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Creetown, Kirkcudbrightshire

Historical Description

CREETOWN, a burgh of barony, and a port, in the parish of KIRKMABRECK, stewartry of KIRKCUDBRIGHT, 6 miles (S. E.) from Newton-Stewart; containing 984 inhabitants. This place, which takes its name from its situation on the river Cree, is of some antiquity, and under the name of "Creth" was the rendezvous of the English army in 1300. It appears to have been of considerable extent, and, from a ferry over the river, obtained subsequently the name of the Ferry-Town of Cree. It is probable that the ancient village had fallen into decay before the erection of the present town, which was commenced in 1785, and in 1792 contained only fifty houses. The town is situated at the mouth of the river, on the eastern shore of Wigtown bay, and consists of several streets, irregularly formed, but containing well-built houses; the surrounding scenery in every direction is beautifully picturesque, and enlivened with handsome mansions and pleasing villas. A cotton-factory, a tannery, and a mill for making patent-shot, were for some years in active operation, but they have been long discontinued; the manufacture of carpets, affording employment to about thirty persons, is carried on in the buildings of the old cotton-factory, and the shot-mill has been lately adapted to the purpose of a cast-iron foundry. The trade of the port is mainly in the shipping of granite for Liverpool, in which several schooners are employed; there is a small coasting-trade, chiefly with Whitehaven, and foreign vessels occasionally land cargoes of timber and tar. A few fishing-wherries belong to the port. There is no harbour, and the vessels are moored upon the beach. Creetown was erected into a burgh of barony by charter granted to its proprietor, John Mc Culloch, Esq., of Barholm, in 1791, and is governed by a bailie and four councillors, elected triennially by the tenants. A town-hall with a small prison has been lately built. There is a post-office, and every facility of communication is afforded by good roads, and by the ferry across the Cree to Wigtown.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 1851 by Samuel Lewis