Ayrshire Towns and Parishes

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Note - There is an Ochiltree County in Texas, USA




Atomz - Search website for Ochiltree     Whatuseek - Search whole Website for Ochiltree

Google Map of Ochiltree

Notes on the way through Ayrshire - 100 years ago  


West of New Cumnock and Old Cumnock. The village of Ochiltree stands where Lugar and Burnock Waters are married to each other, four miles west of Old Cumnock.

It appears to have had its origin with Ochiltree Castle, now extinct, whose mains or demesne adjoins the south side of the village. It was the seat of a branch of the Royal Stewarts, who possessed the peerage title of Baron Ochiltree from 1543 till 1675. The most illustrious of the Ochiltree family was Andrew, second Lord Ochiltree, father-in-law of John Knox. As one of the Lords of the Congregation, he took a very active part in the cause of Protestantism; gave his daughter Margaret in marriage to the great Reformer, in 1564; was wounded at the battle of Langside, 1568, and did not recover. The village has the honour of having furnished one of the cleverest of Burns early poetical correspondents - Thomas Walker, a tailor by trade. Ochiltree House is a pleasant seat. 

The hamlet of SINCLAIRSTON, with public school, is about four miles south-west of Ochiltree. On its east side is Belston Loch, whose Celtic name is perpetuated in the seat of Polquhairn - that is, Quhairn Pool. The ruin of Auchincloigh Castle is a mile east. 

All south of this is hilly moorland, indented with the valleys of a number of burns, and rises at Stanuery Knowe to 1191 feet above sea level. All north of these hills, and comprising about two-thirds of the parish, the surface is under tillage farming, and its aspect is pleasantly varied by gentle knolls, little flat meadows, a few plantations, and numerous farm steadings - mostly dairy farms. The cows are high-bred Ayrshires, distinguished by their effeminate shape-heavy hind quarters, large udder, small fore quarters and neck; as also an intelligent, blithe twinkle of the eyes, very peculiar to this, the most highly-civilized breed of cows in the world. Coal and iron are found in the parish, and there are workings of the former on the west border.

Ochiltree included the parish of Stair till about the end of the fifteenth century. 

From the head of Burnock Water, called Black Water in its upper reaches, north to the march with Stair at Roadingloft, the length of the parish is eight and a half miles; and from Watston Burn Bridge, on Cumnock Road, west to the Coyle at Gatefoot, its widest part is five and a half miles. Area, 18,328 acres. Population in 1871, 1656; in 1881, 1493.

Lords Ochiltree (1543)

Andrew Stewart, 1st Lord Ochiltree (b.1505-1548)

Andrew Stewart, 2nd Lord Ochiltree (a.1521-1591)

Andrew Stuart, 1st Baron Castle Stuart, 3rd Lord Ochiltree (a.1560-1629) sold lordship in 1615

Sir James Stewart, 4th Lord Ochiltree (b.1595-a.1658)

William Stewart, 5th Lord Ochiltree (c.1659-1675)


1791-99 and 1845 Statistical Accounts


Map of Ochiltree 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 Ochiltree

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.



Ochiltree Websites


Ochiltree Parish Church -  has a web site with a Cemetery Directory


Ochiltree Books



Ayrshire Books


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







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