Kirkcudbright (Kir-koo'bry), Stewartry of, a county of south-west Scotland, washed on the south for 50 miles by the Solway Firth, and elsewhere bounded by Wigtown, Ayr, and Dumfries shires. Measuring 41 by 38 miles, it has an area of 954 sq. m.; is watered by the Nith, Urr, Dee, Fleet, and Cree; and in the south-east sends up conspicuous Criffel (1867 feet), on the northwest border Merrick (2764), the loftiest summit in the south of Scotland. Little more than a fourth of the entire area is in cultivation, though great improvements have been effected since the foundation in 1809 of the Stewartry Agricultural Society. Nearly 31 sq. m. are occupied by woods. Towns are Kirkcudbright, New Galloway, Castle-Douglas, Dalbeattie, Gatehouse, Creetown, and Maxwelltown ; and the antiquities include the Deil's Dyke, Threave Castle, and the ecclesiastical ruins of Dundrennan, Lincluden, New Abbey, St Mary's Isle, and Tongueland. Among worthies of the Stewartry have been Samuel Rutherford, Paul Jones, Thomas Brown, and Alexander Murray. It returns one member to, parliament. Pop. (1801) 29,211 ; (1851) 43,121 ; (1901) 39,407.
Kirkcudbright, the county town, 30 miles SW. of Dumfries by a branch-line (1864), is beautifully situated on the left bank of the Dee, which soon begins to broaden into Kirkcudbright Bay, opening into the Solway Firth 6 miles below. Its name is derived from the church of St Cuthbert, as old at least as 1164; and it is a royal burgh (1455), uniting with Dumfries, etc. to return one member. Chief buildings are the court-house (1868)and town-hall (1879); a lattice-bridge (1868), 500 feet long, spans the Dee. The ivy-mantled ruins of the castle (1582) of Maclellan of Bombie still dominate the town. Pop. 2400.