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Coordinates: 54°49′55″N 4°02′53″W / 54.832°N 4.048°W / 54.832; -4.048

Kirkcudbright, (pronounced /kərˈkuːbriː/ kirr-KOO-bree; Scottish Gaelic: Cille Chuithbeirt) is a town in the south of Scotland in Dumfries and Galloway.

The town lies south of Castle Douglas and Dalbeattie, in the part of Dumfries and Galloway known as the Stewartry, situated at the mouth of the River Dee, some six miles from the sea. It was the county town of the former county of Kirkcudbrightshire.



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. The "kirk" element is Old Norse in origin and itself superseded the term chirch which was derived from Old English.[1]

Spottiswood, in his account of religious houses in Scotland, mentions that the Franciscans or Grey Friars had been established at Kirkcudbright from the 12th century. No traces of the Greyfriars or Franciscan dwellings remain in the parish of Kirkcudbright.

In 1453, Kirkcudbright became a Royal burgh [2], and about a century later the magistrates of the town obtained permission from Mary, Queen of Scots, to use part of the convent and nunnery as a parish church. From around 1570, Sir Thomas Maclellan of Bombie, the chief magistrate, received a charter for the site, its grounds, and gardens. Maclellan dismantled the church in order to obtain material for his proposed castle and proceeded to have a very fine house, MacLellan's Castle, built on the site.

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