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The Town of Kirkcudbright (pronounced kir-coo-bree) is finely situated on the estuary of the River Dee, and is the county town of the County or Stewartry of Kirkcudbright in South-West Scotland. Collectively with the County of Wigtown, the area was historically known as the Kingdom of Galloway, and now forms the western portion of the present-day local authority area Dumfries and Galloway.

Kirkcudbright is first recorded with Royal Burgh status as far back as 1455, but may have had this distinction even earlier. Royal Burgh status gave the town authority to trade with ports outside of Scotland and reflected the security of its position, and importance of its fine sheltered harbour.

An early rendition of the name of the town was Kilcudbrit, derived from the Scottish Gaelic "Cille Chuithbeirt" (Chapel of Cuthbert), the Anglo-Saxon saint whose mortal remains were kept here for seven years between exhumation at Lindisfarne and re-interment at Chester-le-Street.

Kirkcudbright (pronounced kir-coo-bree) sits on the banks of the River Dee and is the only town on the Solway coast with a working harbour. It’s an attractive town with a colourful blend of medieval, Georgian and Victorian buildings. Kirkcudbright became a magnet for Scottish artists in the late 19th century, and is now know as The Artists' Town because of this association.

MacLellan's Castle is a ruined 16th century tower house by the harbourside and nearby is Broughton House, a smart Georgian townhouse which was once the home of the artist Edward Hornel. The house has some impressive Japanese gardens.

St Cuthbert's Parish Church

Located in the heart of the Royal Burgh, St Cuthbert's opened for worship on 21st October 1838. The church site was given by the Earl of Selkirk(1). The Church Hall, on the opposite side of St Mary's Street, was built in 1892.

Inside the church, there is a coat of arms for Sir Charles Dunbar Hope-Dunbar. In the grounds, there is a memorial plaque commemorating Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk. It was erected by the Historic Sites Advisory Board of Manitoba. 

Hope-Dunbar coat of arms

Inside the parish church, there is a coat of arms for Sir Charles Dunbar Hope-Dunbar, 6th Bt of St. Mary's Isle. He was born on 12 July 1873. He was the son of Captain John Hope of St. Mary's Isle and Rebecca Marion Blackburn.

Born Charles Dunbar Hope, his name was legally changed to Charles Dunbar Hope-Dunbar on 1 June 1916 when he succeeded to the title of 6th Baronet Dunbar, of Baldoon [N.S., 1664]. the title had lain dormant since 1686.

He fought in the Boer War and in the First World War when he was a Major in the Royal Field Artillery. He was a Deputy Lieutenant (D.L.) and a Justice of the Peace (J.P.).

He married, firstly, Edythe Mary Ramsden, daughter of Richard Ramsden, on 31 January 1906, and secondly, Marjorie Ford, daughter of Hugh Chesterton Ford, on 21 October 1948.

He died on 6 January 1958.

Captain John Hope of St. Mary's Isle was born on 30 January 1843. He was the son of Hon. Charles Hope and Lady Isabella Helen Douglas, the daughter of Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk.

The Dunbar, later Hope-Dunbar Baronetcy, of Baldoon, is a title in the Baronetage of Nova Scotia.

The motto reads: "Firmior quo paratior" (Stronger and more prepared)

War memorial

The only Douglas name listed on the 1914-1918 war memorial (To the right of the castle in the image above) is that of Pte Jas. W. Douglas. Uniquely, his is the only name listed without naming his regiment.

1. Probably Dunbar James Douglas, 6th Earl of Selkirk FRS (22 April 1809 – 11 April 1885).

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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024