The most prominent feature at Southerness is its lighthouse, one of the oldest in Scotland, having been built in 1749. This spot is home to a large holiday village; sadly, earlier this month it was reported that the leisure centre at the village was destroyed by fire. There is also a golf club. Heading round the coast from Southerness we come to the Arbigland Estate. The gardens here are open to visitors, and feature glades with a range of semi-tropical shrubs and trees leading down to a sandy beach. A former head gardener here was the father of John Paul Jones, a founder of the US Navy (see Kirkcudbright). The cottage where the mariner was born is now a museum, and the parish church in nearby Kirkbean has a memorial font illustrating the USS Bonhomme Richard, which was named after John Paul Jones' frigate, which was placed at his disposal by King Louis XVI of France. Incidentally, Kirkbean was the birthplace of another prominent naval officer, John Campbell, who became governor of Newfoundland. Other interesting features of the Arbigland Estate include McCulloch's Castle, which is an Iron Age fort. The small fishing port of Carsethorn was once used by visiting Vikings. Later, in the late 18th/early 19th centuries, Carsethorn was a point of departure for the numerous Scots who left for a new life in Australia and America. The area adjacent to the shore known as the "merse" (low level ground by a river or shore) is home to millions of seabirds.
Map of the area.
|Flock of Oystercatchers at Carsethorn. Photo by Debbie Turner, via Wikimedia Commons|