Ayr, Ayrshire One Place Study

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[1] Ayr is a seaside burgh of Ayrshire located on the Southwest coast of Scotland overlooking the Firth Of Clyde. Notable landmarks seaward are the Isle of Arran, and Ailsa Craig (aka Paddy's Milestone). Alloway to the east, Newton-On-Ayr to the north and Wallacetown to the northeast are all considered suburbs of Ayr, but for this study on Ayr, the suburbs have been purposely separated due to their individual characteristics.

Originally Ayr was named 'Inverayr' but at some point the name was shortened to become 'Ayr'.

Ayr is steeped in history with several famous names appearing in time that helped shape this wonderful area. Ayr is and always was considered a market town.


[2] Ayr (2020) 46,480 / (1951) 44,019 / (1790) 4,647 / (1755) 2,964

Alloway (2020) 4,245

Newton-On-Ayr (not available)

Wallacetown (2020) 4,620

Whitletts ((not available)


[3] This account of the geology of the Ayr district, in the south-west of the Midland Valley of Scotland, covers the area from around Monkton in the north, to Dailly in the south. The description of the bedrock geology includes field observations recorded up to 2002, together with earlier published and unpublished work on the area. The Quaternary section updates field records and reviews earlier published work. The district covers the growing town and administrative centre of Ayr and its neighbour Prestwick, extending south into rural farmland and scenic hill country. Farther south is the market town of Maybole and the former coalfield around Dailly. It also covers some dramatic coastal scenery and sweeping bays, with tourist attractions stretching from the golf courses south of Troon, past the ruined castles of Greenan and Dunure, to Culzean Castle overlooking Culzean Bay and onto Maidens and Turnberry. The bulk of the rocks are sedimentary and Palaeozoic in age, with a succession extending from Ordovician to early Permian, punctuated by several volcanic and intrusive igneous episodes. In Mid Ordovician times, about 470 Ma ago, the district lay close to the southern edge of the Laurentian continent. Oceanic crust was thrust up when a volcanic arc collided with the microcontinental segment that formed the Midland Valley Terrane as it docked against Laurentia. Upper Ordovician to lower Silurian sediments were deposited in a forearc basin on the southern margin of this terrane and were deformed as the Southern Uplands accretionary prism was pushed up from the south during the Caledonian Orogeny. The Lanark Group was later deposited, in Siluro-Devonian times, in a sequence of sandstones and conglomerates lain down in a semi-arid environment, prior to the Early Devonian calc-alkaline magmatic event which produced shallow intrusions and eruptions of predominantly basaltic andesite. By Mid Devonian times the Lanark Group had been weakly deformed and uplifted as a far-field effect of the late stage Acadian deformation event.



Ayr dates back to the 1100's as a village and became the Royal Burgh of Ayr in 1205 by way of a Royal Charter granted by Scottish King William The Lion (1142-1214). William had traveled through Ayrshire in the late 1100's looking for a place to call home. In 1197 he built 'Ayr Castle' just south of the harbour and east of the beach in what would be today the area behind the former Ayr Academy. The castle sat high on a mound of dirt and was made of wood. From a 1480 ordinance map it indicates that the castle was of a triangular shape with two small towers and a larger main tower at the front gate facing the River Ayr. There are no known pictures of it but it is believed that it resembles the castle depicted on the Royal Seal of the Burgh of Ayr from 1205.. Fishing and farming spurred on the towns growth going forward.

The area also saw the birth of a new Kirk (church) near Ayr castle and its name was to be St. John's Kirk, named after St. John the Baptist, the Patron Saint of Ayr, aka the Burgh Kirk. It was likely built in the early 1200's and made of wood just like the castle itself and likely built under the direction of William the Lion as well. A tower of stone was added later in the 1300's which still exists today even though the Kirk itself is long gone. Robert I (aka Robert the Bruce) later held parliament in the Kirk in 1315.

William the Lion's family members inherited the throne until 1290 at which time Scotland was without a King. In 1292 Scotland was under English domination, King Edward I of England selected Frenchman John Balliol (1250-1313) (aka 'Toom Tabar' or 'Empty Coat') as King of Scotland which did not work out to well. He was basically a weak king. The War of Independence (1296-1305) was under way and Edward I invaded Scotland in 1296 and defeated Balliol at the Battle of Dunbar, arrested him and took him to a London prison. Balliol was eventually exiled back to France.

During this war the English occupied Ayr Castle when William Wallace (1270-1305), self proclaimed leader of the Scots came on the scene to lead the resistance against the English by defeating their army at the 'Battle of Stirling Bridge' in 1297. In the same year he burned down their barracks in Ayr with the troops inside. This is known as 'The Barns of Ayr'. If that was not enough he also set fire to Ayr Castle. William became Sir William after being knighted (not known by whom) in the early 1300's and assumed the proper title of Guardian of the Kingdom. In 1305 William was betrayed by friend Sir John Mentieth (1275-1323), captured by the English in Robroyston (now part of Glasgow) and taken to London where he was tortured and eventually died a horrible death.

Upon William's death, up and coming Robert the Bruce (1274-1329) (born at Turnberry Castle down the coast) became the leader of the Scots and burned down Ayr Castle for real in 1305 in attempts to force the English out. This attempt failed and the English rebuilt and occupied the castle until 1306 when Robert the Bruce became Robert I, the King of Scotland. Robert later went on to defeat English King Edward II and his army at 'The battle of Bannockburn' in 1314. Robert remained King of Scotland until his death in 1329 when his son became King David II at only five years old.

In these old days Ayr was a closed town surrounded by a stone dyke. There were seven entry points (Ports) around the dykes perimeter (Brig Port, Cow Port, Kirk Port, Kyle Port, Over Port, Sandgate Port, and Sea Port) with the main entrance (Brig Port) from the north over the River Ayr on the 'Auld Brig'. The visitor would be stopped at what was known as ' Laigh Tolbooth' which was not just a guard collecting tolls but was actually a building that also served as a prison. Legend has it that William Wallace once came to this point and could not or would not pay the toll and he was confined to the prison for some time. Visitors to Ayr having paid a toll to enter the town would now be in the area which is the High Street of today. This area was known as "Fish Cross', a marketplace where visitors would come to sell their fish and vegetables.

After the death of King Robert I in 1329 Scotland was ruled by various Kings throughout the coming centuries until 1650 when the English returned to Scotland this time under the leadership of English General Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658). England was involved in a civil war that had spread into Scotland. In 1652 with Ayr Castle in ruins, Cromwell ordered that a large citadel (fort) with a main gate on the east side, be built in generally the same area as the castle with a centre point at what would be Eglinton Terrace today. Cromwell chose this location because the sea and the river provided protection from both the north and west. This area also included St. John's Kirk and adjoining tower which Cromwell wanted for storage and paid one thousands Merks (silver coin) towards building a new Kirk somewhere else away from his fort. Commanding Officer matthew Alured signed the documents and the Kirk closed its doors. A new Kirk would be built over by the River Ayr.

The citadel itself was designed by Swedish military architect Hans Ewald Tessin who came to Scotland, became a Freemason, but then took up the cause of the English. The citadel was considered to be a symmetrical elongated hexagon with a bastion (turret) at each of the six points (corners), and was made of stone which was transported by sea from Ardrossan Castle (owned by the Earl of Eglinton). It encompassed about 16 acres in size, and was considered a fortified garrison which accommodated 1200 officers and men in reasonable comfort and safety. Internally it had a parade ground surrounded by numerous barracks. Once Cromwell got rid of St. John's Kirk he turned it into an armoury to store weapons. A moat was built along the land sides east and south to protect against enemy attack.

Following the death of Cromwell in 1658 and the restoration of the Monarchy under Scottish King Charles II Stuart, the citadel was demilitarised and demolished in 1660 and the land and any remnants thereof were gifted by the Crown to the Earl of Eglinton (likely the 7th) as a Burgh of Regality. He named it Mongomeriestoun after his family name. Parts of the citadels fourteen foot high wall can still be seen today along South Harbour Street as well as adjacent to the leisure centre next door to the west. A replica cannon and commemorative plaque are also located along this wall adjacent to the leisure centre. The top part of the main gate and a plaque can be seen on Academy Lane off Citadel Place between Montgomerie Terrace and Fort Street.

During the Covenanting times of the late 1600's England's Charles II was pushing the Episcopal religion on Scotland. Most Scots Presbyterian ministers were resistant against England's authority, and those that would not convert to episcopacy were removed from their jobs and Episcopal ministers (aka Curates) were installed in their place. As more resistance grew among all Scots, the bloodshed became more common in the battles with the soldiers of the Crown all over Scotland. Many Covenanters were hunted done and sentenced to death. In Ayr, the hangman refused to do his job, the Crown enlisted one of the Covenanters (Cornelius Anderson) to do the deed, which he did. After hanging and mutilation, their bodies were buried in the old churchyard of Ayr. Many more executions took place all over Scotland during this period of time. When William and Mary became the Crown's monarchs in 1688, religious freedom returned to Scotland. Many Scots died for their beliefs in this terrible time in history, but in the end the Scots prevailed.

In 1707 'The Act of the Union' was passed and Scotland, England, and Wales collectively became the United Kingdom. Scotland was free to trade with the world and embarked on free trade with America and the West Indies. Commodities of the era were Tobacco, Cotton, Sugar, and also Slave Trading.

Slave Ownership By Scots

[17][18]There were numerous Scots that owned or were involved with plantations in the West Indies and or trading goods. Scots of wealth at this time often were able to buy a slave or two and bring them to Scotland as servants. Men and boys were of more useful around the Scots estates than girls. These slaves ended up having a much better life than their counterparts back on the plantations. Their new owners gave them an education and in return, the slave(s) were expected to become Christians by way of baptism.

In Ayr, Robert and John Hamilton owned 2 plantations in Jamaica. Alloway's Poet Robert Burns was considering a position as a book-keeper in a plantation before poetry revived his fortunes. Who knows what his legacy would have been if he had done so. Scotsman James Watt and his entire family also was implicated in the slave trade between Britain and the USA, but also sold steam engines to plantation owners in the West Indies where slavery abounded. As a side note, the Kennedy's of Dunure were also known to employe a slaved servant named 'Scipio'.

The owning of personal slaves was banned in Scotland in 1778, years before abolition of the trade.

But in 1796, Scots owned nearly 30 per cent of the estates in Jamaica and by 1817, a staggering 32 per cent of the slaves.

But Scots too played a huge role in winning the slaves their freedom as well. In 1792, the year that produced the most petitions for abolition. There were 561 petitions from Britain – a third of which came from Scotland.

In 1807, the slave trade in British Colonies became illegal and British ships were no longer allowed to carry slaves. However, complete abolition of slavery did not come until 1833. The Glasgow Anti-Slavery Society was formed in 1822 and the city was known as one of the staunchest abolitionist cities in Britain.

Landmarks of Ayr

Auld Brig c. 1230

Location: Old Bridge Street and High Street, Ayr

The original Auld Brig was made of wooden timbers around 1230. It was rebuilt in 1588 and restored between 1907 and 1910 for the sum of 10,000 British Pounds. It remains today as a foot bridge between Newton-On-Ayr and Ayr's High Street.

Auld Kirk c.1200's, aka St. John the Baptist and St. Johns Tower; aka Burgh Kirk

Location: Eglinton Terrace and Bruce Crescent

This was the site of the original wooden Kirk of St. John the Baptist. In 1560 the Reformation made catholic worship illegal in Scotland which lead to St. John's being used as a Protestant Kirk. A stone tower was built (c. 1300's) which survived through the centuries. In 1854 John watson Miller (See Notable People heading) purchased the tower and the land around it. In 1914 it was purchased by the Marquess of Bute. In 1949 the Ayr Town Council acquired the tower and has retained it on site. The surrounding graveyard has the grave of Elizabeth Knox, daughter of John Knox and wife of minister John Welsh. Legend also has it that there is also the grave of Maggie Osborne, the local witch (See Notable People heading).

Auld Kirk c.1654 (aka The (New) Auld Kirk of St. John The Baptist)

Location: The Kirkport at #112-116 High Street, Ayr

The Kirk was thought out by Rev. William Adair (last minister of the Burgh Kirk, and soon to be the first minister of the new Kirk), and Theophilas Rankeine (town Burgess). It was built by mason John Masoun, and mason John Smith from Kilmaurs) of Kilmaurs. This Kirk was built in Cruciform (shape of a cross in plan view) as a replacement for the original St John the Baptist Kirk off Bruce Crescent and Eglinton Place which was displaced by Cromwell's Citadel. The (new) Kirk was built on land formerly occupied by Francisca Friars around 1560 (aka Grey Friars Monastery. Cost to build was 20,827 British Pounds (1,733 Pounds Sterling). Cromwell pledged 1,000 Merks (Silver Coins) towards the new Kirk.

The Kirk was restored in 1836 by architect David Bryce (1803-1876).

Ayr Academy c.,1796 (now Grammar School of Ayr)

Location: Fort Street, Ayr

Originally the town's 'Grammar Schule of Air' was present in the area of #4 Sandgate and dates back to 1233. In 1502 it became the 'Burgh Schule' and later back to 'Grammar Schule'. In 1796 a shift of the way schools were defined and in pursuit of a higher level of matriculation, the Grammar Schule became Ayr Academy. In 1800 a new building was completed on Fort street. This site became the new home of Ayr Academy. That building was torn down and rebuilt in 1880. Three stone head sculptures were placed above the Rectors office, these being David Wilkie (Painter), James Watt (Engineer), and Robert Burns (Poet), all of which represent the fields of Art, Science, and Literature. Ayr Academy vacated this building in 2018 when a new academy was built on the Craigie Estate to the Northeast, and the building on Fort street became once again the (new) Grammar School of Ayr in 2020.

The Academy was designed in the Grecian style by architects Clarke and bell.

Ayr Lighthouse c.1841

Location: Esplanade end

Designed by Robert Paton.

Ayr Pavilion c.1911

Location: Low green across from the beach (now 'Pirate Pete's), Ayr

This building now 'Pirate Pete's, an entertainment venue. Nicknames include 'The Piv' and 'The White Elephant by the Sea'. The front balusters came from the first new brig when it was demolished.

Bust of Sir William Wallace c.1810

Location: Newmarket Street, Ayr

A bust of Sir William sits above the first store front. Local merchant Henry Cowan paid his own money to have the statue made.

Burn's Statue Square c.1891

Location: Killnoch Street and the A70, Ayr

The green space proudly displays a statue of Scotland's National Poet Robert Burns. Affectionately named 'Rabbie Burns' he is facing South towards his birthplace of Alloway. Ornate ironwork that used to surround the square was removed during WWII for the war effort. A statue of a solder is also located here as a memorial to the Royal Scots Fusiliers who died in various campaigns from 1877-1902. Most died from diseases rather than battle.

The sculpture was designed by George A. Lawson, and the base design was by James A. Morris.

Fish Cross c.1539

Location: 45-45 High Street, Ayr

While no longer visible, the location on High Street does have a plaque on the wall denoting its location. There is also a statue of a fisherman by Malcolm Robertson nearby which symbolizes the market town location where local folk sold their fish and vegetables.

Loudoun Hall c.1513

Location: Fort Street and South Harbour Street, Ayr

It's the oldest building currently in Ayr and was built by James Tait. It served as residence to the many Sheriffs of Ayr through the years. in 1539 it was sold to Sir Hugh Campbell who was Sheriff at that time. Sir Hugh died without a male heir (women could not be Sheriff) and the hall was sold to the Crown for 14,000 Merks (silver coins). In 1632 the hall was sold to James Chalmers. It continued to have many owners until 1938 when it was bought by Rev. Archibald MacKenzie who conveyed it to the Marques of Bute. The Marques restored it and his son Lord David Stuart later presented it to the Saltire Society.

Originally Loudoun Hall had three bedrooms and vaulted ceilings on the ground floor, the main hall on the second floor, and attic space on the third. The wall were three feet thick which provided good insulation in both winter and summer. A wing had been added in 1534 by the Campbell's which was demolished sometime after WWII. The hall itself had no running water in the old days, only an outside well. The balcony's were used to discard the rubbish and also used as a toilet.

Low Green c.16th Century

Location: Seaside along the esplanade.

It's 31 acres has been used for many different events through the centuries, such as football field, music events, picnic area, demonstrations, meetings, and an airfield for the Royal Flying Corps.

Malt-Cross - Mercat (market) Cross c.1662

Location: High Street and Sandgate (New Bridge Street - Town Hall)

The Malt-Cross was where hangings and executions took place. The only indication of its location today is the plaque on the wall of the town hall, as wll as a stone cross in the middle of the intersection.

It is said that the witch Maggie Osborne was burned here at the cross.

The actual cross was removed around 1778 to allow street widening for the new brig.

Millers Folly c.1850's

Location: South Harbour Street, Ayr

Part of the Cromwell's citadel wall can still be seen today. The wall had one remaining bastion on it when Baron John Watson Miller bought the citadel property. He proceeded to add an extension which was not a true configuration of the late sixteen century. This is known as 'Miller's Folly' today.

Mort-Safes c.1800's

Location: Kirkport of High Street

In the early 1800's the medical schools in Edinburgh and Glasgow were in short supply of recently deceased bodies for medical studies. This lead to the term 'Bodysnatching' where as 'Resurrectionists' would dig up graves of the recently departed and sell them to the schools.

This lead to the invention of 'Mort-Safes' to keep the recently departed from being tampered with for at least five weeks until decay.

Mort-safes came in various configurations such as cages, heavy iron or stone slabs and vaults. Mortsafes can still be seen in Ayr at the entrance to St. John's Kirk which are embedded in the walls at the entryway to the Kirk grounds.

New Brig Original bridge c. 1788, second bridge c.1878

Location: South Harbour Street and New Bridge Street, Ayr

The original New Brig was built in 1788 by Alexander Stevens to a design by Robert Adam. It was demolished and rebuilt in red sandstone in 1878 by Blyth and Cunningham engineers. Today it serves car and foot traffic from Newton-On-Ayr on the north side of the River Ayr to the town of Ayr on the south side.

St. John's Tower c.1500's[19][20]

Location: 6 Eglinton Terrace, Ayr, Scotland

The wooden St. John the Baptist Kirk was built around the late 1100's. The tower, built of stone later as part Kirk and was likely used as the bell tower. Both were taken over by Oliver Cromwell when he built his citadel nearby in 1562. The fort garrison divided up the church building for use as a chapel, a mill house and a storehouse, and the tower was used as an armoury and look-out.

The good people of Ayr Burgh likely decided that being part of an English fort was not what they wanted, and they decided to look elsewhere for a new Kirk location. As luck would have it, Cromwell was willing to get rid of the Scots off the site and offered 1000 Merks (about 600 Pounds Sterling) toward the Kirks new home. They took the offer and found property over by the River Ayr.

After the Scots were back in power about year 1660, the citadel was dismantled along with the old wooden Kirk and the land and any remaining structures was gifted by the crown to the 7th Earl of Eglinton who named the property 'Mongomeriestoun' after his family name. He had a plan for a new separate town which never developed. And while the property changed hands within the family Mongomerie, it remained somewhat an empty site except for the tower for almost the next two hundred years. It is likely that the 13th Earl of Eglinton had had enough of the property and put in the hands of an auction house in the mid 1800's.

Wealthy John Watson Miller returned to Ayr in 1852 and felt he was in a good position to buy some property when he learned that the Barony of Mongomeriestoun was to be auctioned off in Edinburgh and he set out to purchase it. He arrived too late in Edinburgh for the actual auction but finding that no one had purchased the property, he made a bid of 2,560 Pounds Sterling which was readily accepted, and he bought the property of the former citadel, aka the Barony of Montgomerieston (ownership of land). He thought of himself as a great land owner and proceeded to call himself Baron Miller going forward, even though he was not really a 'Baron' as we know it.

The Kirk was long gone but the stone tower remained. Miller made Gothic changes to it from plans by local architect John Murdoch and called it 'Fort Castle'. After Milller's death the 4th Marquess of Bute bought up the property in 1924 for 2,700 British Pounds and restored it to its former glory to plans by James Kennedy Hunter (1863-1929). The 5th Marquess of Bute gifted it to the town of Ayr in 1949, and it is now in the care of South Ayrshire Council.

St Leonard's Parish Church c.1886

Location: St Leonard's Road and Monument Road

The site of today's kirk was once a chapel and hospital c.1600's, which was torn down in the early 19th century.

The current Kirk was designed by Ayr architect John Murdoch, and built at a cost of 6,000 British Pounds. The stained glass windows are a work of art.

Tam-O-Shanter Inn c.1748

Location: 236 High Street, Ayr

The 'Tam' as it's referred to was first owned by James Schearer until about 1849. The property was purchased by the Magistrates and Councilors of Ayr who passed it on to the Incorporation of Weavers Society (1850-1893). Then possession went to the 'Queen's and Lord Treasuer's Remembrance', and then sold to Andrew Muir, a local brewer. The property passed through many more hands throughout the years. In 1955 it became a museum. Today's it a well know restaurant and pub for both locals and visitors alike.

Town Hall and Spire c.1830

Location: Sandgate and High Street, Ayr

The tower stands 225 feet high and was design by Thomas Hamilton. The building also houses the town hall which accommodate about 600 people for meetings.

The High Street extension was added in 1781 by Campbell, Douglas, and Sellers Architects.

Wallace Tower (c. Unknown for original tower) (C. 1834 current tower). Located at 172 High Street.

The original tower was purchased in 1673 by the Ayr Town Council from Burgess Adam Richie. A bell and clock were added in 1731 in a new belfry. In 1832 a restoration started taking place by adding a stone facing. Without a proper foundation the original building could not stand the weight and started to sink. It was demolished and a new tower build built in 1834 to plans by Thomas Hamilton.

The (current) tower stands 113 feet high. The inset statue is said to be by self taught sculptor James Thom. Two bells are in the tower. The larger one (c.1731) is from the original tower. It was made in France. The smaller bell (c.1834) was likely the bell from the 'Laigh Tolbooth'.

Wellington Square c.1806

Location: Wellington Square and Fort Street, Ayr

The 'Square' is actually a rectangular green space in front of the Court and County Buildings. The square was named for Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Welllington who won the victory at Waterloo..

Located at Wellington Square and Fort Street the 'Squares actually rectangular. It's a green space in front of the Court and County Building and named after the victor of Waterloo, Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington. There are various memorials in the square honoring: 13th Earl of Eglinton (aka Archibald William Montgomerie (1812-1861)), Brigadier-General James Neill (1810-1857), Sir James Fergusson of Kilkerran (1904-1973) Journalist and Historian, Sir Goscombe John (1910-XXXX) Postmaster General, John Loudon McAdam (1756-1836) Inventor of 'Tar McAdam' for road surfacing, and Primrose William Kennedy of Drumellan (1799-1863) Ayr Provost in 1855-1861.

The government building formerly held a prison (on the South end facing the ocean) and was known as "The Cottage by the Sea' by prisoners. The prison portion was demolished in the early 1900's in favour of more government office space. FYI - The prisoners provided carpet cleaning services to the local residents. The residents were sad to see them go.

Suburb of Ayr - Alloway

Alloway and the Burns Connection

Other than the fact that Scotland's national bard Robert Burns (aka Rabbie Burns) was born here, there is not much in the way of historical significance to Alloway. Originally Alloway was a village and it became a suburb of Ayr in 1935. The 'town' if you want to call it that consists of a pharmacy, post office, flower shop, and a tea room on Monument Road (B7024) which is about a mile from Ayr. It's likely that Robert the Bruce rode through Alloway from his birthplace at Turnberry Castle down the coast on his way to Ayr. What was once farm and cattle grazing land around this area has been taken over by hundreds of houses, but they are off the main road and not visible.

While not big in size, it's landmarks remain the "Must See" attractions for visitors from around the world

See Landmarks of Alloway below, and Notable People Heading (Robert Burns) later in this study.

Landmarks of Alloway

Burns Cottage

Location: B7024 at Doonholm Road, Alloway

Originally named 'New Gardens Cottage' it was built by Robert's father William Burnes (original spelling) who married Agnes Broun in 1758 where they raised their family for the first seven years of Robert's life. William was a tenant farmer but the land in this area was 'sour' at the time and the family kept moving trying to find better soil to work. William continued to own the cottage after the family moved and sold it in 1781. It even became an ale house at one point. William died in 1784. Rooms were added on over the years but in recent times the cottage has been restored back to its original configuration. It is now the main tourist attraction of Alloway which welcomes visitors from all over the world to see what life was like in the cottage many centuries past.

Brig O' Doon

Location: Off B7024 behind the Brig-O-Doon House, Alloway

Translated it means (bridge over the River Doon) and was made famous in Robert Burns poem 'Tam O Shanter' whereby a gentleman named Tam arrived at the Auld Kirk on his horse Meg after a night of drinking in Ayr. He saw the witches dancing and called out to them in a drunken stupor. They then chased him and Meg across the brig. Is it a true story, only tam knows and he's not talking. FYI - Robert's poem 'Tam O Shanter' is classified as a 'Tale'. The brig was built sometime in the late 1400's to early 1500's and spans around seventy feet across and a height of twenty-five feet above the river. It's a pedestrian only link between the district of Kyle (Alloway side) and the district of Carrick on the east side.

Brig-O-Doon House

Location: B7024, Alloway

Next down the road is the Brig O' Doon House which was originally named 'Burns Arms Inn' c.1829, it's the only hotel in Alloway. It's not a large venue but its a quality one. The tea room/bar is a cozy place for a cup of tea and some fresh scones. The hot chocolate with fresh cream and coconut is a chocolate lovers dream come true. The tea room even has tartan carpet. Walk east to the newer brig (1816) where you will get some very scenic shots of the 'Brig O' Doon' in all its glory. Walk back down into the garden of the hotel and take more up close photos of the brig. Sit on the bench and enjoy the serenity of the River Doon as it flows by and the sound of sheep grazing on the other side of the river.

Burns Monument and Gardens

Location: Off B7024 behind the Brig-o-Doon House

Was completed in 1823 for the sum of 3,200 British Pounds. It's made of sandstone and sits on a triangular base representing the three districts of Ayrshire at the time which were Cunninghame, Carrick, and Kyle., and has a cupola supported by nine Corinthian columns representing the nine muses of Greek mythology. The architect was Thomas Hamilton Jr. and the scultor was James Thom.

Back on the main road one can either walk to 'Auld Nick's View' or drive up via 'Murdoch's Lone', both of which take you to the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and gift store. This will round out your visit to Alloway and the 'Bards' connection.

Kirk Alloway

Location: B7024 and Auld Nick's View, Alloway

A little ways east down the road, one will come to the Auld Kirk of Alloway sitting up above street level. It's roofless now but the grounds are still well maintained. Robert Burns' father and mother are buried here as marked by a rather large headstone. A replacement Kirk was built across the road and is still operational today as The Alloway Parish Church.

Suburb of Ayr - Newton-On-Ayr

Originally a separate Parish on the North side of the River Ayr, Newton merged with Ayr in 1873. It was where the working class resided. Today it's a mix of residential and light commercial. It also encompasses the North side of the Port of Ayr.

Landmarks of Newton-On-Ayr

Black Bull Public House c.1786

Location: Off A719 and River Street, by Auld Brig, Newton On Ayr

It was first known as the Simpson's Inn or Simpson's Tavern. The name was changed about 1814 to the Black Bull. The inn had nine parlours, sixteen bedrooms, pub, kitchen, cellar, stables, and carriage house. The stables could accommodate thirty five horses.

The 'Telegraph Coach' started from here every day on its run to Glasgow.

From 1830 to 1874 it was known as the Black Bull Hotel. Today it's only a public house. The Inn's rooms are now private residences.

Carnegie Library c.1893

Location: Main Street at River Street, Newton On Ayr

Located on t was granted a donation of ten thousand British Pounds in 1890 by Andrew Carnegie. It was built as a two story of red sandstone in the late Renaissance style. The library still exists today and has a wonderful history section on the second floor.

Newton Steeple c.1795

Location: Main Street and the A719 Roadway, Newton On Ayr

The steeple is part of the original Newton-On-Ayr Parish Kirk which was built by forty eight Freeman that fought at Bannockburn. The steeple is of Georgian architecture. The Kirk was later demolished but the steeple remained.

Suburb of Ayr - Wallacetown

The name is derived from the Wallaces of Craigie which settled this area after their home of 'Newton Castle' fell into a state of disrepair. It sits along the North bank of the River Ayr.

It was originally a village of its own Parish and became a suburbs of Ayr in 1832 and was known for its weaving trade. It borders Newton-On-Ayr as well.

Landmarks of Wallacetown

Ayr Racecouse c.1907

Location: A719 and Hawkhill Ave

This large venue was a replacement for the original racecourse in Ayr (c. 1777). This newer course offers the Grand National and Gold Cup races every year.

Craigie House c.1730

Location: University Avenue, Off Craigie Way, Wallacetown

The land was originally occupied by a 13th century castle. It was owned by the Wallace family of Newton Castle in 1468, the Hamilton family in the 1500's, then the Wallace's of Craigie in 1588. The castle was torn down in the 1700's. Situated along the River Ayr, this John Smith designed three story estate 'Palladian' style house was built about 1780. It was requisitioned for military use during World War II.

A good portion of the surrounding Craigie estate land has been parceled off to such educational entities as Ayr Academy, University of the West of Scotland, Ayrshire College, and the SRUC Campus.

Suburbs of Ayr - Whitletts

Began as a small village on the North side of the River Ayr and was largely a mining community during those years which included sub-standard miner's housing.

Landmarks of Whitletts

Thistle Inn c.1937

Location: 68 Main Road, Whitletts

Designed by J.R. Johnstone

Estate Houses

Belleisle Estate c.1787

Location: Belleisle Park off A719, Ayr

Originally part of The Barony of Alloway, The Town Council sold the property to Dr. Alexander Campbell in 1754. It remained in the family until 1787 when it was purchased by Hugh Hamilton, a nephew of Robert Hamilton who built Rozzelle House. Hugh built Belleisle in 1787 and named it after his plantation in Jamaica. It was originally called 'North Parks, then 'Ivy House' the finally Belleisle

Unfortunately Belleisle Estate caught fire during renovations and was destroyed in June 2019. Estimates for rebuilding are set at around 12.5 million British Pounds.

Rozelle House, Museum, and Galleries c.1760

Location: Monument Road, Alloway;

Originally sitting on property owned by the Royal Burgh of Ayr as part of the Barony of Alloway, the 96 acre property was bought by Robert Hamilton in 1754. He was co-owner of two plantations in Jamaica, one of which was called "La Rochelle' (Rozelle). Robert and his family left Jamaica in 1743 and returned to Ayr where he built this mansion and named it 'Rozelle" after his plantation.

Council run Rozelle Estate in Ayr- gifted to the public in 1968 by Commander J. Hamilton- was acquired through trade in sugar and tobacco from the West Indies’, according to South Ayrshire Council’s website.

See also 'Robert Hamilton' under Notable People heading below.

Notable People

Ayr United Football Club c.1910 [21][22][23]

This club formed through an amalgamation of the Ayr Football Club (c.1879) and Ayr Parkhouse (c.1886). They currently play in the Scottish Chamionship League. Ayr United's nickname is 'The Honest Men', from a line in the Robert Burns poem "Tam o' Shanter". They play at Somerset Park.

Robert Adam (1728-1792) Architect and Designer[24][25][26][27]

Born: Kirkcaldy, Scotland

Died: London, England

Resting Place: Westminster Abby, England

Bio Summary: Educated at the Royal High School of Edinburgh, the University of Edinburgh, as well as studies in Rome, Italy, Robert was the designer and builder of the first New Brig of Ayr in 1750-1799. He was also the key architect in the rebuilding of Culzean Castle for the 10th Earl of Cassillis starting in 1777. He not only designed the building structures, he also designed interior rooms, carpet, girandoles, tables and chairs, urns, torcheres, mirrors, and candle sconces as well. He also did some design and building for the 9th earl of Cassillis starting in 1771.

Along with his brothers they designed a total of approximately 142 works.

Parents: William Adam (1689–1748) and Mary Robertson (1699-1761)

Siblings: John Adam (1721-1792), James Adam (1732-1794), Elisabeth Adam (XXXX-XXXX), Margaret Adam (XXXX-XXXX)

Spouse: Never Married

Children: None

See WikiTree Profile Adam-1127

Nigel James Angus (1944-2006) Jockey, Trainer [28]

Born: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Ayr Hospital, Ayr, Ayrshire Scotland

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: As a jockey Nigel first rode in point-to-point races in 1961 and rode under NH rules until 1967.

Then, for two years, he was assistant to H. E. Whiteman at the Cree Lodge stables, Ayr. In 1969, he began horse training on his own account. Nigel's crowning achievement as a trainer was winning the Ayr Gold Cup in 1972 with Swinging Junior and again in 1975 with Roman Warrior.

He also won Cheltenham's County Hurdle and the Timeform Silver Salver. The best horses he trained were Alloway Lad, Carry Off, and Masandra.

He did not renew his license after the end of 1977, and became a farmer.

Parents: R. L. Angus (XXXX-XXXX) and Penelope Sheppard (XXXX-XXXX)

Siblings: Penelope Angus (XXXX-XXXX), Prue Angus (XXXX-XXXX), Robin Angus (XXXX-XXXX).

Spouse: Unknown

Children: Unknown

Sir William Arrol (1839-1913) Engineer[29][30][31][32][33]

Born: Houston, Renfrewshire, Scotland

Died: Seafield, Ayr, Scotland

Resting Place: Woodside Cemetery, Paisley, Scotland

Bio Summary: Started as a blacksmith, then a boiler maker who then became an engineer and went on to design and build bridges such as the Tay Bridge, Forth Railway Bridge, then the Tower Bridge over the Thames in London. His company (based in Glasgow) also designed and built a series of large cranes which were needed to help in construction of his bridges.

Knighted in 1890, he was also a Member of Parliament for South Ayrshire which he held from 1895-1906, and President of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland from 1895–97.

He was inducted into the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame in 2013, and his image appears on the Clydesdale Bank £5 note.

His former 35 room estate was converted to a hospital in 1921 and closed in 1991 and is in ruins today in the Doonfoot area of Ayr.

Parents: Thomas Arrol (1816-1891) and Agnes Hodgart (1808-1889) Married 1833

Siblings: Agnes Arrol (1834-1912, Thomas Arrol (1835-1896), James Arrol (1841-1906), John Arrol (1841-XXXX), Charles Arrol (1846-XXXX), Elisabeth Arrol (1849-XXXX), Mary Arrol (1855-XXXX)

Spouse Number 1: Elizabeth Pattison (1839-1904) Married 1864.

Children: None

Spouse Number 2: Janet Hodgart (1850-1910) Married 1905

Children: None

Souse Number 3: Elsie Robertson (1876-1954) Married 1910

Children: None

See WikiTree Profile Arrol-37

James Baird (1802-1876) Industrialist, MP [34][35][36]

Born: Lockwood, Old Monkland Parish, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Died: Cambusdoon, Alloway, Scotland

Resting Place: Alloway Kirkyard

Bio Summary: As a firm, William Baird and Company was started in 1828. Business was good and expanded years later throughout Ayrshire. James became so successful that he was in demand to have board status in five other companies. As his Ironworks kept growing to other towns he would employ upwards of 25,000 workers. he also owned several coalmines and ironstone pits as well.

He became an MP of Falkirk from 1851-1857.

In 1853 he began investing in real estate and eventually bought several estates. By 1872 he owned approximately 19,000 acres.

In 1868 he became Deputy Lieutenant for Ayrshire County.

He provided funds for the (new) Kirk at Alloway. Later in life he donated 500,000 British Pounds to the Church of Scotland. He also established the 'Baird Trust' to help fund church projects and spreading the word of the gospel all over Scotland.

Parents: Alexander Baird (1765-1833) and Janet Moffat (1768-1851) Married 1794

Siblings: Janet Baird (1794-1880), William Baird (1796-1864), John Baird (1798-XXXX), Alexander Baird Jr. (1799-1862), Jane Jean Baird (1804-1882), David Baird (1806-1862), Robert Baird (1806-1856), Douglas Baird (1808-1854), George Baird (1810-1860)

Spouse Number 1: Charlotte Lockhart (1807-1857) Married 1852

Children: None

Spouse Number 2: Isabella Agnew Hay (1810-1876) Married 1859

Children: None

John Ballantine (1743-1812)) Merchant, and Banker [37][38][39]

Born: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Unknown, (Likely in Ayr)

Resting Place: St. John the Baptist Auld Kirk kirkyard, Ayr

Bio Summary: Born the first of nine children, John was a confidant and friend of poet Robert Burns. Burns would send drafts of his poems to John for his opinion before the first (Kilmarnock Edition) printing.

He was a Provost of Ayr, was instrumental in establishing Ayr Academy, played a big role in the building of the 'New Brig', established the first 'Burns Supper' which was held in Burns Cottage.

He was a Freemason and was Master of the Ayr Kilwinning Lodge as well.

Helped in the family trading business between Ayr and the State of Virginia, U.S.

Parents: William Ballantine (1716-XXXX) and Elizabeth Bowman (1720-1779)

Siblings: William Ballantine (1745-XXXX), Elizabeth Ballantine (1746-1746), Elizabeth Ballantine (1747-XXXX), Agnes Ballantine (1749-XXXX), Margaret Ballantine (1750-XXXX), Patrick Ballantine (1752-XXXX), Andrew Ballantine (1754-XXXX), Mary Jean Ballantine (1757-XXXX), Hugh Ballantine (1759-XXXX).

Spouse: Never Married

Children: None

Sir James Hunter-Blair (1741-1787) 1st Baronet of Dunskey, FRSE, Banker, Politician [40][41][42]

Born: Ayr, Ayrshire Scotland

Died: Harrogate in England

Resting Place: Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh, Scotland

Bio Summary: James' last name was Hunter but he adopted the name 'Blair' after marrying Jean Blair who was a wealthy heiress. Hunter Blair was an Freemason. Hunter Square and Blair Street in Edinburgh are both named after him. In 1756 he did his banking apprentiship in Edinburgh where he remained his entire life.

1780-1784: Member of Parliament for Edinburgh

1783: Royal Society of Edinburgh (Founding Fellow)

1784: Lord Provost of Edinburgh

1786: Knighted

Parents: John Hunter (1702-1755) and Anne Cunningham (1720-XXXX)

Siblings: William Hunter (1739-1792), John Hunter (1744-XXXX), Elizabeth Hunter (1746-XXXX)

Spouse: Jean Blair 1746-1817) Married 1770, Midlothian, Scotland

Children: Anne Hunter-Blair (1771–1854), Sir John Hunter-Blair 2nd Baronet of Dunskey (1773–1800), William Hunter-Blair (1774–1774), Jane Hunter-Blair (1776–1831), William Hunter-Blair (1776-XXXX), Clementina Hunter-Blair (1777–1844), Sir David Hunter-Blair 3rd Baronet of Dunskey (1778–1857), James Hunter-Blair (1780–1822), Robert Hunter-Blair (1781-1799), Forbes Hunter-Blair (1782–1833), General Thomas Hunter-Blair (1782–1849), Archibald Hunter-Blair (1783–1798), Henry Dundas Hunter-Blair (1784–1799), Jemima Hunter-Blair (1787–1864)

See WikiTree Profile Hunter-7637

Robert I (aka Robert The Bruce) (aka Robert de Brus) (1274-1329), King of Scotland.[43][44][45]

Born: Turnberry Castle, Turnberry, Scotland

Died: Cardross, Dunbartonshire, Scotland

Resting Place: Dunfermline, Scotland

Bio Summary: Resistance fighter in Ayr; King of Scotland (See category 'Early History' above).

One interesting family legend is that his mother kidnapped her future husband near their ancestral home of Lochmaben Castle for a romantic interlude. He eventually gave in and they were married in 1271.

Parents: Robert (Bruce) Lord of Annandale and Earl of Carrick (1243-1304) and Marjorie Carrick, Countess of Carrick (1252-1292). Married 1271.

Siblings: Maud (Brus) de Brus Countess of Ross (1272-1326), Isabel (Brus) de Brus (1272-1358), Christian (Brus) de Brus, Countess of Mar (1273-1356), Mary (Brus) de Brus (1275-1323), Edward (Brus) de Brus (1276-1318), Margaret (Brus) de Brus (1276-1325), Neil (Brus) de Brus (1279-1306), Alexander (Brus) de Brus (1282-1307), Thomas (Brus) de Brus (1284-1307).

Spouse Number 1: Isabella Mar, Countess of Carrick (1278-1302) Married 1295)

Children: Marjorie (de Brus) Bruce (1294-1317), Margaret (de Brus) Bruce (1300-1370), Neil (de Brus) Bruce (1300-1346)

Spouse Number 2: Elizabeth Burgh (1284-1327) Married 1302

Children: Robert (de Brus) Bruce (1303-1332), Matilda (de Brus) Bruce (1303-1353), Margaret (de Brus) Bruce (1307-1346), Christina (de Brus) Bruce (1317-1329), Elizabeth (de Brus) Bruce (1317-1364), David (de Brus) Bruce (1324-1371), John (de Brus) Bruce (1327-XXXX)

See WikiTree Profile Bruce-129

Robert Burns (aka Rabbie Burns) (1759-1796) National Poet of Scotland, Lyricist[46][47][48]

Born: Burns Cottage, Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Dumfries, Scotland

Resting Place: Robert Burns Mausoleum at St Michael's churchyard in Dumfries, Scotland

Bio Summary: Robert Burns (1759-1796) and his seven siblings were typical children that had to help their father work the land when not in school. Robert and his brother Gilbert attended Alloway Mill School and later Ayr Academy in Ayr. His father employed tutor John Murdoch to teach them mathematics, spelling, grammar, as well as the bible. Murdoch seen something special in Robert and also taught him about poetry. That started Robert on his (short) lifetime of writing poems and also songs. The first two books that Robert read were 'The Life of Hannibal', and 'The History of Sir William Wallace'. Robert was a Freemason, and published his first edition of poems in 1786, and his second edition in 1787 by publisher William Creech of Edinburgh. Through this endeavour he became famous over all Scotland and eventually the world. After numerous flings and at least one illegitimate child he finally married Jean Armour (1765-1834) in 1788 who gave him seven surviving children. Robert became an Exciseman which allowed him to get away from farming.

Parents: William Burnes (1721-1784) and Agnes Broun (1732-1820)

Siblings: Gilbert Burns (1760-1827), Agnes Burns (1762-1834), Annabella Burns (1764-1832), Isabell Burns (1767-1771), William Burns (1767-1790), John Burns (1769-1785), Isabella (1771-1858).

Spouse: Jean Armour (1765-1834) Married 1788

Children: Elizabeth Burns (1785-1817) (Born out of wedlock to Elizabeth Paton), Jean Burns (1786-1787) (Born out of wedlock to Jean Armour), Robert Burns (1786-1857) (Born out of wedlock to Jean Armour), Francis Wallace Burns (1789-1803), William Nicol Burns (1791-1872), Elizabeth Riddell Burns 1792-1795), James Glencairn Burns (1794-1865), Maxwell Burns (1796-1799).

Robert also had affairs with Margaret Campbell, May Cameron, Agnes McLehose, Jenny Clow, and Ann Park, having no children (that 's known).

See WikiTree Profile Burns-2738

Sir William Heygate Edmund Colborne Butlin (aka Billy Butlin) (1899-1980) Entrepreneur [49][50]

Born: Cape Town, South Africa

Died: Jersey, England

Resting Place: English Channel

Bio Summary: Billy's mother took him to Canada at an early age. In WWI he enlisted as a bugler in the Canadian Army. When he returned to England with 5 British Pounds in his pocket he bought a stall which he traveled around to different venues. One stall lead to another which lead to fairgrounds. He became very successful.

He opened his first holiday camp in 1936 which lead to others. World War II got in the way but he contacted the Department of Defence and worked a deal to open military camps in England, Wales ,and Scotland. Even though the camps were on land they were named 'HMS' (His Majesty's Ship) such as Skegness (England) became HMS Royal Arthur, Pwllheli (Wales) became HMS Glendower, and Ayr (Scotland) became HMS Scotia.

After the war he reclaimed (bought) the camps and turned them into holiday camps. He then added new camps as well. The camps eventually lead to hotels and resorts all over the world, and the rest is history.

Billy was knighted in 1964.

Parents: William Colborne Butlin (XXXX-1954) and Bertha Cassandra Hill (XXXX-1934)

Siblings: Harry John (aka Binkie) Butlin (XXXX-XXXX)

Spouse Number 1: Doris (Dolly) Mabel Cheriton (XXXX-1958) Married 1927, Separated 1930

Children: Shirley Butlin (XXXX-XXXX)

Spouse Number 2: Norah Faith Cheriton (Dolly's niece) (XXXX-XXXX) Married 1959, Divorced 1975

Children: Robert Butlin (XXXX-2008), Cherie Butlin (XXXX-XXXX), Sandra Butlin (XXXX-XXXX)

Spouse Number 3: Sheila Edwina Devine (XXXX-XXXX) Married 1975

Children: William Jr (XXXX-XXXX), Jacquie Butlin (XXXX-XXXX)

David Cathcart (1763-1829) Lord Alloway; Judge in the Court of Sessions [51][52]

Born: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Blairston (near Ayr), Ayrshire, Scotland

Resting Place: Alloway Kirk

Bio Summary: Educated at Ayr Burgh School, and later Edinburgh University. In 1826 he was appointed a Lord of Justiciary.

Parents: Elias Carlton Cathcart (1703-1798) and Agnes Fergusson (1725-1816)

Siblings: Unknown

Spouse: Margaret Muir (XXXX-1802)

Children: Elias Cathcart (1794-1877), Robert Moore Cathcart (1796-1867), Agnes Cathcart (1797-1869), David Cathcart (1798-1867), Mary Cathcart (1800-1875), John Fergusson Cathcart (1802-1851).

Sir Winston Churchill (1874--1965) Prime Minister of Great Britain [53]

Sir Winston visited Ayr in May 1947 to attend a conference of the Scottish Unionist Association. While here he received the honour of the ' Freedom of the Burgh'.

See WikiTree Profile Churchill-4

William Crawford (1822-1869) Artist [54][55]

Born: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Edinburgh, Scotland

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: Educated at Trustees' Academy in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was lucky enough to travel in Rome. Upon his return he became an draing instructor at the same academy. He later was co-founder of the Edinburgh Smashers Club: a drawing club.

Parents: Archibald Crawfurd (Crawford) (1785-1843) and Catherine Craig (1794-1857)

Siblings: Agnes Crawford (1817-XXXX), John Crawford (1819-XXXX), Archibald Crawford (1824-XXXX), Catharine Crawford (1826-XXXX), Agnes Crawford (1828-XXXX), Robina Sophia Crawford (1830-XXXX)

Spouse: Theodosia Yonge Muller (1839-XXXX) Married 1862 in Edinburgh Midlothian,Scotland

Children: Archibald Allan Crawford (1863–1952), Unknown Crawford (1866-XXXX), Williamina Theodosia Crawford (1869-XXXX)

Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) General, English Army[56][57][58]

Born: Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, England

Died: Palace of Whitehall, London, England

Resting Place: Westminster Abbey

Bio Summary: Oliver was educated at Huntingdon Grammar School and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

There is a lot of history to him which can be obtained on other websites but in summary he came to Ayr in 1652 as a General and Lord Protector of the Commonwealth to establish this area of fortification under English rule. He built a very large citadel (fort) near the harbour entrance and settled in for the long haul. Following his death in 1658 the Monarchy was restored under Scottish King Charles II Stuart and the citadel was demolished in 1660.

See 'Ayr' heading above for further information.

Parents: Robert Cromwell MP (1565-1617) and Elizabeth Stewart (1565-1654)

Siblings: Elizabeth Cromwell (1593-1672), Henry Cromwell (1595-1600), Catherine Henrietta Cromwell (1596-1660), Margaret Cromwell (1601-XXXX), Anne Cromwell (1602-1646), Jane Cromwell (1606-1656), Robert Cromwell (1608-1609), Robina Cromwell (1610-1660)

Spouse: Elizabeth Bourchier (1598-1665) Married 1620

Children: Robert Cromwell (1621-1639), Oliver Cromwell (1623-1644, Bridget Cromwell (1624-1662), Richard Cromwell (1626-1712), Henry Cromwell (1628-1674), Elizabeth Cromwell (1629-1658), James Cromwell (1632-1632), Mary Cromwell (1637-1713), Frances Cromwell (1638-1720)

See WikiTree Profile Cromwell-39

William Dalrymple (1723-1814) Minister[59][60][61]

Born: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Resting Place: Auld Kirk of Ayr Cemetary

Bio Summary: Actual title was Reverend Doctor William Dalrymple was a liftime resident of Ayr and in 1756 was the Minister of the Gospel of the Auld Kirk of Ayr. He baptised Poet Robert Burns in 1759. Burns later wrote a simple poem to honor the Doctor called 'The Kirk's Alarm'

He was the fifth child and first son born to James and Margaret.

Educated at the University of Glasgow, graduating in 1740 with an MA degree, and received his doctorate of Doctor of Divinity from the University of St Andrews in 1779.

Parents: James Dalrymple (1682-1729) and Margaret Ramsay (1684-XXXX) Married 1719

Siblings: Anna Dalrymple (1714-XXXX), Elisabeth Dalrymple (1716-1781), Sarah Dalrymple (1718-1765), Margaret Dalrymple (1719-1785), Marion Dalrymple (1725-1803), Charles Dalrymple (1721-1781), Catherine Dalrymple (1728-1786)

Spouse: Susannah Ramsay (1725-1809) Married 1749

Children: Elizabeth Dalrymple (1750-1751), Ramsay Dalrymple (1752-1762), James Dalrymple (1754-1773), Susannah Dalrymple (1756-1817), Susan Dalrymple (1758-1825), Macrae Dalrymple (1758-1759), Margaret Dalrymple (1760-1834), Charlotte Dalrymple (1761-1765), Wilhelmina Dalrymple (1765-1853), Sarah Dalrymple (1766-1842).

Sir James Fergusson 6th Baronet GCSI PC DL (1832-1907) Member of Parliament for Ayrshire, British soldier, Conservative politician, and colonial administrator. [62][63]

Born: Edinburgh, Scotland

Died: Kingston, Jamaica (died in earthquake)

Resting Place: Island of Jamaica

Bio Summary: Educated at the University at Oxford, Member of the Grenadier Guards in 1851 to serve in Crimea. He likely visited Ayr in relation to his duties as MP for Ayrshire.

1854-1857 and 1859-1868 - MP Ayrshire

1866-1867 - Under-Secretary of State for India

1868 - Privy Council

1868 - Governor of South Australia

1874-1874 - Governor of New Zealand

1874 - Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George

1880-1885 - Governor of Bombay, India

1885 - Extra Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India

Parents: Sir Charles Fergusson, 5th Baronet (XXXX-XXXX) and Helen Boyle XXXX-XXXX)

Siblings: Charles (1839-1916)

Spouse Number 1: Edith Christian Broun-Ramsay (XXXX-1871) Married 1859

Children: Charles Fergusson (1865-1951), james Andrew (1871-1942),

Spouse Number 2: Olive Richman (XXXX-1882) Married 1873

Children: Alan Walter John Fergusson (1878-1909, Unnamed Infant Fergusson (1882-1882)

Spouse Number 3: Isabella Twysden (XXXX-XXXX) Married 1893 ​ Children: None

See WikiTree Profile Fergusson-221

William C. Galbraith (1844-1926) Baker [64][65][66]

Born: Campelltown, Scotland

Died: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Resting Place: Kilkerran Cemetary, Campbelltown, Scotland

Bio Summary: Started a small bakery business in 1889 which became so successful he opened additional stores. Galbraiths were at 80 to 82 High Street. Eventually son's James and William Jr took over the business. James’ sons Robin and Campbell took the helm in 1958-1966.

The company was highly regarded for high quality bread, pastry and confectionery.

The firm had vans on the road to cover country districts, as well as three shops in Ayr, one in Prestwick and one in Troon.

The flagship High Street store had three separate bakeries – one each for breads, pastries and confectionery.

Parents: Unknown

Siblings: Unknown

Spouse: Mary Hamilton Wallace (1848-XXXX)

Children: Willaim Galbraith (1871-XXXX), Peter Galbraith (1873-XXXX), James Galbraith (1876-XXXX), Mary Wilson Galbraith (1877-XXXX), Margaret T. Galbraith (1879-XXXX), Agnes Galbraith (1881-XXXX), Archibald Campbell Galbraith (1884-1950), George Wallace Galbraith (1886-1957)

James Gilchrist Jr (1901-1961) Baker[67][68]

Born: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Resting Place: Unknown (Likely Ayr)

Bio Summary: James' father opened his bakery on the high street under the name "Land-O-Burns Bakeries" which started small but eventually became successful. After his death James Junior took over the business and became really successful and wealthy too. Junior raced his Rolls Royce speedster at Monaco in 1930. In 1931 Junior had a bakery machine that could wrap 2500 loaves per hour.

Parents: James Gilchrist Sr. (XXXX-XXXX) and Abagail Brown (XXXX-XXXX)

Siblings: Unknown

Spouse Number 1: Annie Campbell Warnock (XXXX-XXXX)

Children: None

Spouse Number 2: Unknown (Belgian)

Children: None

Gwyneth Lilias Guthrie (1937-2021) Actress [69][70]

Born: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Kilmarnock, Scotland

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: She attended Ayr Academy, Ayr Grammar School and was a boarder at St Bride’s Girls School in Helensburgh. Gwyneth worked in radio from around the age of 12, trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and then she played Mary Mack in the popular soap opera 'Take the High Road' which ran from 1980 to 2003. She also played in the movie 'The Priviledge' in 1982.

Parents: James Guthrie (1906-XXXX) and Enid Maud Byers (1912-XXXX)

Siblings: Anne Guthrie

Spouse: John Riach Wilson Borland (1936-2018) Married 1959

Children: Karen Borland (XXX-XXXX), Debbie Borland (XX-XXXX), Olwen Borland (XXXX-XXXX)

See WikiTree Profile Guthrie-4757

Robert Hamilton (aka Hamiltone) of Bourtreehill (1698-1773) Merchant, Plantation Owner, Land Owner [71]

Born: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: Robert and his brother John went to Kingston, Jamaica in 1734 and married twice widowed Jane Mitchell in 1735. Through his marriage to Jane, Robert became the owner of two plantations in Jamaica, Pemberton Valley in St Mary, and Rozelle (Rochelle) in St-Thomas-in-the-Vale.

During his stay in Jamaica he and his brother participated in the slave trade. They conveyed provisions, Madeira wine, tallow candles, metalware and mosquito nets by sloops from Kingston to their plantations and shipped their most valuable commodity, sugar, to London and Glasgow.

In 1739 brother John sailed off back to Scotland but died during the voyage. Robert , his wife, and four children departed Jamaica in 1740 for Scotland. When his wife jane died in 1744, Roberts sister cared for the four daughters.

In 1754 Robert bought land near Alloway for 535 British Pounds and built Rozelle House which was named after his plantation in Jamaica, which he eventually sold for 6,000 British Pounds in 1763.

Parents: Hugh Hamilton of Clongall (abt. 1670-XXXX) and Jean Ferguson (abt. 1670-XXXX)

Siblings: John Hamilton (1702-1739), Janet Hamilton (XXXX-XXXX), Hugh Hamilton (XXXX-XXXX)

Spouse Number 1: Jane Mitchell (1710-1744) Married abt. 1735 in Jamaica

Children: Jane Hamilton (1736-1809), Frances Hamilton (1738-1798), Margaret Hamilton (1740-1817), Eleanora Hamilton (1742-1817); All born in Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

Spouse Number 2: Anne Cunningham (abt. 1720-XXXX) Married 1760 in Ayr

Children: None

See WikiTree profile Hamilton-9453

David Hourston (1845-1917) Businessman [72][73]

Born: Eday, Orkney, Scotland

Died: Port Colborne, Welland, Ontario, Canada

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: Opened Hourstons Department Store in Ayr in 1869 to serve general merchandise and drapery service. The family sold the business in 1949 but the building still retained the Hourston name.

Parents: John M. Hourston (1797-1872) and Mary Reid (1820-1894)

Siblings: John Hourston (1844-1870), Mary Hourston (1847-1847), Mary Hourston (1850-1875), William Reid Hourston (1852-1872), Caroline Hourston (1860-1946), James Hourston (1862-XXXX)

Spouse: Margaret Seater Harcus (1845-1931)

Children: John Hourston (1871-XXXX), Henrietta Phillis Hourston (1873-1919), James Scott Hourston (1874-XXXX), Caroline M. Hourston (1877-XXXX), David Hourston (1880-XXXX)

Andrew Jameson (1845-1911) Lord Ardwall, Barrister, Judge [74]

Born: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: 14 Moray Place, Edinburgh, Scotland

Resting Place: Anwoth in Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland

Bio Summary: Educated at Edinburgh Academy, University of Edinburgh, and University at St. Andrews he went right into law ppractice and in 1886 he was made sheriff of Roxburghshire, Berwickshire, and Selkirkshire. he later became sheriff of the counties of Ross and Cromarty, and Sutherland in 1890, and became sheriff of Perthshire in 1891.

In 1905 he became a judge with the title of Lord Ardwall. In the same year he was made honorary Doctor of Laws of Saint Andrews.

Parents: Andrew Jameson (1819-1870) and Alexander Grace Campbell (1820-1848)

Siblings: Alexander Jameson (1847–1851), John St.Clair Jamieson (1848–1870)

Spouse: Christian Robison Brown (1851–1940) Married 1875

Children: John Gordon Jameson (1878–XXXX), Alexander Mcculloch Jameson (1881–XXXX)

Sir Andrew (Drew) Watt Kay (1916-2011) Surgeon, Professor, FRSE, FRCPSG, FRCSEd [75][76]

Born: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: Educated at Ayr Academy, and went on to study and graduate from the University of Glasgow in 1939 with an MB ChB degree. He was awarded the Brunton Memorial Prize as the most distinguished graduate in medicine for that year. He did not receive his MD until 1944.

He wrote a very well received paper on 'Effect of Large Doses of Histamine on Gastric Secretion of HCl', as well as studying 'Peptic Ulcers' and develooped a test which became known as Kay's augmented histamine test.

1944: Bellahouston Gold Medal

1946 in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC)

1949: Awarded a second higher degree ChM (Master of Surgery)

1958: His Textbook of Surgical Physiology, written jointly with R. A. Jamieson

1964: He went on to become the Regius Professor of Surgery at the University of Glasgow

1971: He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

1971-1974: He was president of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

1973: He was knighted for his services to surgery

1973-1981: He served part-time as chief scientist at the Scottish Home and Health Department

Parents: David Watt Kay (XXXX-XXXX) and Jean Cuthbertson Muir (XXXX-XXXX)

Siblings: Unknown

Spouse Number 1: Janetta Roxburgh (XXXX-1990) Married 1943

Children: 2 Sons (Names Unknown) and 2 Daughters (Names Unknown)

Spouse Number 2: Phyllis Gilles (XXXX-XXXX) Married 1992

Children: None

John Knox (1514-1572) Reformation Leader and Minister[77][78][79]

Born: Giffordgate, Haddington, Scotland

Died: Edinburgh, Scotland

Resting Place: St Giles' Cathedral, or the High Kirk of Edinburgh, Scotland

Bio Summary: Knox was not born in Ayr but preached here in St. John's Kirk around 1547.

He chose God over the Queen.

Educated at University of St Andrews

He was opposed to the marriage of Queen Mary (1561–1564) and Don Carlos of Spain.

He is honoured in the Hall of Heroes of the National Wallace Monument in Stirling with a bust by David Watson Stevenson.

Parents: William Knox (1486-1513) and ???? Sinclair (XXXX-XXXX)

Siblings: William Knox (1504-abt.1550)

Spouse Number 1: Margery Bowes (1539-1560)

Children: Nathaniel Knox (1557-1580), Eleazar Knox (1558-1591)

Spouse Number 2: Margaret Stewart (1547-1612) Married 1564; She was only 17 and he was 54 at the time of marriage.

Children: Martha Knox (1565-1592), Margaret Knox (1565-1625), Elizabeth Knox (1567-1625)

Robert Leighton (1858-1934) Author [80][81][82]

Born: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: At age 3 his family moved to Liverpool for employment purposes, and started working for a journal at age 14. At age 19 he moved to London to work for the 'Young Folks' magazine as assistant editor.

In hiis career he published 53 works covering adventure stories for young boys, Melodramas, and short stories. His wife was an author also and they collaborated on a few works together.

Parents: Robert Leighton, (1822-1869) and Elizabeth Jane Campbell (1820-1914)

Siblings: Alexes Leighton (1851–1926), Sarah Leighton (1854–1932), Jane Leighton (1855–XXXX), Unknown Leighton (1858–XXXX), John Leighton (1862–XXXX)

Spouse: Marie Connor (1866-1941) Married 1889 at the Marylebone area of West London

Children: Julian Trelawney Leighton (1894–1894), Roland Aubery Leighton (1895-1915), Clare Ellaline Hoppe Leighton (1898-1989), Evelyn Ivor Robert Leighton (1901-1969)

John Loudon McAdam (1756-1836) Civil Engineer and Road Builder[83][84][85][86]

Born: Lady Cathcart's House, Sandgate, Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Moffat, Dumfriesshire, Scotland

Resting Place: Moffat Cemetary, Moffat, Scotland

Bio Summary: Born in Ayr at #22 Sandgate, Ayr John was the inventor of 'macadamisation' which used tar to eventually surface roads around the world. At age 14 he spent time in New York with his uncle from 1770-1783 before returning to Ayr a wealthy man in 1783. In Ayr he noted the terrible condition of the roads so he took it upon himself to correct that situation. He used his own money to experiment with materials and processes in road making. He then went to England where he received funds to continue his experiments.

Today all over the world roads can be attributed to his works and invention.

Other credits for John were:

Deputy Lieutenant of Ayrshire

1789 - Burgess of Ayr

1793-1794 - Ayr Councillor

Major Commandant of the Ayrshire Militia Calvary

1834 - Offered Knighthood, but declined

Parents: James McAdam (1716-1770) Baron of Waterhead and Susannah Cochrane (1717-1775)

Siblings: Jacobina McAdam (1736-1743), Margaret McAdam (1741-XXXX), Jacobina McAdam (1743-XXXX), James McAdam (1746-1767), Grizelda McAdam (1750-1794), Elizabeth McAdam (1752-1798), Katherine McAdam (1754-XXXX), Wilhelmina McAdam (1755-1829), Sarah McAdam (1759-1798)

Spouse Number 1: Gloria Margaretta Nicoll (1759-1825) Married 1778 in New York, New York

Children: Anne McAdam (1779-1841), William McAdam (1781-1836), James McAdam (1784-1786), James Nicoll McAdam (1786-1852), Glorianna Margaretta Mcadam (1787-1834), Georgina Keith McAdam (1789-1869), Jane McAdam (XXXX-XXXX), John Loudon McAdam (1792-1857),

Spouse Number 2: Anne Charlotte Delancey (1786-1862) Married 1827 in Broxbourne, Hertford, England.

Children: None

See WikiTree Profile McAdam-204

William McAdam (1725-1779) Businessman [87][88]

Born: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: New York, New York

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: Emigrated to U.S. at an early age, did well financially. He was Uncle to John Loudon McAdam (son of William's brother James) who went to New York to work, then went back to Ayr and became famous. (See Bio above).

1761 - Member of the Saint Andrew's Society of the State of New York

1763 - Founder and original member of the New York Chamber of Commerce.

Parents: James McAdam (1632-1730) and Margaret Reid ((1674-XXXX)

Siblings: James McAdam (1746-1767) Baron of Waterhead, Gilbert McAdam (XXXX-XXXX)

Spouse: Ann Dey (XXXX-XXXX) Married 1764

Children: Unknown

James McCrae (1677-1744) Governor of Madras, India[89]

Born: Ochiltree, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Orangefield, South Ayrshire

Resting Place: Monktown Kirk Cemetary

Bio Summary: Started as an ordinary seaman for the British East India Company. He eventually worked his way up to Captain and was assigned to go to Bombay, India. He again worked his way up the ladder and became Governor of Madras in 1725. He returned to Ayr in 1730 eventually becoming a Burgess in 1733.

Parents: Unknown

Siblings: Unknown

Spouse: Never Married

Children: None

James McCririck (1840-1900) Gun Maker [90][91]

Born: Ayr, Scotland

Died: Ayr, Scotland

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: Gun Maker who learned the trade from his father James and his Grandfather too. Brothers also took up the business. The family also had a shop in Kilmarnock run by his brother William after the father died. James' father was likely a mentor and teacher of the trade to (Baron) John Miller, his apprentise in Ayr. (See Baron John Miller bio below in this category.

Parents: James McCririck (1813-1886) and Margaret Gilmour (1816-XXXX)

Siblings: Alexander McCririck (1843-XXXX), John McCririck (1845-XXXX), Margaret McCririck (1847-XXXX), William McCririck (1849-1927), Homer McCririck (1852-XXXX)

Spouse: Unknown

Children: Unknown

William Meikleham (M'Ilquham) (1771-1846) Astronomer; Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow.[92][93][94]

Born: Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: Educated at the University of Glasgow and received his MA in 1792, and received the honorary Doctor of Laws (LL.D) degree in 1799

(1726-1796) Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow

(1792) Rector in Ayr Academy (salary of 80 British Pounds per year)

(1799) Regius Professor of Practical Astronomy & Observer at the University of Glasgow

(1802) Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow and became its first president.

(1803) Chair of Natural Philosophy

Parents: William Meikleham (1745-XXXX) and Unknown spouse.

Siblings: Unknown

Spouse Number 1: Alison Scott (1781-1808) Married 1799

Children: Esther Allison Meikleham (1800-XXXX), William Meikleham (1802-1852), David Scott, M.D. (1804-1849), Alison “Alice” Meikleham (1806-1881),Margaret Meikleham (1814-XXXX), Jane Meikleham (1817-XXXX), George Cuninghame Meikleham, M.D. (1820-1895), Edward Cunningham Meikleham (1821-XXXX), James Meikleham (1823-1902)

Spouse Number 2: Agnes Cuninghame (1751-1811) Married 1812

Children: None

Walter McEwan (1906-1986) Actor [95]

Born: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Westlake Village, Los Angeles County, California, USA

Resting Place: Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park, Westlake Village, Los Angeles County, California, USA

Bio Summary: Born to Irish parents in Ayr. Emigrated to New York in 1929 at age 23 with his wife (age 25) and settled in Hollywood, California, USA to focus on being an actor.

Parents: Elijah McEwen (1871-1937) and Ruth McKeown Hill (1868-1952)

Siblings: Charles L. Orr E. McEwen (1900–1901), Thomasina McEwen (1901–1982), Unknown McEwan (XXXX-XXXX), Unknown McEwan (XXXX-XXXX)

Spouse: Helen McLean Thomson (1904-1983) Married 1928 in Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland

Children: Unknown

Baron John Watson Miller (1820-1910) Wealthy gun merchant [96][97][98][99]

Born: Catrine, Ayrshire; Baptised in St. Quivox Parish, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Resting Place: (Likely) St. John's Kirkyard, Ayr adjacent to his home 'Fort Castle'.

Bio Summary: In his youth, John went to Ayr as a young apprentice to James McCririck, a gun maker. At about age 20, he then left Ayr and went to Calcutta India to work with famous gun maker Joseph Manton. After John made his fortune in India selling weapons he returned to Ayr in 1852 and found that the former citadel property was to be auctioned off in Edinburgh. He missed the auction, but by luck, no one else bid on it so the auctioneer accepted John offer of $2,560 Pounds on the spot. He bought the land and any remnants remaining which was officially known as the Barony of Montgomeriestoun and even though he was not entitled to it, he proceeded to refer to himself as 'Baron' Miller going forward. He then added a new section to the existing Tower of St John’s in a Gothic-style to plans of local architect John Murdoch and called it 'Fort Castle'. As an antiquarian he bought up odd furnishings at local sales which he used to furnish Fort Castle.

He employed Clarke and Bell Architects to design a street layout adjacent to the tower and residential lots were offered for sale by 1857.

While never married, John loved children. He was also a hands on type of person in construction, and fiddle making, as well as the tools to make them.

Because of his time in India, John followed Buddhism regularly.

See also 'Miller's Folly' and St. John's Tower under Landmarks heading above, as well as Image's at far right of this profile.

Parents: David Miller (Millar) (abt. 1790-XXXX) and Marion Watson (1788-XXXX) Married 1815

Siblings: Hugh Miller (1815-1875), David Miller (1816-XXXX), James Leggat Miller (1818-XXXX), Agnes Miller (1825-XXXX), Susanah Miller (1828-XXXX), William Miller (1829-XXXX) Note: last name could also be Millar as from the father.

Spouse: None

Children: None

See WikiTree Profile Miller-97612

Sir Archibald William Montgomerie (1812-1861) 13th Earl of Eglinton, 1st Earl of Winton, KT, PC[100][101]

Born: Palermo, Sicily

Died: Mount Melville House, near St. Andrews, Scotland

Resting Place: Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland

Bio Summary: Educated at Eton College, Windsor, Berkshire, England.

1819 - 2nd Baron Ardrossan, of Ardrossan, Ayr, 14th Lord Montgomerie 13th Earl of Eglinton.

1840 - Heir male general of George Seton, 4th Earl of Winton.

1842-1859 - Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire.

1846 - Whip in the House of Lords (Eglinton was a staunch Tory).

1852 - Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and again from 1858 to 1859.

1852 - Privy Counsellor.

1853 - Knight, Order of the Thistle.

1859 - 1st Earl of Winton.

He was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D.), and the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law (D.C.L.).

He was associated with the Eglinton Tournement of 1839; kept a stable of racing horses, and loved golf.

Parents: Major-General Archibald Montgomerie, Lord Montgomerie (1773-1814) and Lady Mary Montgomerie (XXXX-1848)

Siblings: Hugh Montgomerie (1810-1816), Half brother of Elizabeth Severn and Charles James Savile Montgomerie Lamb

Spouse Number 1: (1) Hon. Theresa Theresa Howe Cockerell Newcomen (1809-1853) Married 1841

Children: Archibald William Montgomerie, 14th Earl of Eglinton, DL (1841-1892), Lady Egidia Montgomerie (1843 -1880), Hon. Seton Montolieu Montgomerie (1846-1883), George Arnulph Montgomerie, 15th Earl of Eglinton, 3rd Earl of Winton (1848-1919)

Spouse Number 2: Lady Adela Caroline Harriett Capel (1828–1860)

Children: Lady Sybil Amelia Montgomerie (1859-1932), Lady Hilda Rose Montgomerie (1860-1928)

See WikiTree Profile Montgomerie-119

Sir Thomas Cecil Russell Moore (aka The Colonel) (1886-1971) Politician, MP, CBE [102]

Born: Ireland

Died: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: Educated at Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, and Trinity College, Dublin.

Served Ayr in the House of Commons for 40 years

Colonel in the Army, serving in France, Ireland, Russia

1918 - OBE

1920 - CBE

1925 - Elected MP for Ayr in the Scottish Unionist Party

1937 - Knighted

1956 - Baronet, of Kyleburn in the County of Ayr

1969 - Freedom of the Royal Burgh of Ayr

Other Honours: Fellow, Royal Geographical Society; Trustee, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; Trustee, International League for the Protection of Horses; Chairman, Anglo-Italian for the Protection of Animals; Freeman, City of London

Parents: John Watt Moore (XXXX-XXXX) and Mary Kirkpatrick (XXXX-XXXX)

Siblings: Unknown

Spouse Number 1: Jean Gemmill (XXXX-1945) Married 1925

Children: None

Spouse Number 2: Penelope Sheppard (XXXX-XXXX) Married 1950

Chilldren: None; Step Son Only (See Nigel Angus above Bio)

David Limond Murdoch (1825-1911) Banker [103][104]

Born: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: New Zealand

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: Emigrated to Australia where he worked in banking. In 1861 he was transferred to Aukland, New Zealand as a banker there as well. he became executive Director of BNZ (Bank of New Zealand) in 1868, and general Manager in 1877. Murdoch retired under a cloud when massive losses sustained by the BNZ ultimately resulted in its de facto bankruptcy, were largely blamed on the general manager.

Parents: Alexander Murdoch (1776-1843) and Agnes Todd (1786-1863) Married 1805

Siblings: Margaret Murdoch (1806-XXXX), James Murdoch (1808-XXXX), Sophia Cowan Murdoch (1809-XXXX), John Murdoch (1810-XXXX), james Ferguson Murdoch, (1810-XXXX), Katherine Murdoch (1812-XXXX), Michael Murdoch (1816-XXXX), David Murdoch (1818-XXXX), Alexander Murdoch (1818-1873), Somond Murdoch (1819-XXXX), Agnes Janet Murdoch (1820-XXXX), Isabella Murdoch (1822-1905), William Murdoch (1824-XXXX), George Cunningham Monteith Murdoch (1828-XXXX), Jane Parker Murdoch, 1830-XXXX), Sophia Murdoch (1832-XXXX)

Spouse: Eliza Last name Unknown XXXX-1901), Married 1848 in Glasgow, Scotland

Children: Unknown

John Murdoch (1747-1824) Teacher[105][106]

Born: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Lisson Grove, North West London, England

Resting Place: St Andrew's Gardens Burial Grounds at Gray's Inn Road, London

Bio Summary: John attended Ayr Academy and was a tutor to Robert Burns and his brother Gabriel. Moved to England where he taught French. Died penniless in London, England.

Parents: John Murdoch (1718-XXXX) and Margaret Robinson (1709-1781) Married 1744

Siblings: Marrion Murdoch (1744-1745)

Spouse: Jacobina Aiken (1745-XXXX) Married 1772

Children: Unknown

John Murdoch Esq., CE. (1825-1907) Architect/Builder, Ayr [107][108]

Born: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Redholm, Ronaldshaw Park, Ayr

Resting Place: (Likely) Auld Kirk kirkyard, Ayr

Bio Summary: Educated at Ayr Academy, and became a member of the Institute of Architects and was practicing in Ayr by 1868. He designed and or modified 66 structures during his lifetime which were homes, commercial, and or government buildings.

His two sons (George and John) also became architects. Both emigrated to the U.S. Son John died in Fort Worth, Texas in 1885.

Parents: James Murdoch (1783-1824) and Elisabeth Hendrie (1781-1860)

Siblings: Elizabeth Murdoch (1812-1845), James Murdoch (1813-XXXX), Catharine Murdoch (1815-XXXX), George Hendrie Murdoch (1817-XXXX), James Hendrie Murdoch (1820-XXXX), Alexander Murdoch (1823-XXXX), Jane Murdoch (1827-XXXX)

Spouse: Harriet Helen Miller (1835-1891) Married 1854

Children: Francis James Murdoch (1855-XXXX), John Murdoch (1857-1885), Lucy Murdoch (1859-1923), George Alexander Murdoch (1861-XXXX), Harriet Ellen Murdoch (1861-XXXX), Harriet H Murdoch (1862-XXXX), Jane Stewart Murdoch (1862-XXXX), Eliza Eveline Murdoch (1865-XXXX), William Henry Fullarton Murdoch (1870-XXXX), Catherine Georgina Murdoch (1872-XXXX).

See WikiTree Profile Murdoch-1934

Brigidier General James George Smith Neill (1810-1857) Military Officer[109][110][111][112][113]

Born: Craigie, Ayr, Scotland

Died: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, British India

Resting Place: Auld Kirkyard, Ayr; Residency Cemetery, Lucknow (Memorial)

Bio Summary: Educated at Ayr Academy and University of Glasgow he was an army officer in the East India Company. Was dispatched to Madras India in 1827 and saw a 30 year military career in the Second Burmese War, Crimean War, and Indian Rebellion of 1857 where he died.

Parents: Lt. Colonel William Smith Neill (XXXX-1850), Caroline Spiller (XXXX-XXXX)

Siblings: Colonel John Martin Bladen Neill (XXXX-1859), Captain William Francis Smith Neill (XXXX-1852)

Spouse: Isabella Warde (XXXX-XXXX) Married 1835

Children: Wiiliam james Neill (1837-XXXX), Charles Bladen Neill (1840-XXXX), George Frazer Neill (1843-XXXX)

See WikiTree Profile Neill-1659

Maggie Osborne (XXXX-XXXX) Witch[114][115]

Born: Unknown

Died: Ayr, Scotland

Resting Place: St John's churchyard, Ayr

Bio Summary: Old records indicate that there was an Osborne Tavern which was run by Margaret Wallace. It is beleaved that this is the same woman.

Resided at #76-78 High Street, Ayr (opposite the 'Fish Cross'. She was an innkeeper at approximately the same location as her residence.

Possessing supernatural powers that only a witch could have she cast her spell on many people all over Ayrshire at night. She was eventually jailed and being found guilty of withcraft was burned at the 'Malr Cross of Ayr'.

There were many women and also some men that were accused and dealt with in a similar method as Maggie.

Truth or Fiction.......Who really knows........

Parents: Unknown (Father was a local merchant)

Siblings: Unknown

Spouse: Unknown

Children: Unknown

Leslie Benjamin Popplewell (aka Ben) (1870-1950) Businessman [116][117][118]

Born: Bradford, West Yorkshire, England

Died: At home (17 Bellevale Avenue) Ayr, Scotland

Resting Place: Holmston Cemetery

Bio Summary: Ben came from a family of stockbrokers but during the summer months he had a yearning to entertain, and he did. In 1907 John opened his own venue called the 'Queen's Palace', but also had shares in other small theaters accross Britain. Starting in 1925 Ben and his two son's ran The Gaiety Theatre in Ayr for over 50 years. There main review of stars was called 'The 'Gaiety Whirl'. They presented major stars including Sir Harry Lauder, Willie Fyffe, Dave Willis, George Formby, Andy Stewart ('Scottish Solidier'), and the Houston Sisters. The Duke of Kent also came to see a show or two. The Popplewells also leased the Pavilion and the Palace Cinema (aka Palais de Danse, and later named Bobby Jones Ballroom) in Burns' Statue Square for many community events as well.

Parents: John Popplewell (1845-XXXX) and Martha Last name Unknown (1846-XXXX)

Siblings: Francis George Popplewell (1869-XXXX), Charles Popplewell (1875-XXXX), John Harold Popplewell (1877-XXXX)

Spouse: Sarah Elizabeth Illingworth (XXXX-XXXX) Married 1895

Children: Charles Leslie Popplewell (1898-1986), George Eric Popplewell (1900-XXXX), Martha Kathleen Popplewell (1901-1923), Winifred (aka Winnie) Mary Popplewell (1902-XXXX)

Johnny Ramsay (1877-1962) Grocer, Magician [119]

Born: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: Johnny owned a grocer's store in the Wallacetown district of Ayr on George Street. He entertained his customers with magic tricks to great applause.

Johnny performed at the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) convention in Batavia, New York and Chicago, in 1950. In 1955, he won the micromagic category at the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques (FISM), held in Amsterdam. He also served as president of the British Ring of the IBM.

He published 9 works about magic during the years 1948-1985.

John Ramsay is the only magician in the world with a garden named after him; Ramsay Gardens, in his native town of Ayr, Scotland.

Parents: Unknown

Siblings: Unknown

Spouse: Unknown

Children: Unknown

William John Macquorn Rankine (1820-1872) Engineer, Author[120][121][122][123]

Born: Edinburgh, Scotland

Died: Glasgow, Scotland

Resting Place: Sighthill Cemetery, Glasgow, Scotland

Bio Summary: Attended Ayr Academy, Glasgow High School , and University of Edinburgh (he quit after two years and never got a degree) he went on to co-found the subject of Thermodynamics. Worked also in the areas of applied mathematics including mechanics, and waves.

The Rankine absolute Fahrenheit scale is named in his honour.

His musical talants were cellist, pianist, and vocalist, his one published composition was a piano accompaniment to a song entitled the 'Iron Horse'.

A small impact crater near the eastern limb of the Moon, is also named in his honour named 'Rankine'.

1836 - Gold Medal for an essay on 'The Wave Theory of Light'

1838 - Gold Medal for an essay on 'Methods in Physical Investigation'

1842 - Published 'Experimental inquiry into the advantages attending the use of cylindrical wheels on railways',

1834 - Scottish Naval and Military Academy

1849 - Fellow, Royal Society of Edinburgh

1853 - Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1853.

1854 - Awarded the 'Keith Medal' by Royal Institution of Naval Architects

1855 - Regius chair of Civil Engineering and Mechanics at Glasgow University

1856 - American Academy of Arts and Sciences

1857 - Founder and first President of Scottish Institution of Civil Engineers

1857 - Founding member and President of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland

1857 - awarded an honorary 'LL. D' degree from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

1860 - Royal Institution of Naval Architects

1868 - Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

2013 - Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame

Parents: David Rankine (XXXX-XXXX) and Barbara Grahame (1800-XXXX)

Siblings: David Rankine (1829-XXXX)

Spouse: Never married

Children: None

See WikiTree Profile Rankine-187

Sir John Ross (1777-1855) RN, KCB, Navel Commander, Explorer[124][125][126][127][128]

Born: Kirkcolm, Wigtownshire, Scotland; Christened June 24, 1777

Died: London, England

Resting Place: Kensal Green Cemetery, London, England

Bio Summary: Educated at Ayr Academy. Went to sea at age 9 and became a commander in the Royal Navy in 1818 to explore the polar regions in search of a Northwest passage. Upon returning to Ayr he had his ship, the 'Felix' built by Sloan and Gemmel Shipbuilders in the North Harbour of the Port. At age seventy two (1850) he embarked on his last artic exploration.

1834 - Knighted

1834 - Founder’s Medal

1834 - Grande Médaille d'Or des Explorations

Parents: Reverend Andrew Ross (1726-1787) and Elizabeth Corsane (1744-1779)

Siblings: George Ross (1870-XXXX), James Ross (1779-XXXX), Andrew Ross (1772-1812), Robert Ross (1775-1834)

Spouse Number 1: Christian Adair (1784-1822) Married 1816

Children: Agnes Adair Ross (1817-XXXX), Andrew Adair Ross (1819-1894)

Spouse Number 2: Mary Jones (1811-1874)

Children: None

William Ross (aka Willie Ross) Baron Ross of Marnock (1911-1988) Politician [129]

Born: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: Educated at Ayr Academy and the University of Glasgow. He became a school teacher but when World War II broke out he served in the Highland Light Infantry in India, Burma and Singapore and was then a major in Lord Louis Mountbatten's headquarters in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). At one point he guarded notorious German Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess who was captured in Scotland during a 'mission of peace'.

1945 - Order of the British Empire (OBE)

6 December 1946 – 7 April 1979 - Member of Parliament for Kilmarnock

7 December 1961–16 October 1964 - Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland under PM Harold Wilson

16 October 1964 – 19 June 1970 - Secretary of State for Scotland under PM Harold Wilson

19 June 1970 – 4 March 1974 - Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland under PM Harold Wilson

4 March 1974 – 8 April 1976 - Secretary of State for Scotland under PM Harold Wilson

1978 - Honorary President of the Scottish Football Association

1978-1980 - Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

1979 - Life Peer as Baron Ross of Marnock, of Kilmarnock in the District of Kilmarnock and Loudoun

Parents: Unknown

Siblings: Unknown

Spouse: Elizabeth Jane Elma Aitkenhead (1923-2018) Married 1948

Children: Name Unknown Ross (XXXX-XXXX), Name Unknown Ross (XXXX-XXXX)

James Tait (XXXX-1528)[130]

Born: Unknown

Died: Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Resting Place: Unknown (Presumed to be Ayr)

Bio Summary: Built Loudon Hall in Ayr in 1513. Went on to be a Burgess of Ayr.

Parents: Thomas Tait (XXXX-XXXX) Burgess of Ayr and Unknown Spouse

Siblings: Unknown

Spouse: Janet Clerk (XXXX-1536)

Children: Charles Tait (XXXX-XXXX), John Tait (XXXX-XXXX)

Hans Ewald Tessin (XXXX-XXXX) Military Architect [131][132]

Born: Sweden

Died: Unknown

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: Hans came from Sweden to Scotland and became a Freemason. Then turned his back on Scotland an went to work for the English and designed Cromwell's Citadel in Ayr.

Parents: Unknown

Siblings: Unknown

Spouse: Unknown

Children: Unknown

William Wallace (1272-1305) Freedom Fighter [133]

Born: Elderslie, Renfrewshire, scotland

Died: London, Smithfield Elms, England

Resting Place: Various

Bio Summary: Born in Elderslie Scotland and died a terrible death in London England after a horrible torture by the English. Freedom fighter.

Wallace was responsible for buring the 'Barns of Ayr'. As he and his men rode away from the area they stopped on a hill to watch the flames burn. He said to his men "The barns o' Ayr burn weel" (interpretation 'The barns of Ayr burn well'). This hill became known as Barnweill Hill.

Parents: Malcolm Wallace (XXXX-XXXX) and Margaret Crauford (XXXX_XXXX).

Siblings: Malclom Wallace II (1268-1305), Unknown (Wallace) Bailie (1270-XXXX), and John Wallace (1272-1307)

Spouse: Marion Braidfute (1274-XXXX) (May or may not have been married)

Children: Unknown

See WikiTree Profile Wallace-182

Alan James (Willy) Wands (1952-2020) Film Producer and Production Manager [134]

Born: Ayr, Ayrshiire, Scotland

Died: Bearsden, Glasgow, Scotland

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: Born in Ayr and raised in Maybole, Willy started out in life as an electrician which led the way into theatres whiich led to film and television.

Works included the mini-series 'Gunpower, Treason, and Plot; Producer on Rebus and on Guy Ritchie’s recent hit film The Gentlemen; Bill Forsyth’s Comfort and Joy in 1984; Commercials; Scottish films, including Venus Peter, Silent Scream, The House of Mirth and Peter Mullan’s The Magdalene Sisters; Rebus, River City; the mini-series The Loch; and the little-seen 2016 remake of Whisky Galore!; and much much more. In all, he racked up no fewer than 35 feature film credits and numerous TV dramas.

He was a ledgend in the industry.

Parents: George Wands (XXXX-XXXX) and Jean Allan (XXXX-XXXX)

Siblings: George Wands Jr. (XXXX-XXXX)

Spouse: Julia Colton (XXXX-XXXX)

Children: Ola Wands (XXXX-XXXX), Georgia Wands (XXXX-XXXX)

James Watt (1736-1819) Engineer, Businessman[135][136]

Born: Greenock, Scotland

Died: Heathfield Hall, Birmingham England

Resting Place: Handsworth Kirkyard, Birmingham, England

Bio Summary: At age 41 James spent the summer of 1777 in Ayr surveying the harbour. A bust of him is on the wall of the former Ayr Academy representing his contribution to science. He did not invent the steam engine but rather improved on the one by Newcomen. Later in life he was implicated in slave trading.

Parents: james Henry Watt Sr. (1699-1782) and Agnes Muirhead (1703-1753)

Siblings: Robert Watt (1730-1730), Margaret Watt (1732-1732), Thomas Watt (1733-1734), John Watt (1739-1763)

Spouse Number 1: Margaret Miller (XXXX-1773) Married 1764-1773

Children:Margaret Miller (1767-1796) , James Watt Jr (1769-1848)

Spouse Number 2: Ann MacGregor (XXXX-1832) Married 1777-1819

Children: Gregory Watt (1777-1804), Janet Watt (1779-1794)

See WikiTree Profile Watt-1142

John Welsh (1568-1622) Presbyterian Minister[137]

Born: Dunscore, Dumfriesshire, Scotland

Died: London, Middlesex , England

Resting Place: St Botolph, Bishopsgate, Greater London, England

Bio Summary: John married Elizabeth Knox, the daughter of famed Reformation leader John Knox. John became the minister of the Auld Kirk. He was sent to prison for his preaching style by King James VI of Scotland and exiled to France in 1606.

Parents: John Welsh (XXXX-XXXX) Laird of Collieston and Marion (Isobel) Grier (XXXX-XXXX)

Siblings: Cuthbert Welch (1560-1629), Margaret Welsh (1564-XXXX), Helen Welsh (1568-XXXX), David Welsh (1564-1619), Marion Welsh (1566-1600)

Spouse: Elizabeth Knox (1570-1625)

Children: Dr. William Welsh (1595-1633), Rev. Josias Welsh (1598-1634), Nathaniel Welsh (1599-1625), Lucy Welsh (1610-1614), Louise Welch (1613-1625)

See WikiTree Profile Welch-121

Industry And Business

It is said that the President of a company makes it a success, but in reality it's the workers that make it a success. If they fail to do their job, the company fails. Through the years and even centuries, the people of Ayr have made a great contribution to the success of the following industries and businesses. Times change and all of the following are no longer in business but provided many of Ayr's population with jobs over the years.

American Steam Laundry

Ayr Fertiliser Works (now Origin Fertilisers)

Ayr Stamp Works (Closed in 2009)

Beebee's Tannery (Mill Street)

Boghall Coal Works (Wallacetown)

Boots the Chemist

Carrick Brass Works

James Dickie Forging (Closed in 1995)

James Gilchrist Ltd "Land- o-Burns Bakeries (Boswell Park)

Grays Carpet Factory

Hourstons Dept. Store (1896-2019)

Speirs Iron Plane Works

Templeton's Woolen Mills (Mill Street)

Turner Brewery

W.C. Galbraith and Sons Ltd (Bakeries) (1889-1966)

Technically speaking, Fishing is an industry. But it can be considered a business as well from the fisher-folk perspective.

Generations of fisher-folk have made a living in this area for many centuries up and down the Firth of Clyde. In the past both Ayr and Newton-On-Ayr were centres of the fishing industry in South Ayrshire. Times have changed and this area is no longer home port to a great fishing fleet it was years ago. Boats have been moved both up and down the coast for various reasons. As a family business, many owners have a lot of money invested in their boat, and equipment. The business is no longer a small time endeavour. Small boats have sometimes turned into million dollar investments for the owners. With the advancement of larger boats and newer electronic technology many owners now travel farther distances and stay away from home longer just to make a living.

Being a fisher-folk is a hard and isolated life and is not for everyone. It has its rewards and also has its risks. Competition from other countries with larger ships (mother ships) make local fishing a tough business to pursue. But the generations continue on because it's their livelihood and the life of a fisher-folk.[138]

Coal Mining was a big industry in all of Ayrshire and a lot of towns and villages were born out of this works. There were even 'Ghost Villages' that came about to house the miners but all of them did not survive with the end of the coal mining era.

Entertainment Venues

Of this list only The New Gaiety Theater, Ayr Pavilion (building), and The Odeon picture house have survived the test of time. Such greats as Sir Harry Lauder, and Sid Fields once played at the Gaieity.

Ayr Entertainment and Roller Skating Rink (Boswell Park) c.1909

Ayr Ice Rink (Beresford Terrace) c.1939

Ayr Pavillion (aka The Piv) (Low Green) c.1910

Bobby Jones Ballroom c.1935)

Butlins Camp c.1946

Summer FunFair by the Cadona family 1920-1970

New Gaiety Theater c.1902

Greens Playhouse Cinema (c.1931)

(New) Racecoarse (Wallacetown) c.1907

Odeon Cinema (Burns Statue Square) c.1937

(Old) Racecourse (Seafield) c.1775, Closed 1906

Orient Picture House c.1932

Royal Theatre c.1815

Scottish Electric Picture Palace c.1911


Steam Railway Connection[139][140]

In 1839 the first rail line came through Newton-On-Ayr from the North and went over the River Ayr to the very first station at the harbour. Some of the rail bridge supports are still visible from the New Brig. The new Ayr Station opened in 1886 at the top of High Street and Smith streets. The days of steam trains are long gone. Steam was replaced by Diesel Electric and now by environmentally clean Electric. Trains run daily from Ayr to Glasgow on very strict schedules. The Station Hotel open in 1888 next door to the station and cost 25 Shillings per night. It served for many years. Under private owner ship in later years it has fallen into disrepair and is currently awaiting its fate which will be renovation or demolition.

Tram Connection [141]

Ayr Corporation Tramways first proposed horse drawn tramway system was approved in 1884 but never built. The town Council decided to move forward and its own Electrical Generating Company in 1898 and a followup application for an electric tram system was finally approved in 1899 which started In 1901 with the system consisting of a standard gauge of 4ft-8½ inchs track and covering 6.4 miles in length from the Prestwick Cross to the Ayr boundary. The trams were had only twenty horsepower motors and were built by Hurst Nelson of Motherwell. In 1902 the system was expanded onward to Alloway. The system continued to expand to other routes in the following years and served the local community for many years to come.

With the system in a deteriorating condition and electrical costs going up, the Ayr Corporation Tramways applied for a Parliamentary Order in 1929 to permit them to operate motor buses within the burgh, along existing tram routes and to other points within a five-mile radius which was denied.

In December 1931 the Town Council accepted an offer from the Scottish Motor Traction Company for the purchase of the existing system. The date of the takeover was to be the 1st January 1932. They would cease operation of the tram system and start running buses instead. December 1931 seen the end of the tram system and a new era of transportation was ushered in. The trams were dismantled at the Bellesleyhill Road Depot in 1932.


Port of Ayr[142]

Ayr as port has been around since the days of William the Lion in 1205. It's the third oldest port in Scotland. A lot of ships were built in Ayr as far back as the 1200's. Alexander III ordered many tall masted ships to be built for his Navy in the mid to late 1200's. During the Industrial Revolution of the mid 1700's coal was the big export product which came from the many mines throughout Ayrshire.

In the 1800's to the mid 1900's there were many ships that made summer excurions out of Ayr. Some of these were the P.S. Juno (c.1898) (Paddlewheel Steamer), T.S.Glen Sannox (c.1925) (Turbine Steamer), T.S, Duchess of Hamilton (c.1932), T.S. Duchess of Montrose (c.1930), the P.S. Caledonia (c.1934) , and T.S. Marchioness of Graham (c.1936).

Consisting of a north dock (on the Newton side), and a south dock (on the Ayr side), the port today is as busy as ever. With depths up to 22 feet the ports north docks can accommodate large vessels for both import and export, as well as repair jobs. The south dock today has been redeveloped for residences only.

The war years seen many minesweepers and navel escort ships in the harbour.

P.S. Waverly

Talking of the Port would not be complete without talking of the Waverly. The first Waverly (c.1899) cruised the Firth of Clyde until 1940 when it was requisitioned for the war effort. It was lost at Dunkirk.

The current Waverly (c. 1947) at 239 feet in length is the last ocean going paddle steamer in the world and powered by a three-crank diagonal triple-expansion marine steam engine. Carrying up to 935 passengers it still make summer runs out of Ayr during July and August each year. Waverly is listed as a National Historic Ship of the U.K. This historic icon is currently owned by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society.

Life in Ayr During World War 2

The profile manager of this page was not born until just after WW2, therefore this is a compilation of similar facts as told by a late family member as well as a non-related civilian both of who lived through that period in history.

A total of 37,000 military aircraft arrived at Prestwick (two miles north of Ayr) during WW2. With a substantial build-up of aircraft from The Royal Air Force, The Canadian Royal Air Force, as well as the United States, the ensuing war years were a time of uneasiness as to what was going to happen not only in Scotland but also in the wee town of Ayr. With an abundance of both British and Allied Forces arriving on a daily basis everyone in surrounding towns were expected to do their part for the war effort. This meant taking in (billeting) military personnel in homes near the airfield for as long as they were needed.

Ayr Academy was used as a reception centre for a multitude of evacuees from main cities like Glasgow. Children arriving by train would line up single file all the way across Ayr to the academy on Fort Street. After being processed the children would then be billeted in homes around town.

Everyone carried a gas mask at all times, school children were taught air raid drill, and there were total blackouts every night, and constant air raid siren testing during the days. One never knew if the siren was for real or not, but it was taken seriously all the time, day or night.

Rationing became a way of life too with everyone being issued a rationing book for meat, bacon, eggs (one per week per person), butter, milk, and tea. Everyone also received 'Points' which were issued as a supplement to the rationing book. Point were for other items like tinned beans, peas, and fruit. The supplemental items were on a 'first come first served' basis. When the daily supply ran out, people would have to try again the next day. The billeted solders and airmen also got rationing books which they willingly gave to their host families so as to buy in bulk. Ayr was a good agricultural area so there was always a good supply of vegetables available to make soup.

By 1941 German aircraft were flying over Ayr on their way to bomb northern locations like Greenoch, Glasgow, Clydebank (shipyards), and Paisley. There was only one occasion when Ayr got an explosive jolt. The Germans dropped a mine at the mouth of the harbor which shook the whole town. Considering there was a large navel training base at the 'Heads of Ayr', as well as an Army Assault Training Team at Craigie Park, the airfields at Prestwick, and heavy engineering works in Ayr, Ayr was never bombed like other cities by the enemy. It may have been very different if the German pilots had known there was a film showing at the Odeon entitled 'The Great Dictator' (a satire about Adolf Hitler) starring Charlie Chaplin. If they only knew............


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Will you join me? Please post a comment here on this page, in G2G using the project tag, or send me a private message. Thanks!

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I already added that for another OPS, do I need to duplicate it again?


posted by Stuart Wilson
Hello Stuart,

Great study! I'm doing project maintenance and a check-in.

One Place Studies now has a Project Profile: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/WikiTree-121

Please add it as a co-manager of this study page. wtoneplacestudies <at> googlegroups.com

Thank you!


Project Leader - One Place Studies

posted by Azure Robinson