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Wigtown is situated on the western shore of Wigtown Bay whence the name, from the Scandinavian vik, bay. It is built on an eminence around a spacious central area laid out in walks. The town hall stands at a corner of this square, and at the opposite side are two crosses, one of 1738 and the other commemorating Waterloo. Some fishing is carried on.

In the old churchyard were buried Margaret MacLachian, a widow aged 63, and Margaret Wilsop, a girl of 18, two covenanting martyrs who were tied to stakes in the sands of Wigtown Bay and drowned by the rising waters (1685), to whose memory, as well as that of three men who were hanged at the same time without trial, an obelisk surmounted by an urn was erected in 1858 on the top of Windy Hill, outside the town. Wigtown was made a royal burgh in 1469.

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