AYRSHIRE ROOTS

Ayrshire Towns and Parishes

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  Whiting Bay

 

 

This Bay of Golden waters in the morning sun,

This Bay of moonlit silver when the day is done,

This Bay, where floating clouds, like snowy fleece

Blanket this kindly hearth, our bed of peace.

 

The districts of Whiting Bay are Kings Cross, Sandbraes, Auchencairn, Knockankelly, North, mid and south Kiscadale, Largiemhor, Largiemeanoch and Largiebeg. The district was inhabited in pre-historic times - evidence of this includes the Giants' Graves on the route up to the Ashdale Falls. Evidence of Viking settlement can be found at Kings Cross where there is the remains of a Viking Fort and a burial mound. A notable visitor in the 14th century was Robert the Bruce who left from Kings Cross for Ayrshire across the Firth of Clyde.

There was a corn mill in Glen Ashdale at one time. Fishing boats and small boats were built at Largiebeg Point. Smuggling and running illicit stills were profitable sidelines for many.

There was little contact with the mainland in early days, then slowly some trading was done by wherry or rowing boat from Ayrshire, and later there was an irregular packet service. Smacks were owned by local men and brought their cargoes into the mouths of the burns to be loaded into carts. Travelling bodies came around selling goods from baskets, and there were also little shops at Largiemhor, Pleasantfield, Morven, and others. In about 1770 a fairly regular service started from Saltcoats, then a steamer service from Glasgow in 1829, to be followed by one from Ardrossan on completion of the railway in 1860. There were no piers, so passengers and freight were landed by small boats at the ferry landing at Kings Cross and at the jetty at Whiting Bay. The pier was built in 1901, but for many years the call at Kings Cross continued. The pier was eventually dismantled in 1964. There were exciting times when the Glasgow and South Western Railway and the Caledonia Steam Packet Company both had railway lines to Ardrossan and their own steamers racing for the piers. Whiting Bay even had a boat of its own.

Whiting Bay had a chapel of Ease and burial ground in Glen Ashdale, under the Parish Church in Lamlash. The Established Church, latterly the Arran Gallery, was built about 1873, but it was 1908 before it became a parish in its own right. After the Disruption in 1843, the Free Church of Scotland was built at Strathwhillan, Brodick, serving the congregation from Corrie to Whiting Bay. Then in 1874 Whiting Bay Free Church was built. The split, in 1900, when the United Free Church was formed it was ruled that the Free Church congregation should retain it. The United Free congregation erected a wooden building just south of the old church, and worshiped there until the completion of the Stewart Memorial in 1910. The Established and U.F. congregations joined in 1929, retaining Stewart Memorial.

 

View towards Holy Isle      
  Viking Fort - Kings Cross War Memorial  

 

 

 

   

 

 

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