SOLWAY FIRTH, an estuarine inlet of the Irish Sea, between England and Scotland. If its mouth be taken as between St Bee's Head on the English and Burrow Head on the Scottish coast, its length is 50 m. The breadth at the mouth is 32 m.; near the head, where the Solway viaduct of the Caledonian railway crosses the firth, it is nearly ij m. The general direction is north-easterly from the mouth. The Scottish counties bordering the firth are Wigtownshire, Kirkcudbright and Dumfriesshire; the English coast belongs to Cumberland. On the English side the low Solway Plain borders the firth, except for a short distance above St Bees Head. The Scottish shore, however, is not continuously flat, and such elevations as Criffell (1866 ft.), Bengairn (1250) and Cairnharrow (1497), above Wigtown Bay, rise close to it. The shore line is broken on both sides by the estuaries of several rivers. Thus in Scotland the Cree and other streams enter Wigtown Bay; the Dee, Kirkcudbright Bay; Auchencairn Bay and Rough Firth receive numerous small streams, and the Nith discharges through a long estuary. The Annan has its mouth near the town of that name; and the Esk and Eden at the head of the firth, in Cumberland. On this shore Morecambe Bay receives the Wampool and Waver from the plain, the Ellen has its mouth at Maryport, and the Derwent from the Lake District at Workington. The waters of the firth are shallow, and a tidal bore occurs periodically. The fisheries are extensive, and though there are no ports of the first magnitude on the firth, a considerable shipping trade is carried on at Whitehaven, Harrington, Workington, Maryport and Silloth in Cumberland, and at Annan, Kirkcudbright, Creetown and Wigtown on the Scottish side.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)