Chapter 3: The Description Of Gallowaie, Kile, Carricke, And Cuningham, With The Notable Townes, Lakes And Riuers In The Same.
ABOUE Niddesdale is Gallowaie (named sometimes Brigantia) the people whereof were
in times past called Brigantes: this region is diuided by the water of Crée into two parts,
whereof that which lieth néerest to Niddesdale, is called nether Gallowaie, and the other
that is aboue the Crée is named vpper Gallowaie. In nether Gallowaie is Kirkcowbrie, a
rich towne and of a good trade in merchandize, and in vpper Gallowaie is Whitherne, in
Latine Candida Casa,
an abbeie dedicated to saint Ninian the bishop, and there lieth his
carcase, which is honored of the people with great superstition and errour. Aboue Whitherne is Wigton towne, and not far from thence is the great lake of Mirton, the one halfe
whereof doo fréeze by naturall congelation as other pooles and plashes doo; but the other
is neuer séene to beare anie yce at all, which vnto me dooth séeme to be a great woonder.
In Gallowaie moreouer are two other lakes, the Salset and the Neutramen, of equall length
and bredth with the Lochmirton; as for Gallowaie it selfe, it yeeldeth out a great point,
promontorie, or cape (which the Scots call a mule or nuke) into the Irish sea. The common sort name it the mules nuke, and by the rounding of it selfe, it maketh two great
lakes, named Rean and Lois, except I be deceiued, one of these lakes or pooles is 30, and
the other 16, miles of length, and both full of oisters, herrings, coongers, cockles, and
other like kinds of fish.
Some are of the opinion that Brigantia was the same region of Britaine that is now called
Wales, wherein the Britains inhabited manie yeares after their expulsion out of Britaine.
But this opinion is false, sith the Romans write that Man the Iland lieth ouer against Brigantium and midwaie betwéene the same and Ireland: for albeit that the braies or bales are
now worne wider & further distant ech from other by the washing and working of the sea,
yet the same latitude & eleuation of the pole that Ptolomie ascribed to the Brigants, agréeth
well to the heigth of the pole ouer Gallowaie, which is verie far from Wales, sithens the
Ile of Man lieth also 300 miles from thence, and in the sight of Gallowaie. In like sort by
the testimonie of sundrie authors both Irish and Spanish (we affirme that out of Brigantium
a citie in Spaine, now named Compostella) there came a new companie of people into Ireland called Spaniards, and out of Ireland another crew of the same nation with king Fergus
into Albion, and in remembrance of the citie Brigance, wherein they inhabited whilest they
were in Spaine, they called themselues Brigantes. To this opinion in like sort Cornelius
Tacitus dooth séeme to leane, who saith, that the Brigantes descended from the Spaniards,
which in his time dwelled in the vttermost parts of Britaine, including vnder that name all
the Ile of Albion. These regions afore rehearsed, that is to say, Annandale, Niddesdale,
and Gallowaie, beside fine woolls and store of cattell, dooth also abound with all kinds of
graine, wheate onelie excepted.
Aboue Gallowaie is Carrike, sometime a portion of the region of the Silures, of whose
name it is not yet certeinelie knowne, whether it was deriued from the famous citie Carrike,
whose ruines doo yet remaine, or not. Silurie is diuided into thrée parts, to wit, Carrike,
Kile, and Cuningham. In the first, as I said, was Carrike the noble citie: and in this
countrie are manie strong castels, both by naturall situation and policie of man: herein
also are faire kine and oxen, whose flesh is delicat and verie tender to be eaten, the tallow
moreouer of their wombs is so moist and sappie that it neuer waxeth hard, but relenteth of
the owne accord, and becommeth like vnto oile. Beyond Carrike is Kile, so called of CoileReade in the Latine.
12 foot in bith 30 foot in length, and three elns thicke.
king of Britaine, sometime slaine in the said region, and therein is a stone, not much aboue
12 miles from the towne of Air, full 30 foot high, and three elns of breadth, called the
deafe stone, not without cause: for when a man is on the one side thereof, he shall not
heare what is said or doone on the other, though there be neuer so great noise made, no
not if a canon should be discharged of set purpose; which to me dooth séeme vnpossible,
neuerthelesse the further a man standeth from the same, the better shall he heare, whatsoeuer the noise be. Next to Kile is Cuningham the third part of Silurie, whose inhabitants
in time past were most noisome to the Romans. In Kile is a poole named Downe, from
whence the riuer Downe dooth runne through the middest of that region into the Irish sea.
In Cuningham likewise is a lake called Garnoth, equall in quantitie vnto the Downe, and
no lesse famous for the abundance of fish that is dailie found therein; and not farre from
the same is the towne called Largis, where Alexander the third king of Scotland of that
name, sometime ouercame the Danes and Norwegians, whereby it grew to be famous and of
more reputation among vs.