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Kirkbean is located in Dumfries and Galloway
Kirkbean shown 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
Old Manse, Kirkbean

Kirkbean is a small village and civil parish near the Solway Firth in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. In the 2001 census, the Parish of Kirkbean - which comprises four small villages - had 643 residents in total. The parish of Kirkbean includes the hamlet of Loaningfoot.

Prominent residents[edit]

Among Kirkbean's famous sons was John Paul Jones, founder of the United States Navy, who was born in Arbigland, Kirkbean on July 6, 1747. There is a memorial font to him in the church, by sculptor George Henry Paulin, which depicts USS Bonhomme Richard. Also born at Arbigland was the novelist and poet Helen Craik 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.

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.

Natural heritage[edit]

Today, the local beaches and the bird-rich merse, 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 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.[2]