Wigtown

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Coordinates: 54°52′12″N 4°26′20″W / 54.870°N 4.439°W / 54.870; -4.439

Wigtown (Gaelic: Baile na h-Uige) is a town and former royal burgh in the Machars of Galloway in the south west of Scotland, south of Newton Stewart and east of Stranraer. It has a population of about 1,000. It is well known today as 'Scotland's National Book Town' with a concentration of second-hand book shops.

Wigtown gives its name to the county of Wigtownshire, and to the former Wigtown district of the Dumfries and Galloway region. The district became a committee area of Dumfries and Galloway Council, called the Wigtown Area, when the region became a unitary council area in 1996.

Due to the North Atlantic Drift (Gulf Stream) the climate is mild and plants normally associated with the Southern Hemisphere can successfully be grown here. The surrounding area (the Machars peninsula) is rich in prehistoric remains, most notably the Torhousekie Standing Stones, a Neolithic stone circle aligned to the winter solstice.

Contents

History

Wigtown was made a royal burgh in 1469 although a settlement here existed long before this. The burgh is mentioned in an indenture of 1292, and the fact that the sheriffdom was in existence at the time of the Largs campaign of 1263 suggests that the burgh may also have been recognised as such during the reign of Alexander III.

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