Kirkcoubrie (/kərˈkbri/ kur-KOO-bree is a toun, pairish, an ryal burgh fae 1455 in Kirkcoubrieshire, Dumfries an Gallowa, Scotland. Kirkcoubrie wis the coonty toun o Kirkcoubrieshire.


Kirkcudbright is located in Dumfries and Galloway
Location within Dumfries an Gallowa
Population3,352 (2011)
OS grid referenceNX685505
• Edinburgh84 mi (135 km)
• Lunnon282 mi (454 km)
Cooncil area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnitit Kinrick
Postcode destrictDG6
Diallin code01557
EU PairlamentScotland
UK Pairlament
Scots Pairlament
Leet o places
54°49′55″N 4°02′53″W / 54.832°N 4.048°W / 54.832; -4.048Coordinates: 54°49′55″N 4°02′53″W / 54.832°N 4.048°W / 54.832; -4.048

The toun lies southwast o Castle Douglas an Dawbeattie at the mooth o the River Dee, aroond 4 mile fae the Erse Sea.



An early rendeetion o the name o the toun wis Kilcudbrit;[2] this derives fae the Scots Gaelic Cille Chuithbeirt meanin "chaipel o Cutbear (Cuthbert)", the saunt whase mortal remeens wis keepit at the toun atween thair exhumation at Lindisfarne an reinternment at Chester-le-Street.[3]

John Spottiswoode, in his accoont o releegious hooses in Scotland, mentions that the Franciscans, o Grayfreers, hid been estaiblisht at Kirkcoubrie fae the 12t century.[4] No hints o the Grayfreers o Franciscan dwallins remeen in the pairish o Kirkcoubrie.

John Balliol wis awnin o the auncient castle at Castledykes in the late 13t century an Keeng Edward I o England is said tae hae steyed here in 1300 durin his war again Scotland.[5]

In 1455 Kirkcoubrie becam a Ryal Burgh.[6] Aboot a century later, the bailies o the toun obteent permeesion fae Mary, Queen o Scots tae uise pairt o the convent an nunnery as a pairish kirk. Fae aroond 1570, Sir Tammas MacLellan o Bombie, the chief bailie, receive't a chairter for the site, its grunds, an its gairdens. MacLellan later dismantle't the kirk sae as tae obteen material for his new castle, a gey fine hoose, that wis built on the site.[7]

Efter his defeat at the Battle o Towton, Keen Henry VI o England crosst the Solway Firth in August 1461 tae laund at Kirkcoubrie tae defend Queen Margaret at Lithgae. The toun for some time gainstuid a siege in 1547 fae the English commaunder Sir Thomas Carleton bit, efter the surroondin kintra hid been ower-rin, wis gart tae surrender.[8]

Kirkcoubrie Towebuith wis built atween 1625 an 1629 an serve no anely as the towebuith, bit the cooncil offices, the burgh an shirra coorts, the creeminal preeson, an the dyvour's preeson an aw. Ane o the maist famous preesoners wis John Paul Jones, foonder o the Unitit States Navy that wis born in Kirkbean.[9][10]

The Johnston School, Kirkcoubrie

The Johnston School wis the toun primary schuil until replace't wi a new biggin in 2009. The schuil wis endoued wi a bequest bi Kirkcoubrie merchand an shipawner William Johnston (1769-1845) an appent in 1847 as Johnston's Free School. The biggin wis designt bi Edinburgh airchitect James Newlands that later gaed on tae be the first Borough Engineer fae Liverpuil whaur he designt an built the first integratit sewerage seestem in the warld in 1848. The schuil biggin was rebuilt, reteenin the Italianate tour an facade in 1933 bi William A MacKinnell (1871-1940). He wis the Coonty Airchitect for Kirkcoubrieshire an built mony schuils in Kirkcoubrieshire. In 2020 the biggin is bein replenisht as a Community Acteevity and Resoorce Centre. The biggin is leetit Categorie B.[11][12]

St Andrew's and St Cuthberts Kirk wis designt in 1886 by Lunnon airchitect A E Purdie (1843-1920) in the Gothic style. It wis built on the site o the medieval St Andra's Kirk. In 1971 the ben o the kirk wis re-redd an strippit o its Victorian fixturs an fittins an noo featurs an abstract airn an concrete cross bi the Liverpuil sculptor Sean Rice (1931-1997),[2] modren staint gless bi the Pols airtist Jerzy Faczynski (1917-1994), an a set o fower pentins bi Vivian K Chapman depictin The Passion. The kirk wis built on the site o the auld preeson an the governor's hoose noo serves as the clergy's hoose. The kirk wis built closse til the site of the pre-reformation St Andra's Kirk.

The Kirkcudbright Railway appent in 1864 bit the railwey line an its station closed in 1965.[13]

The Toun Hoose wis designt bi airchitects Peddie and Kinnear. It wis completit in 1879 an is a Categorie B leetit biggin.[14] It his been convertit intil the Kirkcudbright Galleries.

The War Memorial dates fae 1922 an wis creatit bi the sculptor George Henry Paulin.[15]

Kirkcudbright trainin aurie


Like mony ither hiddly places durin Warld War II, a 4,700 acre aurie til the sootheast o the toun an stendin til the coast o the Solway Firth wis acquire't bi the Airmy in 1942, as a trainin aure for the D-Day invasion.[16][17] The aurie remeens in acteeve uiss for live-firin exerceeses. Pairt o the trainin aurie is the Dundrennan Range, a wappens development an testin range. The uiss o this range for the testin o depletit uranium shells his been controversial.[18][19] The range conteens an aw ane o the twa survivin A39 Tortoise hivy assaut tanks fae the sax prototypes oreeginal produce't. the 32-punder gun his been remuived an the tank is uised for target practice. Acause o the range's designation as a Site o Speicial Interest, the remuivin o the tank til a museum is no likely.


Broughton Hoose, Kirkcoubrie

Broughton House is an 18th century toonhoose staundin on the Heich Street. It wis the hame o Scots impressionist airtist Edward Atkinson Hornel atween his 1901 an his deith in 1933. The National Trust for Scotland mainteen the hoose an its guids as a museum o Hornel's life an wirk.

The Stewarty Museum wis foondit in 1879 an wis at first sted in the Toon Hoose until it becam ower smaw tae hoose the collections. The collection flittit til a purpose-built site. It conteens the local an naitural history o the Stewartrie o Kirkcoubrie. Breetain's earliest survivin sportin trophy, the Siller Gun, is pairt o the collection, as is pentins bi mony local airtists.

The towebuith biggin is noo uised as an airts centre.

The new Kirkcudbright Galleries wis offeecial appent in Julie 2018 bi the Princess Ryal. It is situatit in the umwhile Toon Hoose. On shaw is pentins by the various airtists that bade and wrocht in the toun. The're a gailerie an aw for veesitin exheebeetions, an cafe, an a gift shap.



Airtist's Toun

The Greengate, hame an studio o Jessie M King, Heich Street

Kirkcoubrie his for a lang time been a centre for visual airtists an is noo kent as "the Airtist's Toun".[20] The toun's roadside signs an logo include a representation o pent on a penter's pallet. Nouadays, penters, textile airtists, floorishers, ceramicists, photae-makkers, etchers, print-makkers, sculptors, encaustic airtists, willae-makkers, an mair anes aw wirk in or aroond the toun.

Kirkcoubrie is hame til an airtist's collective that his a shap in the toun centre, The PA, Professional Artists Collective.[21]. WASPS (Working Artists Studio Spaces, Scotland) occupees twa linkit tounhooses, Canonwalls an Claverhouse, in the Heich Street. It is a centre an aw that mony airtists appen thair studios in durin Spring Fling Open Studios.

The Kirkcudbright Arts & Crafts Trail taks place ilka simmer. This fower-day event, finishin on the first Monanday in August, allous veesitors tae see airtist's studios an veesit places that is for ordinar aff-leemits tae veesitors.



Gaileries in Kirkcoubrie incluse Kirkcudbright Galleries, umwhile the Toon Hoose, in St Mary Street. Belike the auldest gailerie is The Harbour Cottage Gallery.[22] Ither anes include the Whitehouse Gallery, the Ochre Gallery, an the High St Gallery.

Cinema an literatur

Kirkcoubrie Herbour
1994 widden sculpture In Memory Of Loved Ones Lost At Sea bi Charlie Easterfield in Kirkcoubrie Herbour

The whaduinit Five Red Herrings bi Dorothy L. Sayers involves the airtistic community o Kirkcoubrie.[23] In the 1975, the beuk wis made intil a BBC TV pictur shot in the toun, wi Ian Carmichael playin the lead role o Laird Peter Wimsey.[24]

The toun providit locations an aw for the cult 1973 horror pictur The Wicker Man.[25] Several pairts o the toun can be easily seen in the pictur.

Robert Urquhart sterred in a 1980 BBC adaptation o Henrik Ibsen's An Enemy of the People, shot on location in Kirkcoubrie.

The 2018 meestery novelle The Shadow of the Black Earl bi Charles E McGarry his scenes set in Kirkcoubrie while maist o the action taks place in a fictional version of Laurieston Hall an the surroondin aurie.



Matt McGinn wrate an recordit The Wee Kirkcudbright Centipede that his been kivert bi ither sangers an aw, includin Alastair McDonald on disc an on his BBC Scotland shaw "Songs of Scotland" that includit a segment filmt on location at the toun's Johnston Primary School whaur McDonald led the childer in a dance sequence.

The baund Betrayal, that comprised Kirkcoubrie muisicker Stephen Milligan (lead guitar), Mervin Mackllin (rhythm guitar), an Stephen McClelland (keyboards), as weel as Andrew Black (bass), Blue (vocals), and Marty (drums), released an album "Rattlesnake Waltz on Liverpuil's Probe Plus Records in 1987. As reviewed in Q Magazine at the time as "This seven-piece outfit from Galloway make their album debut with a strange brew containing a healthy dash of speed metal and a fistful of disparate elements taken from early Genesis, The Lovin' Spoonful, Led Zeppelin, and The Skids. On paper this might seem unworkable but in reality it adds up to a highly individual sound, with tracks like Made, Dead Man's Hand and No Big Thing - where Sue Dring's soaring vocals form an attractive contrast to Steve McClelland's manic synthesizer-providing the high spots. The only obvious drawback to this formula is that by utilising such an unusual variety of influences the band may be limiting their appeal to lovers of the eccentric ..."

Namely fowk




Kirkcoubrie his hid a lang associe wi the Glasgow Art Movement. Several airtists, includin the Glasgow Boys and the famed Scots Colourists, sic as Samuel Peploe an Francis Cadell, steidit thaimsels in the aurie ower a 30-year speal fae 1880 tae 1910, estaiblishin the Kirkcudbright Artists' Colony. Amang thaim that flittit tae here fae Glesga wis an aw Edward Atkinson Hornel, George Henry, an Jessie M. King. Later anither curn o Glega-traint airtists built thair studios ower the river at The Stell, includin John Charles Lamont an Robert Sivell. Laundskip penter Charles Oppenheimer flittit tae Kirkcoubrie in 1908. He is gien creedit alang wi airtist Dorothy Nesbitt for hainin the Harbour Cottage (Art) Gallery fae demolishin in 1967. Kirkcoubrie becam kent as "the airtist's toun"[20] awtho langime residenters conseedert is a "fishin toun". Ither airtists include:



Perfaisional fitbawers




Ither fowk

Lawrence o Arabia's faimily bade at Craigville, St Mary's Street, Kirkcoubrie atween 1889 an 1891



Kirkcoubrie is representit in the South of Scotland Football League bi St Cuthbert Wanderers F.C..[38] It wis foondert bi the pairishoners o St Cuthbert Catholic Church. The club's best-kent umwhile players is Bob McDougall, Billy Halliday, an David Mathieson.[31]

2019 Tour o Breetain


The first stage fae Glesga o the 2019 Tour o Breetain endit in Kirkcoubrie on 7 September. The winner wis Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen.



  1. "Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba (2011) 'Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba - Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland - Database',". Archived frae the original on 7 Apryle 2016. Retrieved 12 Juin 2016.
  2. Learmonth, W (2012) Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire, Cambridgeshire: Cambridge University Press
  3. Eyre, C (1849) The History of St. Cuthbert: Or an Account of His Life, Decease, and Miracles; of the Wanderings with his Body at Intervals During CXXIV. Years; of the State of his Body from his Decease Until A.D. 1542; and of the Various Monuments Erected to His Memory, City of Westminster: James Burns
  4. Spottiswood, J (1655) The history of the Church of Scotland, beginning in the year of our Lord 203 and continued to the end of the reign of King James the VI of ever blessed memory : wherein are described the progress of Christianity, the persecutions and interruptions of it, the foundation of churches, the erecting of bishopricks, the building and endowing monasteries, and other religious places, the succession of bishops in their sees, the reformation of religion, and the frequent disturbances of that nation by wars, conspiracies, tumults, schisms : together with great variety of other matters, both ecclesiasticall and politicall, City of London: J. Flesher for R. Royston
  5. Keay, John (1994). Collins Encyclopedia of Scotland. London: HarperCollinsPublishers. pp. 585. ISBN 0002550822.
  6. Bell, J (2015) 'Old Kirkcudbright - History of an Ancient Parish & Burgh.', Kirkcudbright Community Website. [1]
  7. Coventry, M (2006) The Castles of Scotland, City of Edinburgh: Birlinn Limited
  8. Nicolson, J; Burn, R (1777). The History and Antiquities of the counties of Westmorland and Cumberland. 1. City of Westminster.
  9. Slaving and a Murder Trial Archived 2013-10-23 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 14 November 2012.
  10. 1770 Extract of Warrant for the arrest of John Paul (Jones). Retrieved on 14 November 2012.
  11. "The Johnston School". Canmore. Archived frae the original on 25 Januar 2020. Retrieved 20 Mairch 2020.
  12. "Johnston School (Former), St Mary Street, Kirkcudbright | Buildings at Risk Register". Archived frae the original on 25 Januar 2020. Retrieved 20 Mairch 2020.
  13. "Kirkcudbright, St Mary Street, Railway Station". Canmore. Archived frae the original on 11 Juin 2015. Retrieved 20 Mairch 2020.
  14. "Kirkcudbright Public Hall and Museum". Scottish Architects. Retrieved 27 Januar 2020.
  15. Edwards, M (2006). "Roll of Honour - Kirkcudbrightshire - Kircudbright".
  16. "Kirkcudbright Training Area". Ministry of Defence.
  17. "Secret Scotland - Kirkcudbright Training Area".
  18. "Call to stop uranium shell tests". BBC News. 7 Februar 2001.
  19. "Weapon test move comes under fire". BBC News. 11 Mairch 2008.
  20. a b Artists' Town official website. Kirkcudbright. Retrieved on 22 June 2011.
  21. "The PA Pop-up". PA Pop-up. Retrieved 26 Januar 2020.
  22. "History – Harbour Cottage Gallery" (in Inglis). Retrieved 28 Januar 2020.
  23. "Five Red Herrings" – via
  24. "Five Red Herrings (TV Mini-Series 1975)".
  25. "Where was 'The Wicker Man' filmed?". British Film Locations. Archived frae the original on 19 Mairch 2020. Retrieved 5 Juin 2017.
  26. "Joseph W Simpson | Kirkcudbright Galleries | Dumfries and Galloway | Artists | Gallery". Kirkcudbright Galleries.
  27. "Phyllis Mary Bone (1894 – 1972)". University of Edinburgh Alumni. University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 26 Januar 2020.
  28. "William Hanna Clarke". Artists' Footsteps. Archived frae the original on 22 October 2018. Retrieved 20 Mairch 2020.
  31. a b McCartney, I (2008) Queen of the South: The History 1919–2008, Staffordshire: The Breedon Books Publishing Company Limited
  32. McLean, K (2009). QosFC: Legends - George Cloy. Queen of the South Football Club.
  33. McLean, K (2009). QosFC: Legends - Tommy Bryce. Queen of the South Football Club.
  34. HG (1978) 'Obituary', British Medical Journal, 1 (6119, April), 1058 to 1060
  35. "Caldwell". Archived frae the original on 20 Apryle 2019. Retrieved 20 Mairch 2020.
  36. "Comprehensive Report". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 1918.
  37. "Life story: William George Lawrence | Lives of the First World War". Retrieved 30 Januar 2020.
  38. "St Cuthbert Wanderers FC". St Cuthbert Wanderers FC. 2014.