Stranraer & The Rhins of Galloway Community & Tourist Information Site

Kirkcolm

kirkcolm

Kirkcolm takes it's name from 'kirk' meaning church and 'colm' meaning either of the names Columba, Colum or Calum, the most likely definition is 'St. Columba's Church'. This is backed up by St Columba's Well in the old kirk's graveyard. Kirkcolm, which was once known as Stewarton, has been in existence since the 1780s and was most well known for its production of muslin embroidery. The nearby Balsarroch House, now ruined, was the birthplace of polar explorer Sir John Ross, who later lived in the North West Castle in Stranraer.

 

Nearby Places to Visit...

  • Wig Bay & The Scar - Heading from Stranraer towards Kirkcolm you will notice a car park on the right for Wig Bay. You will notice a long sand bank jutting out into Loch Ryan - this is called The Scar and in summer it is the home of the largest colony of nesting migrant Terns in Dumfries and Galloway. The site is also important to waders. Wig Bay was used as base for flying boats in World War Two. There is a circular walk here that goes from the car park and follows the shoreline until you take a left turn towards Kirkcolm and then back to the car park. Notice the beach is littered with huge scallop shells! You may spot jellyfish washed up here and seals sunbathing on rocks in Loch Ryan.
  • Kilmorie Cross - The Kilmorie Cross' original location was said to be in the churchyard of St. Mary's Chapel (just over 2 miles South of Kirkcolm). It was later found in the grounds of Corsewall House, being used as a door lintel for the now ruined Kirkcolm Church. Since then, it has been relocated to the grounds of the present Ervie-Kirkcolm Church of Scotland, in Kirkcolm itself (Church Road). The Kilmorie Cross is a 9th or 10th century carved cross with, strangely, both Christian and Viking inspired drawings. On one side of the cross is carvings of writhing animals below an ornate cross. On the other, is an illustration of the crucifixion above a blacksmith holding a hammer and tongs beside two eagles. The blacksmith is thought to be Sigurd, a Scandinavian super hero or even the Viking god Thor! Either way, the carvings on the cross seem to illustrate the triumph of Christianity over Paganism. For more details see www.erviekirkcolmchurch.com.
  • Corsewall Point - One of the Rhins' most spectacular viewpoints, and best known lighthouses. On a clear day you can see Ireland, Ailsa Craig, Arran and further north. It is also a great spot to sit and watch the Stena and P&O ferries travel from the mouth of Loch Ryan over towards Ireland. The Lighthouse is 26 metres high and was built in 1815 by lighthouse engineer Robert Stephenson. Corsewall Lighthouse is now a hotel and restaurant. This SSSI is a great place for watching grey seals and gannets diving.
  • Lady Bay - Although access is difficult for the smaller car, you will be rewarded with a small sandy beach with picnic site and views over Loch Ryan - a great spot for any ferry-watchers.

Featured Accommodation in and Around Kirkcolm

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