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Kirkbean is located in Dumfries and Galloway
Location within Dumfries and Galloway
Population 643 (2001 Census)[1]
OS grid reference NX978592
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
List of places
54°56′31″N 3°35′36″W / 54.9419°N 3.5932°W / 54.9419; -3.5932Coordinates: 54°56′31″N 3°35′36″W / 54.9419°N 3.5932°W / 54.9419; -3.5932
Kirkbean Church

Kirkbean is a small Scottish village and civil parish on the Solway Firth, in the historical county of Kirkcudbrightshire and now in Dumfries and Galloway. In the 2001 census, the four small villages making up the parish of Kirkbean had a total population of 643. The parish also includes the hamlet of Loaningfoot.


The parish was the departure point for thousands of Scots seeking a better life in the American and Australian colonies during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Convicts were also transported to Australia from here, making the parish a rich source of genealogical history, with many hundreds of thousands of people worldwide having a connection with it.

Prominent residents

Among Kirkbean's famous sons was John Paul Jones, founder of the United States Navy and a rear admiral in the Imperial Russian Navy. He was born on the Arbigland estate on July 6, 1747. There is a memorial font to him in the church, by sculptor George Henry Paulin, which depicts USS Bonhomme Richard.

The poet and novelist Helen Craik was born at Arbigland in 1751.

Kirkbean cemetery is the burial place of Jean Thurot (1755–1833), son of François Thurot, a French naval commodore and privateer.

The village was the birthplace of another great seafarer, John Campbell in 1720. He went on to become a British naval officer, navigation expert and colonial governor of Newfoundland, now a province of Canada.

Sir James Gunn (1893–1964), artist, lived with his family in Carsethorn during World War II.[2]

Natural heritage

Today, the local beaches and the bird-rich merse (salt marsh), where millions of seabirds live or over-winter, are part of the rich natural heritage of the parish. Visitors to the National Nature Reserve on the far side of the River Nith come in large numbers to watch birds on the Carsethorn foreshore, before continuing to the nature reserves at Southwick and Mersehead.

The village has an official community website.[3]


  1. ^ KS01 Usual resident population, Kirkbean,, 2001-04-21, archived from the original on 2011-05-19, retrieved 2008-09-25
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Retrieved 28 September 2016.
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