can be observed on the county of Kirkcudbrightshire.

Then, on the year 844, the new king of Scotland, Kenneth Mac Alpine gave his daughter in marriage to the Galloway Chief, Olaf the White. This was done as a gesture of thankfulness for the services rendered to the king by Galloway when the country went through a period of crisis. After that, and for the next two hundred years or so, Scotland suffered continuous Danish and Saxon invasions. These invasions in the long run clearly marked the start of the decay of the Norse influence within the country.

On the 11th century, the implementation of the feudal system ended up completely destroying the power of the Galloway chiefs. However, this moment is secondary to the fact that at the time, the boundaries between England and Scotland became finally permanent.

In the following years, the situation of Galloway and hence, the one of Kirkcudbrightshire was of much disturbance and agitation. This continued as far as the 18th century, after which the former county finally achieved a much welcome peace.

As we can clearly see, Kirkcudbrightshire was located right at Scotland's English border, which is seen as something positive nowadays. However, it was a matter of much distress and cause of much turmoil for its residents on past centuries.

Nowadays, Kirkcudbrightshire's economy is sustained not only by its industry but also mostly by its tourism, which has made it a prosper place with many sites to visit. Important ones include castles (the Cardonness, the Threave, the MacLellan's and Castle Douglas), many museums and even the now well known Clatteringshaws Forest Wildlife Centre.