AYRSHIRE ROOTS

Ayrshire Towns and Parishes

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Kildonan

The name Kildonan is derived from the 6th century disciple St. Donan who came to Arran with St. Columba.

Note: The Parish of Kildonan is in Sutherland and not in Arran.

 

 

View of Pladda and Ailsa Craig Kildonan Old Kirk Kildonan War Memorial
Kildonan Hotel View from Kildonan Hotel Kildonan Castle Drimla Lodge

St Donan is said to be buried beside the mill wheel on Kildonan farm and there is also the foundation of a chapel there. Kildonan Castle which is now a ruin was built at the time of the Edwards and was a four-storied keep. It was a royal residence until 1405. About this time it was bestowed by King Robert on John Stewart of Ardgowan and eventually in the 17th century it came into the hands of the Hamilton family.

The village was originally small clachans dotted around the district. The majority of the villagers were engaged in farming and this was of the run-rig system, each farm supporting about 10 families.

The village hall was built during the First World War as a Reading Room. Built by public funds and extended years later as it is today.

The Kildonan Hotel is reputed to be one of the oldest hotels on the island being in existence in 1800. Breadalbane Hotel catered for holidaymakers and most of the farms gave board residence to summer visitors. Horse-drawn brakes were kept at Drumla Farm and Kildonan Hotel. These journeyed into Whiting Bay to stand at the pier head as the steamers arrived and there was fierce competition between drivers to obtain customers.

Yellow Port was a busy corner of the village and up to as recently as 1946 smacks and puffers came into the port with supplies for the village. Drimla Lodge a large red-brick house in the centre of the village, was built to South American design in 1901 and all the materials were brought into Yellow Port by the smacks. The smacks with such names as The Betsy Crawford, The Fairy Dell, The Duchess and the Princess Mayse.

 

 

   

 

 

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