A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

This edition is copyright © The Editors of the Gazetteer for Scotland, 2002-2022.

It has taken much time and money to make the six-volumes of Groome's text freely accessible. Please help us continue and develop by making a donation. If only one out of every ten people who view this page gave £5 or $10, the project would be self-sustaining. Sadly less than one in thirty-thousand contribute, so please give what you can.

Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry Arrow

Criffel, a barren though verdant granitic mountain group of SE Kirkcudbrightshire, commencing in Newabbey parish near the Nith, and running south-westward across Kirkgunzeon, Urr, and Colvend, down almost to the shore of the Solway Firth. It culminates in conical, peaked Knockendoch (1867 feet), 2¼ miles S by W of Newabbey village, and from this 'huge Criffel's hoary top,' as Wordsworth calls it, commands in clear weather a map-like view of the Solway's basin and the Cumberland mountains beyond, with far-away glimpses of Arran, Ireland, and the Isle of Man. 'Drayton,' says Dorothy Wordsworth, 'has prettily described the connection this neighbourhood has with Cumberland when he makes Skiddaw say- '" Scurfell from the sky, That Annandale doth Crown. with a most amorous eye Salutes me every day, or at my pride looks grim, oft threat'ning me with clouds, as I oft threat'ning him."' According to a prophecy ascribed to Thomas the Rhymer, 'in the evil day coming safely shall nowhere be found except atween Criffel and the sea.'-Ord. Sur., sh. 5, 1867.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better