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KIRK
KIRK
by the late Patrick Miller, Esq., of Dalswinton, who, in
that year, introduced the Swedish turnip into Scotland.
From a couple of ounces of seed, a great part of the now
extensive culture of this valuable esculent may be said
to have sprung ; for, as soon as Mr. Miller had obtained,
from the original plants on his own estate, a sufficiency
of seed for his neighbours, and his friends in the
Lothians and elsewhere, it was sown by them with
avidity ; and in a short time, extensive breadths of land
were laid out in its successful cultivation. Large impor-
tations of the seed, it is true, were subsequently made
l)y the British seed-merchants, to supply the increasing
demand for it ; yet prodigious quantities of the turnip
are now raised in both countries, and in Ireland, from
the proceeds of the stock sown at Dalswinton. The
rocks in the parish consist chiefly of sandstone, fre-
quently impregnated with red iron-ore : white marl has
been found in the southern parts ; and red soft sand,
mixed with gravel and stones, is in some places abun-
dant. The rateable annual value of Kirkmahoe is
£9357.
The principal mansions are Dalswinton and Carn-
salloch, both modern. The different estates are orna-
mented with very fine specimens of stately timber,
consisting of ash, elm, chesnut, and rows of beech : in
one of the parks is a tree of immense size, under whose
extended branches there is a space in which, it is said,
1000 armed men might stand without inconvenience.
There are five villages, of which Duncow, the largest,
has a manufactory for coarse woollen-cloths, wrought by
water and steam : the village of Dalswinton is of recent
origin. The public road from Dumfries to Closeburn
runs for nearly six miles through the parish, and, as
well as the bridges, is kept in good repair. The eccle-
siastical affairs are directed by the presbytery of
Dumfries and synod of Dumfries ; patron, the Duke of
Buccleuch. The stipend of the minister is £238, with a
manse, built in 1799, and a glebe of eight acres of good
land, valued at £14 per annum. The church, erected
in 1822, is a handsome structure, rendered pleasing and
picturesque by the foliage in the churchyard and its
vicinity. There was a meeting-house at Quarrelwood,
belonging to the Cameronian Presbyterians ; but it
has been abandoned. Three schools are maintained,
each of which is partially supported by a parochial
allowance. The master of the school at the village of
Duucow receives a salary of £25. 13. 3.; the salary
of the master at Dalswinton village is £17; and £S
are given for the support of the third school, situated at
Lakehead, a remote corner of the parish. At each of
the schools, all the usual branches of education are
taught ; and instruction is occasionally afforded in the
classics and mathematics. The total amount of fees
received by the three masters is £80 a year. About
£500 have been bequeathed to the poor, and the sum
of £5 per annum left by Mrs. Allan, of Newlands, for
the gratuitous instruction of fatherless children at the
parish schools. In digging for the foundation of the
church, some inconsiderable relics were met with. It
may be stated, in relation to this parish, that the
application of steam-power to the navigation of vessels
was first successfully illustrated at Dalswinton, in 178S,
by Mr. Miller, of whom mention has been already made.
It is also deserving of record, that the introduction, in
1790, of the modern threshing-machine into this district,
was effected under the auspices of Mr. Miller, who first
Vol. II — 113
used it on his own farm of Sandbed, in the presence of
the agricultural classes, whom he had invited to witness
its operation, with a view to manifest its efficiency and
encourage its adoption. Bishop Corrie, of Madras, was
a native of the parish, as was also the late Allan Cun-
ningham. — See Dalswinton.
KIRKMAIDEN,a parish, in the county of Wigton,
16 miles (S. by E.) from Stranraer; containing, with
the villages of Drumore and Port-Logan, 2202 inhabit-
ants, of whom 1700 are in the rural districts of the
parish. This place, which occupies the southern ex-
tremity of Scotland, derives its name from the dedica-
tion of its ancient church to St. Medan, to whom some
other churches in this part of the country were also
dedicated ; and the original name, Kirk-Medan, after
suffering various modifications at different periods, has
since the Reformation invariably retained its present
form. From the names of some localities within the
parish, it would appear that other churches were founded
here at an early period, of which slight vestiges of the
cemeteries may still be traced. The principal on record
are those of Kirkbride, Kilstay, Kildonnan, Kirkleish,
and Kirkdraiu; and upon the shore of Maryport bay
was an ancient chapel in honour of the Virgin Mary, of
which the ruins were standing in 1680. The promontory
called the Mull of Galloway, at the southern extremity
of the parish, is said to have been the last retreat of the
ancient Picts, where, when no longer able to withstand
the assaults of their victorious enemies, they leaped from
the rocks, and perished in the sea.
The parish is bounded on the east by the bay of
Luce, and on the south and west by the Irish Sea. It
is about ten miles in length, from north to south, and
varies from a mile and a half to nearly four miles in
breadth, comprising 13,000 acres, of which 4000 are
arable, 6000 meadow and pasture, 300 woodland and
plantations, and the remainder moor and waste. The
form is very irregular, and the surface greatly diversified.
In some parts the ground is low and flat, though inter-
spersed with numerous hills of moderate height, of
which some are clothed with plantations ; in other parts
the lands rise into mountainous elevation, and almost in
the centre the parish is intersected by a range of heights
extending from the bay of Luce to the Irish Sea. Among
the more conspicuous of the hills that diversify the sur-
face, and of which some attain to nearly 900 feet above
the level of the sea, are, Montlokowre, Dunman, Cairn -
hill, Cairn of Dolt, and Grennan Hill, from all of which
are obtained extensive and interesting views. The bold
rocky promontory of the Mull of Galloway, a peninsula
nearly a mile and a half in length, and a quarter of a
mile in breadth, is connected with the main land by a
narrow isthmus, little more than a quarter of a mile
in width, and on which a lighthouse was erected in
1830, displaying an intermitting light, visible at a dis-
tance of twenty-three nautical miles. From the balcony
of the lighthouse is an unbounded prospect, embracing
the mountains of Cumberland, the whole of the Isle of
Man, the coast of Ireland from the mountains of Morne
to Fairhead, the heights of Dumfries, Kirkcudbright,
and Ayrshire, and the summits of Mountjura, in Argyll-
shire, all of which are distinctly seen in clear weather.
The coast on the eastern side of the parish is flat,
and the shore gravelly ; but on the west, rocky and pre-
cipitous, and worn by the waves into caverns of romantic
appearance. The principal headland on the east is Killi-
Q

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