Kirkcudbrightshire
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Kirkcudbrightshire

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Kirkcudbrightshire (pronounced Kir-coo-bry-shire) is situated in south-west Scotland in the old province of Galloway and is bounded by Wigtownshire to the west, Ayrshire to the north, Dumfriesshire to the east, and the waters of the Solway Firth to the south.  In the 14th century Archibald "The Grim", 3rd Earl of Douglas, who built Threave Castle, used "stewards" to collect taxes in the area.  As a result of this, the county came to be known as "The Stewartry"of Kirkcudbright.

Threave Castle stands on an island in the River Dee just outside the town of Castle Douglas.    In 1440 Sir William Crichton and Sir Alexander Livingston, determined to curb the power of the Douglas family, invited the teenage 6th Earl and his brother to the infamous Black Dinner at Edinburgh Castle, following which the two boys were summarily executed. Twelve years later, the 8th Earl captured his rival, MacLellan of Kirkcudbright, and ignoring the orders of James II, hanged him from the gallows knob that can still be seen over the main doorway.

In the east of the county lies Sweetheart Abbey, founded in 1273 by Devorguilla Balliol, mother of King John Balliol. When her husband (also called John) died in 1268, Devorguilla had his heart embalmed and placed in an ivory shrine, and she used to eat her meals in its company, giving its share of every dish to the poor. She also had the rather grisly habit of carrying the heart around with her in a casket, and thus her Abbey got its name. When she died in 1290 she and the heart were buried together in the Abbey and a headless effigy of her and the casket still survives in the building's well-preserved ruins.

To the west lies Dundrennan Abbey, founded in 1142 (probably by King David I), and motherhouse of both Glenluce and Sweetheart Abbeys. On 16th May 1568 Mary Queen of Scots came to Dundrennan after her defeat at the Battle of Langside and the following day she sailed to England from Port Mary, two miles to the south, never to return to Scotland.

The county town, Kirkcudbright, is particularly attractive with a ruined castle, 16th century Tolbooth, and small harbour while New Galloway, at the head of Loch Ken, was the smallest royal burgh in Scotland.

Family names associated with Kirkcudbrightshire include Maxwell, McLellan, Gordon, Douglas, MacKay, McCulloch and Lennox.

Our map of Kirkcudbrightshire has a stitch count of 192 x 176 and, when stitched on the supplied 27-count Linda evenweave, measures 14 13 inches (370 x 335 mm).  It has 17 buildings, a lighthouse, a puffer and a yacht, place names, compass, and crest.  The kit includes twenty-eight shades of Anchor stranded cotton.

Kit 27.95 UK pounds
Chartpack 13.65 UK pounds

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