Ayrshire Towns and Parishes

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Note there is also a Dunlop in South Lanarkshire





Atomz - Search whole website for Dunlop   Whatuseek - Search website for Dunlop

Google Map of Dunlop


Notes on the way through Ayrshire - 100 years ago  


North-east of Stewarton. The village of Dunlop, seven and a half miles north of Kilmarnock, and 16 miles by rail from Glasgow, has a post office, a railway station, a Clydesdale Bank, Established and Free Churches, a

In the Churchyard is the tomb of Barbara Gilmour, inventor of Dunlop cheese. She was a pious young woman - a devout Covenanter; and, hearing of the martyrdom of Margaret Wilson and her sister, of like mind, on Wigtown Sands, and being determined not to renounce the Covenant, she fled, like many others, from her home in Ayrshire to Ireland, and found employment in the county of Down, where she acquired a knowledge of the Irish process of cheese making. The persecution of females having abated after the horrible event of Wigtown Sands, Miss Gilmour returned to her home in Dunlop, and became a farmerís wife. Being her own mistress here, she at once began experimenting; and, by combining the best principles in the Scotch and Irish principles, originated the Dunlop cheese - more excellent than any previously known in either of the two countries, or in any other country. The Dunlop cheese is soft and tasteless when turned out of the chesset or mould, and requires from six to twelve months to mature; and, to acquire the light, elegant, charming flavour and fragrance peculiar to the best Dunlop, and completely superior to any Cheddar or other make, it must be kept in a thoroughly dry place, and be frequently turned upside-down, as it undergoes a slight fermentation which heaves it a little on the top. In this long maturing stage it loses very considerably in weight, which makes dealers impatient to get it off their hands; and it is usually retailed before it is ripe, and at an inferior price. New Cheddar cheese, being dry and hard, retains its weight while kept in stock, and is also in the condition at an earlier date to be exhibited in cuts. It is therefore the safer investment for both the wholesale and retail dealer. As there is a greater weight of new Dunlop than of new Cheddar from a given quantity of milk, it is necessary and reasonable that the prime cost of the latter should he highest. The high value which is justly set on the Barbara Gilmour cheese for the purpose of roasting is very much confined to Ayrshire, where a farl of oat cake or supple scone spread with roasted cheese, and a bowl of milk, or whey, or tea, or cold water, make a highly relished and substantial meal, precluding in many families the use of bacon for breakfast. With the vast population of England cheese is only nibbled raw with loaf bread, usually spread with mustard, and accompanied with the inevitable pot of beer. For this purpose the dry Cheddar and dry and salt American cheese are the favourites. The very dryness and saltness heighten thirst, and therefore the relish of the beer. A certain degree of acidity in the Dunlop cheese allays thirst, as well as hunger. This brings to mind a rare snatch of Scottish history, left us by Dion Cassius, the Roman historian, who wrote about the year 230 A.D. Speaking of the Lowland Scotch, whom he calls Maoetoe, he says--" They live by grazing and hunting, and on roots and berries and the bark of trees"-he has doubtless mistaken thin scones and curled oatcakes for bark--" and they prepare for all emergencies a certain kind of food, of which, if they eat only so much as the size of a bean, they neither hunger nor thirst." What was this "certain kind of food," which had evidently never before been heard of throughout the Roman Empire, from Newcastle-on-Tyne to Jerusalem ? Cheese - old Ayrshire cheese - is our only preparation of food of which, if

Dunlop House, one mile and a half east of the village, is a mansion possessing unusual interest as having been visited several times by Burns when it was the residence of Mrs. Dunlop, his steadfast friend and correspondent. 

The ruins of Aiket Castle and corn mill are quite a mile south-west, down Glazert Burn.

The parish is six and a half miles long, north-east, and fully two miles broad, and comprises 7179 acres, 1101 of which are in Renfrewshire. Population in 1871, 1160; in 1881, 1361.



1791-99 and 1845 Statistical Accounts


1837 Pigot's Directory of Dunlop


Map of Dunlop today

This Link takes you to the MULTIMAP website where you will find a map of the town and the surrounding area as it is today. You can zoom in and out and move around in all directions.


StreetMap of Dunlop

This Link takes you to the STREET website where you will find a street map of the town as it is today. You can zoom in and out and move around in all directions.


Old Maps of Ayrshire Place Names

This link goes directly to the OLD MAPS website for an Ayrshire Index to detailed old maps of most Ayrshire Towns around 1860. You can explore out to all sides by using the arrows at the top of the page. These maps are ideal for finding the locations of areas such as farms.



Dunlop in noted for the cheese named after the town. It is a moist Scottish cheese, traditionally made from the rich milk of Ayrshire cows. It is similar to English Cheddar, but with a softer texture and usually a milder flavour. The cheese was first developed at The Hill, near Dunlop, around 1700 by Barbara Gilmour. The comparative hardness of the matured Dunlop cheese was more successful in commercial markets than the traditional soft cheeses....>




Dunlop Web Sites



Home Page of the Dunlop/Dunlap Family, descended from the celts who named Dunlop Hill (Fortress at the bending, or muddy hill) where Romans, Angles, Brits, Vikings, and Gaels fought with indigenous Celts on this distinct landmark hill in east Ayrshire, where the village of Dunlop has existed..........


Dunlop Books


Ayrshire Books


Help needed to source old pictures, postcards or photographs, interesting articles or the history of Dunlop. If you would like to help please contact email address below






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