Wigtownshire
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Wigtownshire

(Click on the picture to see a larger one)

Wigtownshire is situated in the extreme south-west corner of Scotland and is bounded to the north by Ayrshire, to the east by Kirkcudbrightshire, and by the Irish Sea to the south and west.  The county has long been Scotland's link with Ireland, with ferries running from both Stranraer and Cairnryan.

Wigtownshire is the birthplace of Scottish Christianity as it was in Whithorn that St. Ninian established a church in the late 4th or early 5th century.  In the 12th century Fergus, Lord of Galloway, founded a priory and cathedral in Whithorn and for the next 400 years the town was a place of pilgrimage.   Several monarchs came, including James IV who travelled there on foot from Edinburgh to pray for his wife Margaret Tudor, who was seriously ill - the pilgrimage was apparently successful, as both king and queen later returned (albeit not on foot) to give thanks.  The ruins of Whithorn Priory are now in state care.

A few miles north of Whithorn is Wigtown itself, a small town dominated by its splendid county buildings.  Wigtown today is a quiet place, established as Scotland's "booktown", while just outside the town the village of Bladnoch is the home of the country's most southerly whisky distillery.   Life was not so peaceful in the 17th century, however, when there was appalling religious persecution in Scotland.  Covenanters, who supported a presbyterian form of church and a direct relationship between God and the people of Scotland without the intercession of either state or pope, rebelled against state attempts to enforce episcopacy.  The Covenanters were particularly strong in southwest Scotland and in 1685, during "The Killing Time" when persecution reached new heights and the feared Bonnie Dundee - John Graham of Claverhouse - was Sheriff of Galloway,   four women were tried at Wigtown on account of their beliefs and two of them sentenced to death by drowning.  The unfortunate pair were tied to stakes at the mouth of the River Bladnoch and eventually submerged by the rising tide.  The two women, Margaret MacLachlan and Margaret Wilson, became known as the Wigtown Martyrs.

Family names associated with Wigtownshire include Kennedy, Hay, MacDowall, McCulloch, Fleming, Adair and Agnew.

Our map of Wigtownshire measures 12 x 11 inches (300 x 290 mm) when stitched on the supplied 27-count Linda evenweave material and has 18 buildings, sailing boats, ferry, place names, compass and crest.  The kit includes twenty-nine shades of Anchor stranded cotton. The stitch count is 160 x 157.

Kit 24.95 UK pounds
Chartpack 12.20 UK pounds

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