KIRKCUDERIGHTSHIRE, more properly the stewertry of Kirkcudbright, a county in Scotland, comprehending the eastern district of Galloway, is bounded on the n. and n.e. by the counties of Ayr and Dumfries, on the e. and s. by the Solway firth and the Irish sea, and on the NV, by the county of Wigton. Its length from e. to w. is from 45 to 50 in., and its breadth is about 40 miles. Its area is 954 sq.m., or 610,734 acres, of which there are 184,761 acres under rotation of crops and grass. The rest is composed of hilly and mossy ground. and lakes, of which there is one in almost every parish. Some of the hills, out.-fourth of which are of granite, are of considerable altitude; among which are Meyrick, 2,764 ft.; Cairnsmore, 2,597 ft.; and Criffel, 1867 feet. There are several considerable rivers, the principal of which are the Cree and the Dee; the latter of which is navigable for 2 in. above Kirkcudbright.
There arc upwards of 400 landowners, many of whom possess small bounds, and farm their own land. One-half of the land is under entail. The occupants number 1377. The valued rent for 1674 was £9,549. The valuation for 1878-79 (exclusive of royal burghs) was £364,647; that of railways was L'28,898. In the year 1878 the total acreage under all kinds of crops, bare and fallow grass, was 174,171; under corn crops, 32,334; under green crops, 17,696. The soil of the county is principally composed of
a thin mold, or a brownish loam mixed with sand, lying above rock and gravel. The con dition of the rural inhabitants; and the state of agriculture of this county, up to almost the end of last century, were very primitive; the principal food of the people in the early part of the century was kale, and oats ground in querns turned by the hand, and dried in a pot; but arable husbandry has been improved of late, while great attention is being paid to the rearing. of cattle. The principal towns are Kirkcudbright, the county-town, with a pop. (1871) of 2,470, New Galloway, Creetown, Gatehouse, Castle Douglas, etc. Before the reformation the stewartry possessed more monasteries than any other county of Scotland. There have been a few eminent men of letters connected with this county, of whom the most celebrated were Dr. Alexander Murray, the linguist, and Dr. Thomas Brown. The pop. in 1871 was 41,859. The constituency lumbered, in 1878-79, 2,153, who return one member to parliament.