Ayrshire Towns and Parishes

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Home New Views Maybole 1837 1841 Census 1 1841/51/61 Census Maybole 1846 Castle in the High St



The picture was taken by David Kiltie and copyright of the Maybole Community Website.

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Google Map of Maybole

Maybole was the historic capital of Carrick and has been a Burgh of Barony since 1516


Notes on the way through Ayrshire - 100 years ago 


THE ancient southern division of Ayrshire, gave the title of Earl to Robert Bruce of Turnberry Castle, in this district, who became King of Scotland; and the present Earl of Carrick is his descendant, the Prince of Wales.     It comprises nine parishes.



South-west of Ayr. The town of Maybole, the old capital of Carrick, is situated toward the south end of the parish, at the junction of eight or ten roads that diverge in all directions like the spokes of a wheel, on a pleasant country side having a south-east exposure, two miles north-west of Girvan Water, three and a half miles east of the sea shore, and eight and a half miles south-by-west of Ayr. It presents an oblong form, south-west, containing a compact old centre body of rather narrow streets, firmly built, and, though partly reconstructed, having a general aspect of rich antiquity, and outspreading modern parts. It has a large number of shops; a post office, with telegraph, money order, insurance, annuity, and savings bank departments; Commercial, Royal, and Union Ranks; three public schools, two Established Churches, a Free Church, a United Presbyterian Church, Episcopalian and Roman Catholic places of worship, a poorhouse, a railway station, and extensive manufactories of boots and shoes, leather, and agricultural implements. Population in 1871, 3797; in 1881, 4474.

In the olden time, it is said that there stood within its precincts " no fewer than 28 baronial mansions, stately, turreted, and strong," whose lofty interior walls glittered with swords and spears and battle-axes. They were the winter residences of the chivalrous chiefs of Carrick, who carried on a perpetual warfare with themselves and their neighbours in Kyle. Only one of the more recent of these, erected in 1650 as a residence of the Earls of Cassillis, now remains; and even the ruins of most of the others have disappeared, having been utilized in the building of ordinary dwellings. The ruins of a Collegiate Church, founded by Sir John Kennedy in 1371, are still preserved. Walter Kennedy, early Scotch poet, a descendant of the founder, is understood to have been the Dunbars of New Cumnock Castle - mentions him feelingly in his " Lament for the Makkars." Walter Kennedy died about 1508.

The village of MINISHANT is on the new Ayr Road, three and a half miles north of the town, near the river Doon. It has a public school, a post office, a smithy, a joiner’s shop, a woollen factory, and Cassillis Railway Station less than a mile off. Auchendrane Castle, re-built, stands near it. 

The hamlet and smithy of CULROY BRIDGE, the seats of Grange House, Otterden House, and the old castle of Sauchrie are up a beautiful bosky burn to the west of it. Two miles farther down the Doon, opposite Burns’ Monument, stand the renovated old castle of Newark - where Queen Mary is said to have slept on the night after the battle of Langside - Doonside House, Carrick House, and a new church. On the sea shore, a little to the west, is the ruin of Greenan Castle. Returning to

The hamlet of FISHERTON, a mile farther south-west, three furlongs from the beach, has a public school and an Established Church (forming a quoad sacra parish), with a population of 609. Fully a mile inland we are on the summit of Brown Carrick Hill, 940 feet above the sea. It is the best view-point of Ayrshire. The next best are Knockgeorgian Hill, Ardrossan, and Blacksidend Hill, Sorn. Descending west, we pass the ruins of Dunduff Castle and old Kirkbride, and arrive at the fishing village of DUNURE, with its little harbour, constructed in 1841; also the ruins of Dunure Castle, the original seat of the great family of Kennedy, whose rise to Earl of Cassillis and Marquis of Ailsa has formed a feature of Scottish history. Prior to the Reformation, the Kennedys were strong benefactors of the Church. James Kennedy, born at Dunure, 1405, became Bishop of Dunkeld, 1438; Bishop of St. Andrews, 1440; Lord High Chancellor of Scotland, 1444; conducted the education of James III.; founded and liberally endowed St. Salvator’s College, St. Andrews. Gilbert Kennedy, third Earl of Cassillis, Lord of Session, born 1515, was educated at St. Andrews, where, at the age of 12 years, he was forced along with others to sign sentence of death on Patrick Hamilton. In manhood he warmly embraced the Protestant faith, and was an enthusiastic supporter of George Wishart, the martyr, on his preaching tour through Ayrshire. Gilbert, fourth Earl, born 1520, though he took the behalf of Queen Mary at the battle of Langside, does not appear to have done so in support of her religion. The cruel system, then practised by the Roman priesthood, of torturing people on their deathbed with the terrors of hell-fire till they signed grants of land to the Church, would seem to have enlarged the acres of Crossraguel Abbey, near Maybole, at the expense of Dunure estate; for, in September, 1570, the Earl got a hold of Alan Stewart, head of the Abbey, and here, in Dunure Castle, practically turned the scales by fixing him uncomfortably near an infernal big fire, which he kept poking and poking, and kept him there roasting until he complied to sign certain charters of Abbey lands to his satisfaction. Proceeding south, past the farmhouse of Drumshang, the road leaves the shore - as does also the boundary of the parish-and goes south-eastward to Maybole. Fully a mile south of the town stands the renovated ancient castle of Kilkenzie

The parish has rather a round shape north of the town, formed by the Brown Carrick range of pastoral hill, with a cultivated base all round, studded with farmers’ houses, which is flattest and broadest on the south-east. A narrow piece, extending south of the town, is partly arable and partly hilly. A very small point of the parish projects along the sea sands about six furlongs north of the Doon. From there, south to half-a mile beyond Craigfin, its length is nine and a half miles; and from Dunure Point, east to the Doon at Paterson, its widest part is six miles. Area, 21,993 acres. Population in 1871, 5900; in 1881, 6628.


1791-99 and 1845 Statistical Accounts


The Castle in the High Street

By Joan Biggar Article first published in "The Scots Magazine"


Kyle and Carrick 400 years ago

It is not easy to bring up a mind picture of everyday life a hundred years ago, and the further away "back we go the task becomes the more difficult. In a hot July day you way talk of winter with its lowering skies and its crisp breezes and its cold snow drifts, but you cannot, even in the wildest stretch of imagination, fancy the sensation of a frosty morning. You know quite well what the frosty morning is like, but under the sultry suns of midsummer it is as intangible as a dream of the night.


1691 Hearth Tax for Maybole

The complete Roll carried out for the collection of this tax.


StreetMap of Maybole

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.


Map of Maybole 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.


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.


  Ordnance Survey Town Plan of Maybole 1856-7

Zoom in on Old Maybole streets.




Maybole Web Sites


Maybole Home Page

We begin this exciting new millennium with a warm welcome to all and an invitation to visit our town. Join with us in our year 2000 celebrations, if not in person at least on this site. Maybole currently has a population of under 5,000 citizens but through the Internet I have the notion that, at least in their hearts, that number could grow.


Our Family Lines

Old photos of Girvan and Maybole families, WWI postcards of Maybole and Hamilton, Ontario. ROBB, ROWAN, MCCALL, MCGHIE and KENNEDY are some of the names included in the database.



One of the finest tower-houses in Scotland. Perhaps with origins in Spain.



Maybole Books


Maybole: Carrick's Capital
James T. Gray

To Order or More Information


Maybole Maps


Pathfinder Map 0491 (NS20/30): Maybole (South) & Dailly
Ordnance Survey

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Maybole Street Map

To Order or More Information

Ayrshire Books

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






and .co.uk


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