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North Ayrshire One Place Study

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North Ayrshire One Place Study

This profile is part of the North Ayrshire One Place Study.
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North Ayrshire (Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Àir a Tuath) [1][2][3][4]


Continent: Europe
Sovereign State: United Kingdom
Country: Scotland
County: Ayrshire
GPS Coordinates: 55.666667, -4.783333
Elevation: 123.0 m or 403.5 feet
Area: 342 Square Miles


Dating back 450 million years ago during the Ordovician period, a time when the continents of England and Scotland were separated by the Lapetus ocean The results of the collision of plate techtonics (aka Continental Drift) the ocean disappeared during the Silurian period and the two continents became one.


Approximately 136,000


There have been many area boundaries set for Ayrshire through the centuries but the latest was formulated in 1996 whereby the geographical areas of Ayrshire County were established as South, North, and East areas. Each area was to be administered by a council established in each of the three. This OPS will focus on North Ayrshire, with two other OPS for South Ayrshire and East Ayrshire under separate OPS profiles.

North Ayrshire is governed by a single council as is both East and South Ayrshire's. In 2017 North Ayrshire had 10 Wards with a total of 33 members representing Irvine West, Irvine east, Kilwinning, Stevenston, Ardrossan, Dalry, Kilbirnie & Beith, North Coast & Cumbraes, Saltcoats,, and Irvine South. From these Wards, multiple parties co-exist to represent all residents and businesses within the North Ayrshire Council, those being Scottish National Party (SNP), Labour, Conservatives, Independents, and The Alba Party. Council Headquarters are located in Cunningham House, Irvine.


Located in the North West area of the entire county of Ayrshire, The 340 square mile area of North Ayrshire borders Inverclyde, Renfrewshire, East Ayrshire, and South Ayrshire. To the West, along the Firth of Clyde it has the distinction of having three islands within its council area, those being Arran, Great Cumbrae, and Little Cumbre. The coastal area is more urbanized and is home to many residences but does have areas of big commercial, industrial, and manufacturing businesses, while the interior farmland comprises of sheep farming, agriculture, and dairy farming. This area has great access to Glasgow by road or train withing 30 minutes, and Prestwick Airport within 15 minutes.


There are ten towns on the mainland of North Ayrshire, those being Ardrossan, Beith, Dalry, Irvine, Kilbirnie, Kilwinning, Largs, Saltcoats, Stevenson, and West Kilbride.

1. Ardrossan Scottish Gaelic: Àird Rosain

Population: Approximately 11,000

Size: Town - 1.3 Square Miles

The Scottish Gaelic meaning for Ardrossan is 'headland of the small promontory' as it sits on the coast of the Firth of Clyde and dates back to around the 12th century. It lies on the north side of Irvine Bay between Irvine and Largs and forms part of a conurbation with Saltcoats and Stevenston (aka The Three Towns). It became a burgh town in 1846 but that was rescinded in 1974 due to a governmental reorganization.

Coal and iron were this towns main exports in the 18th and 19th centuries which led to a history of shipbuilding. The harbour and Clyde Marina now provides moorings for small craft and also provides ferry service to Arran. In the old days the harbour for exports such as coal, but also served the Hudson Bay Company as well.

In 1921 Ardrossan was the European site for the first successful reception of radio signals from North America. An amateur radio group in Connecticut sent Morse code signals to a station set up in a tent and was received by Paul Godley (1889-1973), an American pilot for Delta Airlines with a love of communications..

Today Ardrossan sits near the Hunterston B nuclear power station at 1215 MegaWatt. Ardrossan Wind Farm, a 24MegaWatt wind farm that opened in 2004, overlooks the town. The pier serves as a departure point for the Arran ferry.

Ardrossan Landmarks

Ardrossan Castle c.1140 (Ruins)

Location: Hill Pl and Winton Ct.

This castle ruins resides on the 'Cannon Hill' (aka Castle Hill) once owned by the Lords of Ardrossan who were remote acquaintances of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, the Barclays, the Mongomeries, and also the Earls of Eglinton. The red sandstone castle passed through many different people and families up until it was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell in 1648 whereby the stones were shipped to Ayr to build his large citadel.

2. Beith Scottish Gaelic: Beithe (Hill of the Birches)

Population: Approximately 6,000

Size: Town - 1.20 Square Miles

Sitting East of Klbirnie and besides Loch Kilbirnie in the Garnock Valley, this small town rises up to 272 feet above sea level and is basically a 'bedroom community' whereby most residents commute out to other locations for work. Since there is no industry here the town has retained its character and charm through the years. It dates back to at least the 1700's but is thought to be the home town of Saint Inan back around 839 AD.

The area had a substantial amount of birch trees in the area which likely accounts for the thriving furniture manufacturing businesses in the past that supplied such great ships as the Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth II. The last furniture company to exist closed in the 1990's. The town was also well known in the textile industry.

Beith Landmarks

Beith Parish Church c.1807

Located: Kirk Road

A T-Plan design with a five story tower and stained glass by Gordon Webster.

The Auld Kirk c.1593

Located at the intersection of main Street and the B7049.

The original Kirk from which the town was built around features its clock (c.1794) tower and bell (c.1684) tower and was dedicated to Saint Inan.. The Kirk is built on the site of a pre-Reformation chapel, and was replaced by the High Church in 1810.

Beith Townhouse c.1817

Located at the Eglinton Street and The Strand (B706)

This was built by the architect William Dobie. It originally housed a court house and reading room on the first floor.

Geilsland House c.1867

Located just outside town near the village of Gateside.

William Fulton Love, writer and bank agent built this charming house.

Largs Road Sign c.1500's

Located at the far end of Main Street at Kings Street

One of Scotland's oldest extant road signs: with "To Largs" painted on the stone wall of a building above an arrow.

Scapa Cottage c.Unknown (aka Dummy Cottage)

Location Unknown

It was once a toll house and later the residence of a deaf and dumb man, hence the name 'Dummy Cottage'. Its noted feature is the scroll work or indentation design on all the brick work.

Smugglers Tavern c.1750

Located at 53-55 Main Street

The illegal trading of tea, tobacco, and spirits facilitated smuggling in this area and the local tavern was where a lot of the deals were made because it was a convenient stopping point from the coast enroute to Glasgow. The building is of a 'nepus-gabled' design and painted black and white.

Town Cross c.1700

30 Main Street at Reform Street junction.

The Cross sits in the centre of Beith adjacent to the Auld Kirk and provides a nice green space for relaxing.

3. Dalry Scottish Gaelic: Dail Ruighe

Population: Approximately 5,500

Size: Town - 0.88 Square Miles

Located inland and about 4 miles from Kilwinning this town sits in the Garnock Valley with lots of green space for agricultural use. Some of the highest elevations in the parish rise 1300-1600 feet. Today its basically a bedroom community with easy access to Glasgow via road and train, however there is a large Vitamin Company in the North of town (Roche)

Dalry was know for cotton mills as well steelworks at Blair, half a mile east of the town, using ironstone and coal mined locally as its main raw materials. Bridgend woollen mills provided many jobs in the textile industry. Hoffman la Roche built a huge plant here which is now the largest producer of vitamin C in the world.

Dalry Landmarks

The Auld Hoose Tavern c.1786

Located on North Street at Main Street

Biggart Fountain c.1876

Located at the junction of New Street, Aitken Street, and Towsend Street

Originally located at the town cross it provided water from a free flowing well to which people could water their horses. The fountain was a gift from Thomas Biggart, a local mill owner who employed many women to spin wool and cotton.

Made of white and polished red granite with a quatrefoil main basin. The middle basin is supported by solid central column and 4 banded columns with gabled bases and stylized capitals. Upper small basin sits on banded clustered column.

Blair Castle c.1600's (aka Blair House)

Location: Blair Road

This estate house has origins back to the 1100s and extended through the centuries by the Blair family and has been in their care ever since. It sits on approximately 1200 acres of wooded an farm land. The main house has 14 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms plus other beds and baths in another wing. Small 'Bombo Burn' passes by this house.

Note: This is a private residence, do not disturb occupants. As of 2022 this estate is now in the private ownership of Billionaire Sir Thomas Hunter and will be used for leadership conferences.

Dalry Trinity Church c.1857

Located at #2 New Street at Courthill Street

Doggartland House c.1874

Location in Dalry unknown.

Built by a William Wylie, a tube manufacturer in Glasgow, who built it for his wife, Margaret Reid. It resembles an asymmetric small Italianate villa and referred to as a 'Merchants Mansion'.

It derives its name from 'Dogger' which is Scots for a course ironstone.

Please note this is a private residence, do not disturb occupants.

St. Margaret's Parish Church c.1870's

Located at The Cross. New Street and Courthill.

This Victorian Gothic style church was designed by David Thomson has a 159 foot clock tower and a bell c.1661.

4. Irvine Scottish Gaelic: Irbhinn

Population: Approximately 35,000

Size: Town - 6 Square Miles

Irvine is an older coastal town which was designated a Burgh in 1140, but in 1371 the town was elevated to Royal Burgh status as it grew over the years. It has the River Irvine flowing through it. It has all the amenities of a modern town including industry which creates jobs. It is said that monk St. Inan was the founder of the town back in the 9th century, and is Irvine's Patron Saint.

Irvine Landmarks

Black Man Statue c.1865

Located at Castle Street and West Road

Born in a house on High street this statue is in memory of David Boyle. He had many titles and was well known in the community. The statue originally was set at his birth house but was later moved to the current location in 1929. Mr. Boyle was not a black man, it is believed the locals call the statue this because of the color change of the material, or another story is that local people hated him for sentencing a young lad to death for stealing, and the statue was vandalized with black paint. It was designed and sculpted by John Steelle in 1867.

For more information, see WikiTree profile Boyle-2190

For more information, see Notable People Heading below in this OPS.

Irvine Burns Club Museum c.1826

Located at 28 Eglinton Street

Wellwood House is the formal name of the building. Robert burns came in 1781 to learn to heckle flax. The flax shop burned down that year and the trade soon ended as well. He died fifteen years later (Dumfries) but in the early 1800's two of his closest friend started the club in his honour. The club (now a museum) has carried on through the centuries. The museum started in 1962 and holds a great collection of letters, poems, manuscripts, and other memorabilia of the 'Baird'.

Irvine Old Parish Church c.1774

Located at the end of Peden Place off Kirkgate.

Georgian style designed by a local lad named David Muir and built of sandstone. The steeple was added in 1778.

Saint Inan's Well c. 925

Located at the Kirk Vennel beside the Old Parish church, near the River Irvine.

Seagate Castle (Ruins) c.1585

Located on Seagate Street just off of Castle Road.

Stronghold of the Mongomerie Clan, it remained occupied until 1746 when the 10th earl of Eglinton had the roof removed for a new church he was building in Ardrossan.

Scottish Maritime Museum

Located at Gottries Pl and Linthouse Vennel (Off Harbour Rd)

Waterfront Naval history museum. The main building is called 'Linthouse' and was originally in another location, dismantled, and brought to its current site in 1988.

Powder House c.1642

Located at #6 Thornwood Drive

Octagonal in shape with a pitched roof, this was the towns storage building for gun powder and explosives. It has been restored and is in excellent shape but no longer used for its original purpose.

Ship's Inn c.1597

Located on Harbour Street

The oldest building that served the maritime crews is no longer open but the building is a classic structure from the olden days.

Town House c.1860

Located at Kirkgate and High Street

Designed by James Ingram. It features a notable clock tower.

5. Kilbirnie Scottish Gaelic: Cill Bhraonaigh

Population: Approximately 7,500

Size: Town - Unknown

Sitting in the Garnock Valley, this quiet town was originally a production center for the flax and weaving trades and later became more involved with iron and steel making industries. The town sits inland of Fairlie and dates back to the Bronze Age. The Knox family owned most of the mills in town and used their wealth to build many homes in this area.

Kilbirnie Landmarks

The Auld Kirk c.1470 (aka The Barony Church)

Located at Dalry Road and Kirkland Road

Glengarnock Castle c.1400

Located 2 miles North of Kilbirnie.

Home to the Cunninghame family for over 200 years until it was destroyed by fire in 1757.

St. Columba's Parish Church c.1843

Located at #11 Glasgow Street

6. Kilwinning Scottish Gaelic: Cill D’Fhinnein

Population: Approximately 16,500

Size: Town - Unknown

Originally known as 'Segdoune' or 'Sagtoun', the name "Kilwinning" comes from the Gaelic for "Church of Winning" (Saint Winnin). Some lore says he was Irish and some say he was a Scot who settled near the Garnock in 715. This town Is known as the 'Cross Roads of Ayrshire' due to it's central location and easy access to Glasgow and Ayr.

Kilwinning Landmarks

Eglinton Castle c.1800 (Ruins)

Located off Irvine road (A737) just South of Killwinning at Eglinton Country Park 1000 acres).

This Gothic style castle was built by the 12th Earl of Eglinton to the design by John Paterson.

Killwinning Abbey c.1188, and Kilwinning Abbey Church c.1774 (Formerly The Killwinning Parish Church)

Located at Vaults Lane off Church Street

The Abbey was founded by Hugh de Morville and was the home of the Tironensian monks for 400 years. The 103 foot high clock tower was built in 1815 to designs by architect David Hamilton.

The current church sits next to the Abbey ruins (c.1188), and was built in 1774 by John Garland and John Armour (1762-1834) to replace an earlier church built around 1590 on the same spot. FYI - John Armour is the brother of Jean Armour was was Robert Burns' wife.

Merket (Market) Cross c.Unknown

Located at 26 Main Street

The top part (cross) is made of wood.

7. Largs Scottish Gaelic: An Leargaidh Ghallda

Population: Approximately 12,000

Size: Town - 1.35 square miles

Located on the Firth of Clyde, Largs is not a big town but has seen its share of historical events such as the 'Battle of Largs' in 1263. The Vikings under command of King Hakkon IV (aka Hakon the Old, or Haco) were raiding mostly northern part of the Scottish coast and islands in attempts to secure new territory for their homeland. Unfortunately for them when it came to Largs, a storm came up and washed them ashore and into a battle with the Scots. The Scots defeated them easily. Each year there is a celebration in town to marks the defeat of the Norwegians called the Viking Festival.

World war II seen Largs as a meeting point to plan out the invasion of Normandy.

Largs Landmarks

St.Columba's Parish Church c.1892

Located at Gallowwaygate Street at Nelson Street, along the waterfront.

Beautiful church of red sandstone designed by architects Henry Steele and Andrew Balfour features a three stage tower with spire and a clock.

Note: There is also a St. Columba's (Episcopal) Church located further North on Greenock Street at Aubery Crescent / Douglas Street.

Clark Memorial Parish Church c.1892

Located at Bath Street and Church Street

Another beautiful example of early churches in Largs. This one designed by William Kerr of Paisley is again of red sandstone from Locharbriggs and Coarshill.

Kelburn Castle c. 1581

Located actually in the village of Fairlie about 2.3 miles from Largs.

Dates back to the 1200's but was in possession of the Boyle family (Earls of Glasgow) in the 1100's and remains so today.. Its tower and wall has a very unique art work by Brazilian artists.

Kelburn estates that is around 2000 acres most of which is open to the public..

Netherhall House c.1892 (aka Danefield House)

Located at (approx) 26 Kelvin Walk off Routenburn Road

Built by William Thomson, who would become Sir William and then Lord Kelvin this amazing house is of red sandstone.

St. John's Church c.1843

Located at Bath Street and Church Street

Designed by A.J. Graham, this Romanesque style with a tall belfry.

The Pencil c.1912

Located at the end of the promenade near the marina.

Built to commemorate the Battle of Largs between the Scots and the Vikings (c.1263) this is actually considered a monument and looks like a sharp pencil standing on end.

8. Saltcoats Scottish Gaelic: Baile an t-Salainn

Population: Approximately 13,000

Size: Town - Unknown

The monks from Killwinning Abbey mined coal here starting around the 1200's. In the 1500's King James V funded the use of sea water from the ocean which was then heated to extract the sea salt (salt panned) in clay built sheds or (salt cottis) along the seafront.

Saltcoats is one part of 'The Three Towns' (Ardrossan, Saltcoats, and Stevenston) which are all next to each other along the coast. Saltcoats became a Burgh in 1528 which allowed it to market fish, and fishing needed boats so the shipbuilding industry started in the 1700's as well. The salt, fish, and coal industries eventually gave way to Tourism which became the norm in the 1800's.

Saltcoats Landmarks

Esplanade Tower c. Unknown

No recorded history, but interesting non the less.

North Area Heritage Center c.1744

Located at #13 Kirkgate off Manse Street

Fascinating history museum housed in a former church building. Many ancient display items, displays also covering local military history, domestic life.

St. Cuthberts Church c.1908

Located on #13 Caledonia Road at Campbell Avenue.

Designed by Peter MacGregor Chalmers in neo-Romanesque style.

St. Mary's Church c. 1823 (aka Our Lady, Star of the Sea)

Located at #10 Ardrossan Road

Designed by James Baird of Airdrie.

9. Stevenston Scottish Gaelic: Baile Steaphain

Population: Approximately 9,500

Size: Town - Unknown

Stevenston is one part of 'The Three Towns' (Ardrossan, Saltcoats, and Stevenston) which are all next to each other along the West coast. Steventson however is more inland than coastal. Dating back to around the early 1200's, the town of Stevenston was originally settled by the father of Stephen Loccard (aka Lockhart).

Coal mining was a big industry here until about 1926. At the Ardeer Quarry, white sandstone was quarried known as 'Stevenston Stone' which became very popular as a building material. A lot of it was export to Ireland. The Parkend Quarry produced 'Osmond Stone' which because of it's heat resistant quality became exclusively used for furnace linings and fireplace. Another industry that became a big employer was for explosives and chemicals.

Stevenston Landmarks

Champion Shell Inn c.1772

Located at #5 Schoolwell Street

Originally run by monks, the name came from a hand carved shell goblet in which one had to drink as much as possible in one gulp. Today's it's a popular restaurant and pub for the locals.

High Kirk of Stevenson c. 1833

Located at 19 Schoolwell Street

Designed by Thomas Garven and built by Peter King, this impressive structure features a tall tower with spire and clock.

Kerelaw Castle c.1191 (Ruins)

Located off and behind Campbell Ave.

Livingstone Parish Church c.1887

Located at New Street and Old Quarry Road

Impressive building with an octagonal bell tower and conical spire.

United Free Church of Scotland c.1890 (aka The Wee Tin Church)

Located at Ardoch Crescent and Garven Road

10. West Kilbride Scottish Gaelic: Cille Bhrìghde an Iar

Population: Approximately 5,000

Size: Town - Unknown

Designated as the only 'Craft Town' in Scotland, it serves as an artist colony. The 'Barony Centre' is used as a display centre for local artists. There are also numerous 'Craft Studios' around town which feature artist who work in many mediums (metal, painting, crafts, textiles, etc).

At one point it had five mills operating to grind oats, flax, bark, and charcoal.

West Kilbride Landmarks

Barony Centre c.1873

Located at Main Street and Gateside Street

Originally 'The Barony Church' designed by Henry Blair and built of red sandstone with a 100 foot spire. Now used to display art work.

Kirktonhall c.1660

Located at Main Street and Glen Road

Three story building built By Robert Simpson (1687-1768) (the oldest of seventeen children), it is more impressive from the front than the back. The grounds display a unique carved stone and sundial dating to 1717.

Law Castle c.1467 (aka Kilbride Castle)

Located on Law Hill at the end of Law Brae.

Law Castle was built for Princess Mary, sister of King James III, as a wedding gift upon her marriage to Thomas Boyd, Earl of Arran. Beautifully restored and authentic inside.

Available for all paid venues up to 14 guests in six bedrooms.

West Kilbride Museum c.1899

Located at the corner of Richie Street and Arthur Street

Designed by Alexander Paterson it now houses a local museum with many exibits upstairs.

West Kilbride Parish Church c.1882

Located at 45 Main Street

Originally built as St. Bride's Parish Church, this red sandstone giant features a tall spire and large rose window.


There are thirty two suburbs on the mainland of North Ayrshire, those being Barkip, Broomlands, Bourtreehill, Burnhouse, Castlepark, Crosbie, Chapletoun, Cunninghamhead, Dalgarven, Drakemyre, Eglinton, Fergushill, Fullarton, Giffordland, Greenhills, Hessilhead (hamlet), Highfield, Hunterston, Kelburn, Lawthron, Lylestone, Meigle, Meikle Auchengree, Montgreenan, Nettlehirst, Perceton, Portencross, Routenburn, Seamill, Stevenscres, Shewalton, and Torranyard.


There are fourteen villages on the mainland of North Ayrshire, those being Ardeer, Auchentiber, Barrmill, Benslie, Dreghorn, Drybridge, Fairlie, Gateside, Girdle Toll, Glengarnock, Longbar, Skelmorlie, Springside, and Staincastle.

Isle of Arran

Scottish Gaelic: Eilean Arainn

Population: Approximately 5,000

Size: 168 square miles.

Arran is the largest island in the Firth of Clyde, and it's the seventh largest island in Scotland. It comes under the jurisdiction of the North Ayrshire Council.

Also known as 'The Sleeping Warrior' which is a designation given by those who view Arran from the mainland whereby it resembles a sleeping warrior in the horizontal position.

Arran has been inhabited since the Neolithic period and has a history of the Vikings who stayed there prior to their invasion of Largs. The island was then a property of the Norwegian Crown. And Robert the Bruce also used the island prior to his travels to the mainland to claim his right as King of Scotland.

Four of the Arran hills qualify as Corbetts - Scottish peaks over 2500 feet, but less than 3000 feet. The tallest being 'Goatfell 'at 2,867 feet, then 'Caisteal' at 2,818 feet, Beinn Tarsuinn at 2,710 feet, and Cir Mhor at 2,621 feet. FYI - Peaks over 3000 feet are called 'Munros'.

It's the home to many wildlife creatures such as red squirrels, deer, golden eagles, otters, seals, basking sharks across the island and on the coastline; and a variety of flora and fauna all over the island.

While the island is mainly a tourist attraction, it also has a cheese factory and two distilleries which are open to the public. Another business is 'Arran-Sense of Scotland' which makes scented aromatic products directly from the nature of the island. The island Heritage Centre has many artifacts, photographs, and exhibits showing the history of this beautiful island.

The island can be reached by ferry from Ardrossan, and the vintage ocean going paddle wheel steamer 'Waverly' in the summer months from Ayr.

Towns (Isle of Arran)

Arran has four main towns (some would call them main villages), those being Brodick, Lamlash, Lochranza, and Whiting Bay.

1. Brodick Scottish Gaelic: Tràigh a' Chaisteil/Breadhaig

Population: Approximately 600

Size: 1 square mile

The name is derived from the Norse "breda-vick" meaning "Broad Bay", and the town sits beneath 'Goatfell'.

Brodick Landmarks

Brodick Castle c.1588

The castle is made of red sandstone and built in a Scottish baronial style.

Once the seat of the Dukes of Hamilton, this venue is open for tours. It's garden was created by the Duchess of Montrose and features many varieties of flora and fauna. The present castle only goes back to the 19th century but origins date back earlier structures to the 1200's by the Stewart's as a fortress. Oliver Cromwell also occupied the castle before his invasion of the mainland.

2. Lamlash Scottish Gaelic: An t-Eilean Àrd

Population: Approximately 1,100

Size: 1.5 Square Mile

Located Three miles South of Brodick facing Holy Isle, this is the largest town on Arran..

Lamlash Landmarks

Hamilton Terrace c.1893

Historical residences facing the ocean along Shore Road. These were built to house the workers on the estate of the 10th Duke of Hamilton.

St. George United Free Church c.1892

Located on Bungalow Road at Shore Road

Cream-coloured sandstone with a square stone pyramidal spire and an iron wheathervane.

Lamlash Parish Church c. 1886

Located on Shore Road

Red Sandstone Gothic design by Hugh Barclay. It features a peaked roof line with triple gothic windows. The square tower has three smaller matching windows at the top and a pyramid cap.

3. Lochranza Scottish Gaelic: Loch Raonasa

Population: Approximately 225

Size: Unknown

Located at the Northern end of Arran, this small town sits on Loch Ranza, a seaborn loch and adjacent to T'orr Meadhonach', a hill of 1,089 ft high.

Lochranza Landmarks

Lochranza Castle c.1300-1500 (Ruins)

Some say it was a fortified tower house built in the 1500's, others say it was a house dating to the 13th century when it was owned by the MacSweens. A series of owners and occupants included King Alexander III, Walter Stewart, the Earl of Menteith, Robert II, James IV, James VI, the Hamilton family, and Oliver Cromwell.

It is believed that Robert the Bruce landed at Loch Ranza in 1306 upon his return form Ireland to claim the Scottish throne.

It claims to be a tourist location but all that's there is the castle and one distillery.

4. Whiting Bay Scottish Gaelic: Eadar Dhà Rubha

Population: Unknown

Size: 1/2 Square Mile

Located about 4 miles South of Lamlash.

Whiting Bay Landmarks

Giant's Graves c. Neolithic Period

Neolithic burial tombs located above Whiting Bay.

Glenashdale Falls Scottish Gaelic: Eas a' Chrannaig

Beautiful 140 foot drop in a wooded setting above Whiting bay.

Villages (Isle of Arran)

There are fifthteen villages on Arran, those being Birchburn, Blackwaterfoot, Catacol, Cladach, Corrie, Dippen, Kildonan, Kilmory, Lagg, Machrie, Pirnmill, Sannox, Shiskine, Sliddery, and Whitefarland.

Settlements (Isle of Arran)

There are no settlements on Arran.

Arran Landmarks - Other

Holy Isle Scottish Gaelic: Eilean MoLaise

Population: Unknown

Size: 2 Square Mile

Originally called Inis Shroin (Island of the Water Spirit), the Holy Island seems to have been a place of great spiritual importance from the time it was founded. Today, Holy Island is a spiritual retreat called 'Centre for World Peace and Health', and home to a community of Buddhist monks. This small isle sits directly off the village of Lamlash. A nature reserve is also the home to wild Eriskay ponies, Saanen goats, and Soay sheep.

Machrie Standing Stones c.3500 BC-1500 BC

Near the village of Blackwaterfoot on the West side of the island this area features several chambered cairns and stone circles with stones up to five meters tall. They served as significant places of ritual and worship. Originally these circles were made of timber.The last stone circle in this area was discovered in 1978. Blackwater foot can be reached from Brodick via the 'String Road'.

Isle of Great Cumbre

Scottish Gaelic: Cumaradh Mòr

Population: Approximately 1,400

Size: 4.5 Square Miles

Only measuring 2.5 Miles by 1.2 Miles, Great Cumbrae sits ajacent to Largs on the mainland.

King Håkon IV of Norway once established a base on the northern end in 1263 before he embarked on the Battle of Largs.

Towns (Isle of Great Cumbrae)

There are no towns on Great Cumbrae.

Villages (Isle of Great Cumbrae)

There are no villages on Great Cumbrae.

Settlements (Isle of Great Cumbrae)

There is one settlement on Great Cumbre, that being Millport.

Millport Scottish Gaelic: Port a' Mhuilinn

Millport sits on the South end of the island and surrounds 'Newtown Bay'. Originally it was two small villages (Kames and Kirkton) that came together around 1700 to form the main settlement of Millport.

Great Cumbrae Landmarks

Cathedral of the Isles Church c.1851

Located in the North part of Millport just off College road.

Crocodile Rock

Located on Glasgow Street, it is a natural rock which has been painted to look like a crocodiles head.

Garrison House c.1745

Located on Glasgow Street off College Road

Gothic style building which was built for officers of the Revenue Sailing Ship the ‘Royal George. It now serves as a community centre.’

Glaid Stone c. Ice Age

A natural rock at the top of the highest hill on the island (417 foot Barbay Hill). On a clear day this spot offers a spectcular 360 degree view of the nearby mainland and other islands. The stone is 12 feet long by 4 feet and dates back to the Ice Age.

Horse Falls

Spectacular falls above Bell Bay on the West side of the island.

The Wedge

Located at #50 Stuart Street

At only 47 inches wide in the front (it gets to 11 feet in the back, similar to a slice of cheese), this residence is in the Guinness Book of Records as being the World's narrowest house. It measures 22 feet long and is 2 stories.

Isle of Little Cumbrae

(aka Wee Cumbrae)

Scottish Gaelic: Cumaradh Beag


Size: 1.2 Square Miles.

Record reflect former names for the isle as 'Kumbrey' c.1300, 'Cumbraye' c.1330, and 'Litill Comeray' c.1515 (aka Wee Cumray).

The isle is privately owned used as a yoga retreat. It sits South of Great Cumbrae Isle and adjacent to the mainland town of Hunterston.

Towns (Isle of Little Cumbrae)

There are no towns on Little Cumbrae.

Villages (Isle of Little Cumbrae)

There are no villages on Little Cumbrae.

Settlements (Isle of Little Cumbrae

There are no settlements on Little Cumbrae.

Little Cumbrae Landmarks

Little Cumbrae Castle c.1500's

Located on Allimturrail (aka Castle Island) off Little Cumbrae.

Landmarks - Other of North Ayrshire

Three Sisters, and Portencross Castle

Located between Hunterston (End of Power Station Road), and Portencross (End of Portencross Road). Use Ayrshire Coastal Path for access.

Triple natural limestone rock formation. Ideal for a day trek or picnic. Also enjoy exploring Portencross Castle c.1300's, ancestral home of the Boyd's. It has historical references to King Robert I and King Robert II as well. The castle became a historical landmark in 1955.

Notable People of North Ayrshire

David Boyle Lord Boyle (1772-1853) FRSE, MP, Judge [5][6]

Born: Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Shewalton, Ayrshire, Scotland.

Resting Place: Dundonald, South Ayrshire

Bio Summary: He studied law at the University of St Andrews (1787) and then at the University of Glasgow (1789). Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Solicitor General, Member of Parliament, Solicitor General for Scotland, Lord Justice Clerk, Privy Counsellor, Lord Justice General of Scotland, and Rector of the University of Glasgow.

Parents: Rev Patrick Boyle (1717-1798) and Elizabeth Dunlop (1741-1832)

Siblings: No Record

Spouse #1: Elizabeth Montgomery (1785-1822) Married 1804

Children: Patrick Boyle (1806-1874), Elizabeth Boyle (1807-1880), Helen Boyle (1808-1869), Alexander Boyle (1810-1884), David Boyle (1811-1815), Hamilla Augusta Boyle (1813-1875), Eleanora Charlotte Boyle (1816-1891), (John Boyle (1819-1907), William Boyle (1821-1874, Archibald Thomas Boyle (1822-1863).

Spouse #2: Catherine Campbell Smythe 1799-1880) Married 1827

Children: George David Boyle (1828-1901), Robert Boyle (1830-1869), Henry Dundas Boyle (1833-1853), Amelia Laura Boyle (1835-1921)

For more information see WikiTree Profile Boyle-2190

Sir Thomas MakDougall Brisbane, Baronet GCB, GCH, FRS, FRSE (1773-1860) Astronomer, Politician [7][8]

Born: Largs, North Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Brisbane House, Largs, North Ayrshire, Scotland

Resting Place: Brisbane Aisle Vault, in the small kirkyard of Largs Old Kirk

Bio Summary: A Major general in the British Army he was appointed as Governor of New South Wales Australia by the Duke of Wellington and served in that capacity between 1821 and 1865. He was also an amateur astronomer and establish an observatory. Educated at the University of Edinburgh in mathematics, and astronomy.

The Australian city of Brisbane is named after him.

Parents: Sir Thomas Brisbane (1720-1812) and Dame Eleanora Bruce (1741-1823)

Siblings: Mary Brisbane (1754-1855), Michael Brisbane (1775-????)

Spouse: Anna Maria Hay (1786-????) Married 1819

Children: Isabella Brisbane (1820-1849), Eleanor Australia Brisbane (1823-1852), Thomas Australius Brisbane(1824-1849), and Henry Brisbane (1826-1826).

For more information see WikiTree Profile Brisbane-28

Elspat Buchan (Elsbeth or Elizabeth Buchan) (1738-1791) [9]

Born: Banffshire, Scotland

Died: Unknown

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: Liz came to Irvine in 1783 where she claimed to have 'heavenly powers'. She also claimed to be the woman referred to in 'Revelation 12'. Some of her associates formed the fanatical sect called the 'Buchanites'. She and her followers were eventually driven out of Irvine for her unorthodox teachings to roam other areas spreading the word.

No family recorded.

John Boyd Dunlop (1840-1921) Inventor, Veterinary Surgeon [10][11]

Born: Dreghorn, Scotland

Died: Dublin, Ireland

Resting Place: Deans Grange Cemetery, Dublin Ireland

Bio Summary: John Dunlop reinvented the bicycle tire by inserting an air filled tube inside which he patented in 1888. The Dunlop Rubber Company took his name for their company but he was not associated with the company. He lived, worked, and died in Belfast, Ireland.

Parents: John Dunlop (1804-1883) and Agnes Boyd (1808-1872)

Siblings: Hugh Dunlop (1833-1845), Jean Dunlop (1837-1881), Agnes Boyd Dunlop (1838-1922), James Dunlop (1843-????), Margaret Dunlop ( 1844-????), and Margaret Cockburn (1846-????).

Spouse: Margaret Stevenson (1847-????) Married 1871 in Belfast, Ireland

Children: Jane Willis Dunlop (Date Unknown), John Boyd Dunlop II (1877-1920), and Hugh Stevenson Dunlop (1891-????)

For more information see WikiTree Profile Dunlop-97.

Henry Faulds (1843-1930) Doctor and Scientist, (aka 'The Father of Fingerprinting) [12][13]

Born: Beith, North Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Woolstanton, England

Resting Place: Woolstanton England churchyard.

Bio Summary: Henry was the originator of the concept of forensic use of fingerprinting. He communicated to Charles Darwin about fingerprinting for the identification of criminals. His work in Japan is remembered by a memorial stone in Tokyo where he was a surgeon at Tuskiji Hospital.

Parents: William Pollock Faulds (1810-1886), Anne Cameron (1819-XXXX)

Siblings: Archibald james Faulds (1844-XXXX), Archibald james Faulds (1846-XXXX), Edward faulds (1846-XXXX), Robert William Faulds (1847-XXXX), Jane Louisa Faulds (1849-XXXX), Julia faulds (1853-XXXX)

Spouse: Isabella Wilson (XXXX-XXXX) Married 1873

Children: No Record

For more information see WikiTree Profile Faulds-83

John Galt (1779-1839) Author [14][15]

Born: Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Greenock, Scotland

Resting Place: New Burying Ground in Greenock (now called the Inverkip Street Cemetery)

Bio Summary: Known for his novels, poetry, drama, short stories, travel writing.

Parents: Capt. John Galt (1750-1817) and Jane Thompson (1746-1826)

Siblings: Agnew Galt (1781-1855), Thomas galt (1785-1811)

Spouse: Elizabeth Tilloch (1781-1851) Married 1813

Children: John Galt III (1814-????), Thomas Galt (1815-1901), Alexander Tilloch Galt (1817-1893)

For more information, see WikiTree Profile Galt-32

Reverand John Kerr (1824-1907) Physicist [16][17]

Born, Ardrossan, North Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Glasgow, Scotland

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: He discovered the quadratic electro-optic effect, now known as the Kerr effect. Kerr also was an early champion of the metric system in the UK. An ordained minister of the Free Church, Kerr made his career teaching mathematics at the Free Church Training College in Glasgow.

Parents: Thomas Kerr (1780-XXXX), Mary Millar (1794-XXXX)

Siblings: Margaret Kerr (1816-XXXX), Thomas Kerr (1820-1895), Margaret (1821-XXXX), Thomas (1821-XXXX), Lilly Kerr (1822-XXXX), Mary Kerr (1822-XXXX), James Kerr (1836-XXXX).

Spouse: Marion Balfour (1820-1891) Married 1849

Children: John Balfour Kerr (1850-1926), William (1852-1925), Charlotte Kerr (1854-XXXX), Margaret Francis Kerr (1856-XXXX), Mary Ogilvie Kerr (1858-XXXX), George Kerr (1860-1922), Catherine Louisa Kerr (1863-XXXX), Francis meynell Kerr (1865-XXXX).

Daniel Love (1803-XXXX) Plantation Co-Owner [18][19]

Born: West Kilbride, North Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Unknown

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: Daniel was co-owner of the Mount Rich Plantation in Carriacou, Grenadine Islands in the Caribbean with his Uncle Robert Starret. The plantation had about 280 slaves working the mills.

Parents: Daniel Love (XXXX-XXXX) and Janet Starret (XXXX-XXXX) Married 1799

Siblings: Mary Jane Love (XXXX-XXXX)

Spouse: Unknown

Children: Unknown

Elizabeth (Betsy) Miller (1792-1864) (aka 'The Queen of Saltcoats) [20]

Born: Saltcoats, North Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Saltcoats, North Ayrshire, Scotland

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: At around 30 she took up the command of the family brig named 'Clytus' and became the first woman sea captain to be certificated by the Board of Trade. She was 70 when she retired.

Parents: Capt. William Miller (XXXX-XXXX), Mary Garret (XXXX-XXXX) Married 1791

Siblings: Hugh Miller (1793-XXXX), Hannah Miller (179601808), Mary Miller (1795-1801, William (1797-XXXX), Margaret (1799-XXXX), Mary Garret (1801-XXXX), John (1804-1833), Robert Miller (1806-XXXX), Hannah Thomson Miller (1806-XXXX)

Spouse: Never married

Children: None

Richard de Morville Lord of Cunninghame, Constable of Scotland, (1125-1189) [21][22]

Born: Kirkoswald, Cumberland, England

Died: Dryburgh, Berwickshire, Scotland

Resting Place: Unknown

Bio Summary: Founder of the Tironensian abbey (aka Killwinning Abbey) of Kilwinning.

Parents: Hugh de Morville (1106-1162) and Beatrice Beauchamp (1107-1153)

Siblings: Ada Morville (1131-1170), Hugh de Morville (1140-1173), and Maud Morville (1144-????).

Spouse: Avice Lancaster (1120-1192) Married Date Unknown

Children: William de Morville (1142-????), Malcolm de Morville (1146-1174), and Elena de Morville (1166-1217), Maud de Morville (XXXX-XXXX), Ada de Morville (XXXX-XXXX)

For more information see WikiTree Profile Morville-8

Jack (Jackie) Patterson (1920-1966) Boxer [23][24]

Born: Springside, North Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Natal, South Africa

Resting Place: Stellawood Cemetery, Durban.

Bio Summary: Jack became the British 'Flyweight' , and 'Bantammwieght' Boxing Champion as well as the World 'Flyweight' Champion. Born in the village of Springside, in trhe Parish of Dreghorn, just outside Irvine. During WW II he was a Sargeant in the RAF. He died in a bar fight at age 46.

He was one of the first inductees into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame.

Parents: Unknown

Siblings: Unknown

Spouse: Helen ??

Children: Unknown

Robert Tannahill (1774-1810) Poet [25][26]

Born: Paisley, Scotland

Died: Paisley Canal (Suicide by drowning)

Resting Place: Burying ground adjacent to the West Relief Church (now Castlehead Cemetery) on Canal Street in Paisley

Bio Summary: This poet and songwriter was born in Paisley but e was known as the 'Weaver Poet', his music and poetry is contemporaneous with that of Robert Burns and they both died when relatively young.

Parents: James Tannahill (1733-1802) and Janet Pollock (1738-1822)

Siblings: John Tannahill (1758-????), Thomas Tannahill (1766-????), Matthew Tannahill (1776-????), Hugh Tannahill (1780-1799), and Andrew Tannahill (1784-1816)

Spouse: Jean Barclay (1770-XXXX)

Children: Thomas Tannahill (1800-1863), Robert Tannahill (1804-1878)

Sir William Thomson (1824-1907) (aka Lord Kelvin of Largs, 1st Baron Kelvin of Largs), Physicist, Mathematician, Mathematical Physicist and Engineer. [27][28]

Born: Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Died: Largs, North Ayrshire, Scotland

Resting Place: Westminster Abbey

Bio Summary: Absolute temperatures are stated in units of Kelvin in his honour.

Educated at Camebridge as well as the University of Glasgow , and the Royal Belfast Academical Institution.

Parents: James Thomson (1786-1849) and Margaret Gardner (????-1830)

Siblings: James Thomson (1822-1892), Elizabeth Thomson (1819-1896), Anna Thomson (1820-1857), John Thomson (1826-1847), Margaret Thomson (1827-1831), Robert Thomson (1829-1905).

Spouse: (1) Margaret Crum (1827-1870) married 1852; (2) Francis Blandy (1837-1916) Married 1874

Children: Unknown

For more information, see WikiTree Profile Thomson-4558

Rev. John Witherspoon (1723-1794) Minister [29][30]

Born: Beith, North Ayrshire, Scotland

Died: Princeton, New Jersey, USA

Resting Place: Princeton Cemetery, New Jersey, USA

Bio Summary: A signatory of the American Declaration of Independence, the Reverend was a former minister of one its Church of Scotland parishes between 1745–1757. He later emigrated to the U.S. and became a member of the US congress. In July 1776 he voted for the Resolution for Independence. Witherspoon was also the sixth president of Princeton University.

He built "Tusculum," just outside Princeton, and is buried in the Princeton Cemetery. –His direct descendants include actress Reese Witherspoon, an American actress.

He died in Middlesex, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Parents: James Alexander Witherspoon III (1691-1759) and Anne Walker (1696-1787)

Siblings: Margaret Ann Witherspoon (1724-1761), David Witherspoon (1725-1762), Ann Witherspoon (1730-????), James Witherspoon IV (1730-1770), and Lawrence Witherspoon (1742-1779)

Spouse: Elizabeth (1721-1789) Married 1748

Children: Ann Witherspoon (1749-1819), James Witherspoon (1751-1777), Frances Witherspoon (1759-1784), and David Witherspoon (1760-1801)

For more information, see WikiTree Profile Witherspoon-160


Paper milling, glass production, and pharmaceutical companies. Food and drink processing, particularly whisky distilling on the Isle of Arran, also represents a significant economic sector. Tourism (Arran) is also a major reward to this isle.


  1. Love, Dane; Ayrshire - Discovering A County, Fort Publishing, 2003
  2. Visit Scotland; https://www.visitscotland.com
  3. Undiscovered Scotland; https://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/ardrossan
  4. North Ayrshire Council; https://www.north-ayrshire.gov.uk
  5. Ancestery; https://www.ancestry.com
  6. The History of Parliament; https://www.ancestry.com
  7. Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org
  8. Australian Dictionary of Biography; https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography
  9. Scottish Places; https://www.scottish-places.info
  10. Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org
  11. Dictionary of Irish Biography; https://www.dib.ie
  12. Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org
  13. Encyclopedia; https://www.encyclopedia.com
  14. Britannica; https://www.britannica.com
  15. Electric Scotland; https://electricscotland.com
  16. Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org
  17. PraBook; https://prabook.com
  18. Center for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery; https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/person/view/2146637667
  19. Center for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery; https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/person/view/2146640697
  20. Undiscovered Scotland; https://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk
  21. Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org
  22. Family Search; https://ancestors.familysearch.org
  23. Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org
  24. The Herald article May 13, 2019; https://www.heraldscotland.com
  25. Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org
  26. Paisley; https://paisley.is
  27. Historic UK; https://www.historic-uk.com
  28. Scottish Scientist Hall of Fame; https://digital.nls.uk
  29. Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org
  30. US History; https://www.ushistory.org

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St. Andrews Cross
St. Andrews Cross

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