Notes on the way
through Ayrshire - 100 years
West of Stair.
The village of Coylton lies in the "bonny glen"
of "brawling Coyle," six miles east of Ayr. It includes Coylton and Kew Coylton, fully a
quarter of a mile apart, and has a post office, a public school, a
towered Established Church, and blacksmith’s, joiner’s, grocer’s,
and tailor’s shops.
The village of
JOPPA stands on the Ayr and Cumnock Wallace,
at the time he was commencing the war of national independance, lived in
it with his servant boy, without a house.
The coal seams underlying
the north end of the parish are:-Upper coal, 2 feet 4 inches in thickness;
Crawford-stone coal, 3 feet; soft coal, 4 feet; diamond coal, 2 feet 8
inches; hard coal, 3 feet. In the north half of the parish, reaching from the
Ayr south-east to the foot of the Craigs of Kyle, about four
miles, much of the surface is level and well farmed.
The Craigs of Kyle,
a league from Joppa, rise by gentle acclivities to a height of 799
feet above sea level. Here we obtain splendid views, and are at the same
time haunted with the song
"Coming through the
Craigs o’ Kyle, Amang the bonny blooming heather."
From two to three miles
north-west of here are three lochs - the largest being Martnaham,
one-half of which is in the parish. The farm of Barnhill, a mile
south-east of the Craigs, is partly arable. South of it, to the march with
Dalmellington, three miles, is hill pasture, except a small bit at
the seat of Rankinston, where Hawford Burn joins the
Coyle, and where there are some plantations.
The moorland mining
RANKINSTON has a Burns’
" Soldier’s Return."
" I thought upon
the banks o’ Coyle, I thought upon my Nancy."
"From the hills
where springs the brawling Coyle,"
north to the Ayr at Auchincruive,
the length of the parish is nine and a half miles; and from Springs,
half a mile from Stair Bridge, westward to a little brook that
joins the Ayr below Gateside, its widest part is four miles.
Area, 11,584 acres. Population in 1871, 1140; in 1881, 3100.