The village of Kirkinner can be found some three miles south of Wigtown where it stands astride the main A746 road to Whithorn. The lines of largely white-painted single or two storey cottages and houses give the village an attractive feel whatever the light, and it looks especially good if you catch it on a day like the one illustrated on this page.
Given the diminutive size of the village, it comes as something of a surprise to find that it has a considerable amount in the way of services to offer residents and visitors to the area. The village shop and post office can be found in the centre of the village, while not far away is the Kirkinner Inn, which offers food and drink. The Main Street is also where you find Kirkinner Village Hall, which though externally in need of a coat of paint when we visited provides a useful facility for the community. On the opposite side of the road is the bowling green.
Kirkinner Parish Church stands a little to the east of the main road through the village. The current church, dedicated to St Kennera, was built in 1828. Although no trace has been found of the structure of an earlier church on the site, it is highly likely that one existed. Records of a church known as Carnesmole date back to 1306, and until 1967 a 4ft tall Celtic disc headed cross stood close to the west end of the church. The Kirkinner Cross is believed to date back to the 900s and is now on display in the church. Far fewer churches in Dumfries and Galloway are open to visitors than in other rural parts of Scotland, and when we visited the church was locked so the cross could not be viewed.
A mile to the north of Kirkinner are the ruins of Baldoon Castle. They are reported to be haunted by the ghost of Janet Dalrymple Dunbar. On 24 August 1669, Janet Dalrymple married David Dunbar, heir of Sir David Dunbar of Baldoon, in a ceremony in Old Luce before the party returned to the Dalrymple family seat at Carsecreugh Castle, two miles north east of Glenluce. The marriage had been arranged by the parents of the bride and groom, and Janet was an extremely reluctant bride as she was in love with Archibald, the penniless 3rd Lord Rutherford.
In the bridal chamber on the night of the wedding, David Dunbar was stabbed and Janet lost her mind. Dunbar survived, but never spoke of how he came by his injuries. Janet Dalrymple died, still insane, nineteen days later on 12 September 1669. Opinions differ as to whether Dunbar was stabbed by Janet or by Archibald and the mystery later formed the basis of the plot of The Bride of Lammermoor by Sir Walter Scott. Why Janet should then have gone on to haunt Baldoon Castle rather than Carsecreugh Castle is another mystery, but she is widely believed to do so.