AYRSHIRE ROOTS

Ayrshire Towns and Parishes

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Historical Stevenston

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS)

Notes collected from a site search for Items under “Stevenston Parish”     http://www.rcahms.gov.uk 

 

Hawkhill Farm -  Clyde Anti-Aircract Defences  

NMRS Number: NS24SE 50 Location 

Map reference: NS 2788 4271 Parish: Stevenston

Notes

NS24SE 50 Centred 2788 4271

Hawkhill heavy anti-aircraft battery was situated in a field immediately to the E of Hawkhill farm. The four gun-emplacements were approximately 150m NE of the farm buildings and the accommodation camp was immediately to the E of the farm track from the main A738 public road. The battery was provided with a GL mat (false radar horizon), which was located S of the emplacements. The battery is visible in a RAF oblique taken in 1941. (RAF PRU, 3628, flown 1941).
Information from RCAHMS (DE), September 1997

This was World War II heavy anti-aircraft battery was situated on the E side of Stevenston and the N side of the A783 near the roundabout joining the A78 (T). On the date of visit nothing was found of the gun-emplacements and associated buildings.
The code for this battery was IC1 as part of Irvine Gun Defended Area (GDA). It was armed in 1942 with 4 x 3.7-inch guns.

J Guy 2001; NMRS MS 810/11, Vol.1, 65-6  

References


Redfern, N I (1998 )
Twentieth century fortifications in the United Kingdom,
5 V. V.1 Introduction and sources; V.2 Site gazetteers: Wales; V.3 Site gazetteers: Northern Ireland; V.4 & 5 Site gazetteers: Scotland, York, 8, 

 

Ardeer - Clyde Anti-Aircraft Defences

 NMRS Number: NS24SE 51

Location Map reference: NS 2718 4033 Parish: Stevenston

Notes

NS24SE 51 Centred 2718 4033

A four gun-emplacement battery is depicted on the OS 1:10000 map (1979) on a small peninsula to the S of Stevenston and W of the Ardeer works.
Information from RCAHMS (DE) September 1997

NS 2714 4033. This World War II heavy anti-aircraft battery was situated near the shore S of Stevenston. On the date of visit nothing could be found of the battery.
J Guy 2001; NMRS MS 810/11, Part 1, 63-4

 

Kerelaw - Quarry
   NMRS Number: NS24SE 57

Location Map reference: NS 2674 4311 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 57 2674 4311

Site recorded during an archaeological evaluation, comprising a desk-based assessment and field inspection conducted in October-November 1994 along the proposed corridor of the A78 Ardrossan Bypass.
NS 2674 4311 Disused quarry.
A report will be deposited with the NMRS.
Sponsor: Roads Directorate of The Scottish Office Industry Department, managed on its behalf by Historic Scotland.
J E Hamilton 1995.  

References


Hamilton, J (1995 d)
'A78 Ardrossan Bypass: Archaeological Evaluation (Ardrossan and Stevenson parishes), linear survey',
Discovery and Excavation, Scotland, 1995, 72,

 

Fellie Hill - Quarry
 NMRS Number: NS24SE 59

Location Map reference: NS 2685 4323  Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 59 2685 4323

Site recorded during an archaeological evaluation, comprising a desk-based assessment and field inspection conducted in October-November 1994 along the proposed corridor of the A78 Ardrossan Bypass.
NS 2685 4323 Disused quarry.
A report will be deposited with the NMRS.
Sponsor: Roads Directorate of The Scottish Office Industry Department, managed on its behalf by Historic Scotland.
J E Hamilton 1995.  

References


Hamilton, J (1995 d)
'A78 Ardrossan Bypass: Archaeological Evaluation (Ardrossan and Stevenson parishes), linear survey',
Discovery and Excavation, Scotland, 1995, 72, 

 

Kerelaw, Quarry And Kiln
   NMRS Number: NS24SE 60

 

Location Map reference: NS 2696 4306 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 60 2696 4306 and 2706 4309

Site recorded during an archaeological evaluation, comprising a desk-based assessment and field inspection conducted in October-November 1994 along the proposed corridor of the A78 Ardrossan Bypass.
NS 2696 4306 Disused quarry.
NS 2706 4309 Lime kiln.
A report will be deposited with the NMRS.
Sponsor: Roads Directorate of The Scottish Office Industry Department, managed on its behalf by Historic Scotland.
J
E Hamilton 1995.

References


Hamilton, J (1995 d)
'A78 Ardrossan Bypass: Archaeological Evaluation (Ardrossan and Stevenson parishes), linear survey',
Discovery and Excavation, Scotland, 1995, 72, 

 

Hullerhirst, Limeworks
   NMRS Number: NS24SE 63

Location Map reference: NS 2763 4303 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 63 2763 4303

Site recorded during an archaeological evaluation, comprising a desk-based assessment and field inspection conducted in October-November 1994 along the proposed corridor of the A78 Ardrossan Bypass.
NS 2763 4303 Limeworks; two limekilns.
A report will be deposited with the NMRS.
Sponsor: Roads Directorate of The Scottish Office Industry Department, managed on its behalf by Historic Scotland.
J
E Hamilton 1995.

References


Hamilton, J (1995 d)
'A78 Ardrossan Bypass: Archaeological Evaluation (Ardrossan and Stevenson parishes), linear survey',
Discovery and Excavation, Scotland, 1995, 72,

 

Ardeer - Survey
   NMRS Number: NS33NW 61

 

Location Map reference: NS 303 385 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS33NW 61 centred 303 385

NS 303 385 (centre) A field survey was undertaken of the tip of the Ardeer peninsula outside the limits of the Nobel/ICI explosives factory at the confluence of the River Garnock and River Irvine in advance of a proposed development. This area of 9ha is located in an area of natural estuarine deposits and sand dunes that have been artificially enclosed and infilled with dredge material. A number of groynes present along the shores of both rivers, and the topography of the site, suggests that earlier dredge deposition has taken place, but this is now largely obscured by the late 19th/early 20th-century dredging and land reclamation deposits.
The NE part of the site is dominated by an artificial lagoon with a sluice gate that allowed water to flood the southern part of the site which consists of mud flats and partially submerged dunes. The NW part of the site contains remains associated with the 'Harbourmaster's House' shown on the 1st edition OS map. It appears this building was demolished with explosives. These features are of late 19th/early 20th-century date.
An archaeological watching brief was carried out in October 1998 at the Big Idea development site. Dredge deposits of laminated sands with frequent iron pan lenses were present across the site up to a maximum depth of 2m. The main dredge deposit of black waterlogged and completely saturated laminated silty sand with moderate inclusions of organic matter was on average 1.2m deep.
The sluice gates associated with controlling the water flow from the main lagoon to an ancillary lagoon and part of the main lagoon?s retaining bank has been removed by the development works. No artefacts were recovered.
Sponsors: Building Design Partnership, Nobel Exhibition Trust.
F Baker 1998

References


Baker, F (1998 d)
'Ardeer (Stevenston parish), dredging works',
Discovery and Excavation, Scotland, 1998, 68, 

 

Stevenston Canal
   NMRS Number: NS24SE 85.00

Location Map reference: NS 2539 4130 Parish: Stevenston

Notes

NS24SE 85.00 From c. 2508 4127 to c. 2684 4137.

Coal mined in Stevenston parish for export to
Ireland had to be carried by land from the start of operations, prior to 1700, until Robert Reid Cunningham, on inheriting the estate in 1770, decided to construct a canal to reduce the cost of carriage. The canal, which had no locks, was built in 1772 and ran for two and a quarter miles from the mines to a location situated within six hundred yards of the harbour at Saltcoats. By 19 September 1772 the waterway was completed and in use. Its minimum depth was four feet and minimum width at the bottom was twelve feet. Due to the fact that the ground was irregular it was very wide and deep in some places. Side branches were built to serve pits as they became operational along the route. Underground subsidiaries were constructed in 1778, but the canal fell into disuse and was abandoned c. 1830.
J Lindsay 1968.

The canal, which had been abandoned before the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Ayrshire 1860, sheet xvi) was surveyed in 1856, is not marked but a possible line, with coal pits shown on either side, can be traced between NS 2508 4127 and NS 2684 4137, where there is a sluice marked (NS24SE 85.02). Near the W end of this line, which heads E towards the pits at Stevenston, Canal Bank is shown (c. NS 2528 4138) and there is a Canal Cottage (NS24SE 85.01).
Information from RCAHMS (MD)
26 June 2002.  

References


Lindsay, J (1968 )
The canals of
Scotland,
Newton Abbot, 181-2, 212-3,

 

Stevenston Canal, Canal Cottage, Saltcoats
   NMRS Number: NS24SE 85.01

 

Location Map reference: NS 2538 4129 Parish: Stevenston


Notes

NS24SE 85.01 2538 4129.

This cottage, just E of Saltcoats, is clearly marked on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Ayrshire 1860, sheet xvi). It lies on the possible line of the canal as it headed E towards the collieries at Stevenston. The canal had been abandoned before this map was surveyed in 1856.
Information from RCAHMS (MD) 26 June 2002.  

References

There are no bibliographic references associated with this record. 

 

Stevenston Canal, Stevenston Sluice
   NMRS Number: NS24SE 85.02

 

Location Map reference: NS 2684 4137 Parish: Stevenston
Notes

NS24SE 85.02 2684 4137.

This sluice, which is clearly marked on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Ayrshire 1860, sheet xvi), lies close to the Stevenston coal pits, at the E end of the possible line of the canal. The canal had been abandoned before this map was surveyed in 1856.
Information from RCAHMS (MD) 26 June 2002.  

References

There are no bibliographic references associated with this record. 

 

Todhill Farm – Site of Crannog

NMRS Number: NS24SE 10

Location Map reference: NS 2930 4210 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 10 2930 4210.

(NS 2938 4209) Crannog (NR) (Site of)
OS 6" map (1908)

The remains of a crannog were discovered when the foundation pits were being dug for the railway bridge over the Penny Burn. Several of the mortised oak beams were taken out, and some are still preserved. They have been roughly dressed, the largest being 11 inches square, with mortise-holes, and the smallest one is 4 inches square, with mortise-holes.
J Smith 1895

NS 2930 4210. Siting determined from information in Smith. A disused railway line crosses the site of this crannog.
Visited by OS (JLD) 13 September 1956

No further information.
Visited by OS (JRL) 8 September 1982  

References


Smith, J (1895 )
Prehistoric man in Ayrshire,
London, 47, 

 

Stevenston, Woodhead Plantation – Site of Piperhaugh Village

   NMRS Number: NS24SE 12

 

Location Map reference: NS 2742 4201 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 12 2742 4201.

(NS 2742 4201) Site of the Village of Piperhaugh (NAT)
OS 6" map (1856)

The site of the village of Piperhaugh is supposed to have been on the North East end or side of Woodhead Plantation embracing a part of the latter, and extending eastwards to the crossroads.
Name Book 1856

There was a small village of some antiquity called Piper Heugh, of which there are still some remains in the wood at Ardeer. Mentioned in 1627, it was a colony of "trump-makers" (i.e. makers of Jews' harps and pipes).
NSA 1845 (D Landsborough)

No traces of this village now exist in this area, which comprises a pasture field of three levels or broad plateaus and a wood on the west which bears evidence of quarrying activities.
Visited by OS (JLD) 11 September 1956

No evidence of village site seen on air photographs (540/802: 3308-9). Information from OS Recorder (EJR) 14 February 1957.

This area is now developed. From the report of NSA, it would seem likely that this was an artisan encampment (gypsies/tinkers?) rather than a village of permanent dwellings.
Visited by OS (JRL) 8 September 1982  

References


NSA (1845 )
The new statistical account of Scotland by the ministers of the respective parishes under the superintendence of a committee of the society for the benefit of the sons and daughters of the clergy,
15v, Edinburgh, Vol.5 (Ayr), 453,

Name Book (County) ( )
Original Name Books of the Ordnance Survey
Book No.57, 57, 

 

Hullerhirst, Little Hill – Mound – East Castle Hill

   NMRS Number: NS24SE 13

 

Location Map reference: NS 2837 4312 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 13 2837 4312.

A small mound, 8 paces in diameter and 2ft high, stands on East Castle Hill, near Hullerhirst. (It can be deduced from the ONB that Smith is referring to Little Hill: NS 283 431).
J Smith 1895; Name Book 1856

NS 2837 4312. On Little Hill is a slight mound corresponding to the dimensions given by Smith, but which appears to be a spoil heap from some surface quarrying which seems to have been carried out on the hill. Not an antiquity.
Visited by OS (JLD) 13 September 1956

As stated by OS (JLD), this slight mound, which measures approximately 8 by 6m, has no appearance of antiquity. Little Hill is a prominent, level-topped knoll suitable for a defensive work. A series of narrow angular trenches (noticeably not recorded by Smith) occurring near the perimeter of the top are, according to the farmer at Castlehill, the result of First World War military activity.
Visited by OS (JRL) 28 September 1982  

References


Name Book (County) ( )
Original Name Books of the Ordnance Survey
Book No.57, 17, 20,

Smith, J (1895 )
Prehistoric man in Ayrshire,
London, 29, 

 

Castle Hill – Possible Castle – Fort

   NMRS Number: NS24SE 14

 

Location Map reference: NS 282 431 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 14 282 431.

Part of a foundation can be seen on Castle Hill (NS 282 431), this may indicate the site of a castle.
J Smith 1895

Traces of very early fortification are visible on Castle Hill, though it is doubtful if this was anything other than a beacon site.
A Millar 1885

Though Paterson states that a castle or fort is supposed to have stood on Castle Hill, there are no remains to be seen and the oldest local inhabitants have never heard of any buildings in this vicinity.
Name Book 1856; J Paterson 1842

There are no indications of any fortifications or foundations on Castle Hill, and the occupiers of Castlehill farm have no knowledge of such having ever existed.
Visited by OS (JLD) 13 September 1956

NS 283 432. Motte, Castlehill.
E Talbot 1974

No further information. The basis for Talbot's classification is unclear.
Visited by OS (JRL) 30 September 1982 

 

Ardeer, Ducat Hall

  NMRS Number: NS24SE 15

 

Location Map reference: NS 270 419 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 15 270 419.

The site of the old house of Ducat Hall is near the present Ardeer House (NS 270 419).
Millar 1885

Dowe-Catt-Hall, the residence of George Campbell, is called "a pretty dwelling" by Pont. Dobie adds that the
Campbells residence was at Dowcathall, which stood on the rising ground or bank, near the present Ardeer House. No trace of it remains.
J Dobie 1876

No trace was seen of Dowcathall during field investigation. The present Ardeer House now serves as a Recreation Centre.
Visited by OS (JLD) 11 September 1956

No further siting information was obtained. Armstrong's map (1775) does not show this name, or similar. (The later Ardeer House was entirely demolished about 1967: see NS24SE 22).
Visited by OS (JRL) 1 October 1982  

References


Armstrong, Captain and son (1775 )
A New Map of Ayrshire, Comprehending Kyle, Cunninghame, and Carrick,


Dobie, J S (ed.) (1876 )
Cuninghame, topographized by Timothy Pont, A M, 1604-1608: with continuations and illustrative notices by the late James Dobie of Crummock, FSA Scot.,
Glasgow, 54,

Millar, A H (1885 a)
The castles and mansions of Ayrshire illustrated in seventy views with historical and descriptive accounts,
Edinburgh,

 

Stevenston Pun Brae – Cist

NMRS Number: NS24SE 16

 

Location Map reference: NS 2660 4204 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 16 2660 4204.

(NS 2660 4204) Bronze Age Cist found AD 1895 (NAT)
OS 25" map (1969)

A cist, measuring 3ft 8ins by 1ft 8ins deep was found on
3rd July 1895 when foundations were being dug at Pun Brae. It contained a food vessel and a stone 'club' which are now in the North Ayrshire Museum, Saltcoats along with two other 'clubs' which were apparently found near the cist.
J Smith 1895; A Morrison 1971; D D A Simpson 1965

The find-spot was pointed out by Mr T Banks (Torwood High Road, Stevenston), schoolmaster and local historian. The Pun is now an extinct name, and the area completely altered.
Visited by OS (JLD) 14 September 1956

Although the given provenance of this cist is almost certainly correct, it should be noted that Smith's original location appears to be based on assumption from the name 'Pun Brae', and that he did not have direct knowledge of this find. The Ordnance Survey Name Book (ONB 1856) does not record the name 'Pun Brae', but does list 'Pan Brae' as being a street in the harbour area of Saltcoats (NS 247 410), some 1 1/2 kms from the credited provenance.
Visited by OS (JRL) 7 October 1982  

References


Morrison, A (1971 a)
'Cist burials and food vessels- some recent discoveries and rediscoveries in Western Scotland',
Glasgow Archaeol J, 2, 1971, 12-16,

Morrison, A (1978 )
The Bronze Age in Ayrshire,
[Ayr], 143,

Name Book (County) ( )
Original Name Books of the Ordnance Survey
Book No.57, 25,

Simpson, D D A (1965 a)
'Food vessels in South-West Scotland',
Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc, 3rd Ser, 42, 1964-5, 38, no.5,

Smith, J (1895 )
Prehistoric man in Ayrshire,
London, 55,

 

Stevenston Parish Church – St Monk’s Church – High Kirk

 NMRS Number: NS24SE 18

 

Location Map reference: NS 266 421 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 18 266 421.

(NS 2660 4215) Church (NAT) on site of St Monk's Church (NR)
OS 6" map (1856)

Stevenston parish church was dedicated to St Monach (H Scott 1920) also called St Monk (NSA 1845; J Dobie 1876). According to
Paterson, the church, extant in 1547, was rebuilt about 1670, and an aisle added about 1744. The present church, built in 1833, occupies the site of the earlier building.
J Paterson 1852

No old building fabric was seen about the present church and enquiries at the manse produced no further information.
Visited by OS (JLD) 11 September 1956

Nothing further to report of OS (JLD). The churchyard contains headstones which pre-date the present church.
Visited by OS (JRL) 30 September 1982  

References


Dobie, J S (ed.) (1876 )
Cuninghame, topographized by Timothy Pont, A M, 1604-1608: with continuations and illustrative notices by the late James Dobie of Crummock, FSA Scot.,
Glasgow, 130,

NSA (1845 )
The new statistical account of Scotland by the ministers of the respective parishes under the superintendence of a committee of the society for the benefit of the sons and daughters of the clergy,
15v, Edinburgh, Vol.5 (Ayr), 468,

Paterson, J (1847 )
History of the county of Ayr,
Vol.2, 445,

Scott, H et al (eds.) (1915-61 )
Fasti ecclesiae Scoticanae: the succession of ministers in the Church of Scotland from the Reformation,
Edinburgh, Vol.3, 122, Rev.

 

Fairlie Bog Farm – Flat, Bronze Axe

  NMRS Number: NS24SE 19

 

Location Map reference: NS 292 418 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 19 c. 292 418.

A decorated, Early Bronze Age flat axe, measuring 6 3/8 by 3 1/2 ins (Coles' type Bb) was found about 1834, three feet below the surface, in a field on Bog farm (NS 292 418 on OS 6" 1958). In 1884, this axe was in the possession of the Rev W Pinkerton; it is now in the
North Ayrshire Museum, Saltcoats (A Morrison 1978).
J Macdonald 1884; J M Coles 1971; J Smith 1895

No further information was obtained during field investigation.
Visited by OS (JLD) 13 September 1956

This flat axe (checked with illustration (Morrison) and dimensions (Macdonald)) is erroneously listed, at Saltcoats Museum, as being found in a grave at Broom farm (NS 283 421) and is formally displayed with this description. The temporary custodian (Mrs Susan Allison, Cunninghame District Council) confirms that this is the only flat axe held by the Museum (no accession or catalogue number).
Visited by OS (JRL) 30 September 1982.

References


Coles, J M (1971 b)
'Scottish Early Bronze Age metalwork',
Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 101, 1968-9, 81,

Macdonald, J (1884 )
'Illustrated notices of the ancient bronze implements of Ayrshire (first series)',
Archaeol Hist Collect Ayr Wigton, 4, 1884, 48-9,

Morrison, A (1978 )
The Bronze Age in Ayrshire,
[Ayr], 146,

Schmidt and Burgess, P K and C B (1981 )
'The axes of Scotland and Northern England',
Prahistorische Bronzefunde, 9, 7, Munchen, Germany, 257,

Smith, J (1895 )
Prehistoric man in Ayrshire,
London, 60, 

 

Stevenston Sands – Miscellaneous Finds
  NMRS Number: NS24SE 20

 

Location Map reference: NS 28 41 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 20 c.28 41.

A number of relics from the Stevenston sands (centred NS 28 41), which stretch southeast from the town to the mouth of the River Irvine, mainly from the collection of J Smith, Dalry, are in the NMAS. They include:
54 flint arrowheads (48 barbed and tanged, 5 leaf-shaped, 1 lop-sided); 167 scrapers; 24 knives; a Late Bronze Age socketed gouge; part of a Bronze Age vitreous paste bead; a flat bead of dark blue glass; shale rings, armlets etc; 2 Romano-British Brooches; a bronze pin and the head of a second; an early 10th century, 'Whitby' type Anglo-Saxon bronze strap end; a probably 14th century bronze ring brooch.
J G Callander 1933; J M Coles 1962; L Laing 1973; J Smith 1895

Finds from Ardeer Sands (name NS 282 411): flint arrowheads (Acc Nos:
AD 1696-1710); flint (ABA 99, BMC 226 & 274); scrapers (AB 1869-72); fragment of Ne 'B' pot (BMC 347); jet fragments (FN 51-2, FN 171); bronze strap end (BMC 292); bronze gouge (BMC 291); miscellaneous (BMC 1-367); part of Iron Age sword blade (BMC 371).

NMAS Accession List

A notched tool of Tardenosian type was found on the Ardeer Sands, northwest of the River Irvine.
A flint spearhead from Ardeer Sands was donated to the NMAS in 1927 by D A Boyd, St Clair, Saltcoats (Acc. No: AD 1526).

A D Lacaille 1930; 1937; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1927

Ardeer Sands are now occupied by the ICI Explosive Works. Unbuilt portions of the sandhills were perambulated, but no further discoveries were made.
Visited by OS (JLD) 10 September 1956

A hammer-stone and a pierced shale disc from Stevenston Sands are in
Glasgow Art Galleries and Museum (04.153 a and h respectively).
Typescript list of Ayrshire material in GAGM, undated.  

References


Callander, J G (1933 a)
'A collection of prehistoric relics from the Stevenston Sands, Ayrshire and other objects in the National Museum',
Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 67, 1932-3, 26-34,

Coles, J M (1962 a)
'Scottish Late Bronze Age metalwork: typology, distributions and chronology'
Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 93, 1959-60, 87,

Lacaille, A D (1930 )
'Mesolithic implements from Ayrshire',
Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 64, 1929-30, 43,

Lacaille, A D (1937 b)
'The microlithic industries of Scotland',
Trans Glasgow Archaeol Soc, new ser, 9, 1, 1937, 62,

Laing, L R (1973 c)
'The Angles in Scotland and the Mote of Mark',
Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc, 3rd ser, 50, 1973, 47,

Macgregor, M (1976 )
Early Celtic art in north Britain: a study of decorative metalwork from the third century B.C. to the third century A.D.,
two vols, Leicester, 79, no.139,

PSAS (1927 )
'Donations to and purchases for the Museum and Library',
Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 61, 1926-7, 261,

Scott, I R (1976 )
'The weapons',
Breeze, D J, Close-Brooks, J and Ritchie, J N G,, 'Soldiers' burials at Camelon, Stirlingshire, 1922 and 1975', , Britannia, 7, 1976, 82-3,

Smith, J (1895 )
Prehistoric man in Ayrshire,
London, 30-47, 

 

Stevenston – Roman Coin
 NMRS Number: NS24SE 21

 

Location Map reference: NS 26 41 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 21 26 41.

A billon piece of Alexandria, struck just after the death of the emperor Carus in 283 AD, was found in 1929 in a limpet shell by a fisherman gathering bait at Stevenston (NS 26 41). Macdonald considers that this coin is one which, like many others, was brought to
Scotland by soldiers who had been in Egypt during the 1914-18 war.
G Macdonald 1934

This coin is not in the Hunterian collection, and was probably returned to the finder.
Information from A S Robertson,
Hunterian Museum, Glasgow.  

References


Macdonald, G (1934 b)
'Roman coins found in Scotland (III), including a hoard from Falkirk',
Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 68, 1933-4, 31, 

 

Ardeer House
   NMRS Number: NS24SE 22

 

Location Map reference: NS 270 419 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 22 270 419.

The present
mansion of Ardeer (NS 270 419) does not occupy the position of the original manor house. In ancient times the estate of Ardeer belonged to the Coninghames of Auchenhervie, but it was purchased from them in 1708 by the Rev Patrick Warner and remains in the family of his descendants.
A H Millar 1885

Local enquiries failed to locate the site of the old Ardeer House.
Visited by OS (JLD) 11 September 1956

Dobie writes that "Ard-Dyir which appears on Aitken's map of 1829 as
Ardens close upon the sea shore would now be nearly a mile inland." (Aitken's map was not available at the British Museum).
J Dobie 1876

On examination of Aitken's 1829 Map of Ayrshire, it is evident that Dobie is referring to the frontispiece map of T Pont (1654), which, as stated, shows 'Ardens' on the coast between Dubbs (NS 285 421) and Nethermains (NS 306 420) on km NS 2942. (The later Ardeer House was entirely demolished about 1967).
Visited by OS (JRL) 7 October 1982  

References


Dobie, J S (ed.) (1876 )
Cuninghame, topographized by Timothy Pont, A M, 1604-1608: with continuations and illustrative notices by the late James Dobie of Crummock, FSA Scot.,
Glasgow,

Millar, A H (1885 a)
The castles and mansions of Ayrshire illustrated in seventy views with historical and descriptive accounts,
Edinburgh, 

 

Stevenston, Ardeer – Possible Souterrain
   NMRS Number: NS24SE 23

 

Location Map reference: NS 2711 4193 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 23 2711 4193.

(NS 2711 4193) Cove (NAT) (Passage shown, certainly not subterranean).
OS 25" map (1856)

This object is considered to be artifical, formerly used in connection with coal workings.
Name Book 1856

This structure, now partly under a road was revealed in 1973 during building operations. It was excavated by J Hunter, though it had been partially excavated in 1960 by ICI workers, then filled in with slag and rubble. Remains of a dressed stone frame for an iron grille over a hole in the cave roof suggested its use as a grotto in the 19th century. The visible remains suggested a souterrain, but the absence of records of these in
SW Scotland make this conclusion difficult to accept.
A passage (see plan) lined with corbelled drystone walling, roofed with capstones, led into the natural cave. The passage, cut into a 30ft raised beach, was between 13m and 16m long; its width varied from 1.55m to 1.20m, and height from 1.7m to 2.4m due to the uneven rock floor. The capstones were 1.0m to 1.5m below present ground surface. Some areas of undistrubed stratified deposits were found. These contained evidence of occupation - a hearth with iron slag, bones, and a fragment of (Roman ?) glass.
Hunter concludes that although there is no decisive evidence to date the site, the overall pattern of findings, both as regards the structure itself and the occupation refuse, conforms to the Angus souterrains, the natural cave replacing the terminal bulge often found.

J Hunter 1973; 1975

This alleged souterrain was examined by the Investigator in July 1973 when it was exposed, and it would appear that the passage (as described above) had been covered by made-up debris and earth, and that the raised beach face is in line with the entrance to the cave. Although not a feature connected industrial workings (ONB), it is not inconceivable that in view of its situation close to a former mansion, that it was built as a grotto- a theory born out by some local opinion. Such features are not unknown in Ayrshire (cf Kelburn: NS 217 567).
Information from OS (JLD) 31 May 1974.

Subsequent to its exposure and excavation in 1973, the entrance to the passage was blocked with rubble, and the area on the S raised flush with the passage roof level. The roadway then constructed passes to the S of the former entrance, leaving the rubble blocking still evident. The site falls within the grounds of Ardeer Recreation Club.
Visited by OS (JRL)
7 October 1982  

References


Hunter, J (1975 )
'Excavation at Ardeer, Ayrshire',
Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 105, 1972-4, 296-301,

Hunter, J (1973 a)
'Stevenston, Ardeer, souterrain',
Discovery and Excavation, Scotland, 1973, 16-17,

Name Book (County) ( )
Original Name Books of the Ordnance Survey
Book No.57, 27, 

 

Stevenston, Boglemart - Cists
   NMRS Number: NS24SE 24

 

Location Map reference: NS 2628 4199 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 24 2628 4199.

NS 2628 4199 (information from A Morrison, 30 January 1970
). A cist, measuring 3ft 9ins by 2ft 7ins by 2ft deep, was found in May 1969 when cutting a ditch. It contained a food vessel and a leaf-shaped jet-like object, which are now in the North Ayrshire Museum, Saltcoats.
A few days later, a second cist was discovered at the opposited side of the ditch, about 6ft N of the first. Excavation revealed an almost circular clover slab, and the cist, which measured 4ft 6ins by 2ft 9ins by 1ft 11ins deep, contained a crouched inhumation, accompained by a fragment of burnt flint.

A Morrison 1971

This area is now developed. The
North Ayrshire Museum are preparing a display case of the Boglemart finds (Acc Nos 2861-3) (S Allison, Cunninghame District Council).
Visited by OS (JRL) 7 October 1982  

References


Morrison, A (1971 a)
'Cist burials and food vessels- some recent discoveries and rediscoveries in Western Scotland',
Glasgow Archaeol J, 2, 1971, 8-13, 

 

Stevenston, Townhead - Cists
   NMRS Number: NS24SE 27

 

Location Map reference: NS 268 421 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 27 268 421.

No exact provenance is known for sherds of two food vessels from the Townhead area of Stevenston (approximately NS 268 421) which are now in
Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum. When exhibited in 1911, on loan from L M Mann, they were described as: "Two highly decorated food vessels, found in stone-built cists with inhumed burials. The nodule of ferruginous matter, and flint flakes were got in one of the cists". There is now no trace of the 'ferruginous matter' or the flints.
A Morrison 1971; Palace of History 1911; D D A Simpson 1965  

References


Morrison, A (1971 a)
'Cist burials and food vessels- some recent discoveries and rediscoveries in Western Scotland',
Glasgow Archaeol J, 2, 1971, 8, 16, 18,

Palace of History (1911 )
Scottish exhibition of national history, art and industry, Glasgow (1911): Palace of History catalogue of exhibits,
Glaister, J (et al), 2v, Glasgow, Vol.2, 827-8,

Simpson, D D A (1965 a)
'Food vessels in South-West Scotland',
Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc, 3rd Ser, 42, 1964-5, 38, nos 3, 4, 

 

Stevenston – Standing Stones
 NMRS Number: NS24SE 3

 

Location Map reference: NS 2606 4204 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 3 2606 4204.

(NS 2606 4204) Standing Stone (NR)
OS 6" map (1856)

The origin of this stone is obscure; there is no local tradition associated with it. Mr A Campbell believes that it was erected to mark the site of the original farm steading of Corsecraig, occupied by his grandfather, which stood at, or near, this spot. However, it is more than possible that the stone was erected before that time. (No description of the stone, or its dimensions, is given).
Name Book 1856

This standing stone has been removed, and the field in which it stood is now under pasture.
Visited by OS (JLD) 7 September 1956

This area is now completely built over (post-1967).
Visited by OS (JRL) 8 September 1982  

References


Name Book (County) ( )
Original Name Books of the Ordnance Survey
Book No.57, 51,

 

Stevenston, Kerelaw - Dovecot  
NMRS Number: NS24SE 30

 

Location Map reference: NS 267 429 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 30 267 429.

The dovecot at Kerelaw (NS 267 429) is dated 1775.
D MacGibbon and T Ross 1892

No trace. Kerelaw and its associated outbuildings were entirely demolished in the 1960's and the area redeveloped.
Visited by OS (JRL) 7 October 1982

References


MacGibbon and Ross, D and T (1887-92 )
The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries,
5v, Edinburgh, Vol.5, 569, 

 

Stevenston Sands - Coin  
NMRS Number: NS24SE 33

 

Location Map reference: NS 28 41 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 33 28 41.

A fragment of an Arab dirham of early 4th/10th century, found on Stevenston Sands, Ardeer (centred NS 28 41) is in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS) donor unknown.
R B K Stevenson 1966  

References


Stevenson, R B K (1966 f)
Sylloge of coins of the
British Isles,
(NMAS), Pt.1, xviii, no.696,
 

 

Auchenharvie Sands - Stone Axe; Flints; Arrowheads
 NMRS Number: NS24SE 4

 

Location Map reference: NS 25 41 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 4 25 41.

A polished stone axe, of dark grey slate, measuring 10 inches by 3 1/4 inches across the cutting edge was found early in 1879 by John Marshall, blacksmith, Stevenston on the Auchenharvie sands (Auchenharvie: NS 257 417), at a point 1/4 mile south of Saltcoats and 40 yards above high water mark. A great number of flints and arrowheads have been found lately on the adjoining sandhills (J Macdonald 1882).
J Smith 1895

Although the name is extinct, the Auchenharvie sands must have occupied the area between Auchenharvie house and the coast, now much altered and developed.

None of the flint material in the North Ayrshire Museum, Saltcoats, could be located to this area.
Visited by OS (JRL) 30 September 1982

References


Macdonald, J (1882 )
'Illustrated notices of the ancient stone implements of Ayrshire (first series)',
Archaeol Hist Collect Ayr Wigton, 3, 1882, 71,

Smith, J (1895 )
Prehistoric man in Ayrshire,
London, 44, 

 

Saltcoats, Beam Engine House  
NMRS Number: NS24SE 46

 

Location Map reference: NS 2568 4137 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 46 2568 4137

Ruins of a beam-engine house, reputedly built 1719. Most of one gable, and parts of the other three walls remain. It is supposed to have been the site of the second Newcomen engine in
Scotland. The masonry of the gable suggests that the house has been occupied by a rotative engine at some time. The engine installed in 1718-9 to facilitate drainage of a coal-pit, was replaced in 1732 by a larger one.
J Butt 1967

The conserved ruin, approximately 7m square, now forms a feature of an open park.
Visited by OS 28 September 1982.  

References


Butt, J (1967 )
The industrial archaeology of Scotland,
The industrial archaeology of the British Isles series, Newton Abbot, 85,

Hume, J R (1976 )
The industrial archaeology of Scotland,
1, Lowlands and Borders, London,

NSA (1845 )
The new statistical account of Scotland by the ministers of the respective parishes under the superintendence of a committee of the society for the benefit of the sons and daughters of the clergy,
15v, Edinburgh, Vol.5 (Ayr), 455, 

 

 Stevenston, Middleton – Possible Battle Axe Find
  
NMRS Number: NS24SE 5

 

Location Map reference: NS 257 433 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 5 257 433.

An unfinished hammer-head of granitic stone, measuring 4 3/4 inches by 2 inches and 2 1/4 inches thick, found at Middleton, Stevenston was exhibited to the Society of Antiquaries, Edinburgh by the Rev. D Landsborough,
Kilmarnock, through R W Cochran-Patrick.
Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1887

One side was ground flat, "on the other the concavity which forms the finished outline of the type of hammer is completed, but the shaft-hole has not been begun".
Middleton was not located; nor does it appear in the Ordnance Survey Name Book (ONB 1856). Perhaps
Middlepart NS 257 433 was intended.
No further information obtained.
Visited by OS (JLD) 7 September 1956

Listed as a (?)unfinished battle-axe; present whereabouts unknown.
F E S Roe 1967

Site recorded during an archaeological evaluation, comprising a desk-based assessment and field inspection conducted in October-November 1994 along the proposed corridor of the A78 Ardrossan Bypass.
NS 257 433 Hammer-head find-spot (known site)
A report will be deposited with the NMRS.
Sponsor: Roads Directorate of The Scottish Office Industry Department, managed on its behalf by Historic Scotland.
J E Hamilton 1995.  

References


Hamilton, J (1995 d)
'A78 Ardrossan Bypass: Archaeological Evaluation (Ardrossan and Stevenson parishes), linear survey',
Discovery and Excavation, Scotland, 1995, 72,

Name Book (County) ( )
Original Name Books of the Ordnance Survey
Book No.57,

PSAS (1887 )
'Donations to and purchases for the Museum and Library, with exhibits',
Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 21, 1886-7, 264,

Roe, F E S (1967 )
'The battle-axes, mace-heads and axe-hammers from south-west Scotland',
Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc, 3rd ser, 44, 1967, 74, no.22, 

 

Kerelaw Castle  
NMRS Number: NS24SE 6

 

Location Map reference: NS 2690 4286 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 6 2690 4286.

(NS 2691 4285) Kerelaw Castle (NR) (Remains of)
OS 6" map (1958)

According to Pont (J Dobie 1876)
Kerelaw Castle belonged to the Lockharts in 1191. It was partly destroyed in a feud prior to 1488, and rebuilt, it was disused about 1787 when Grange house was built nearby. According to Dobie, the ruins show that it was a quadrangular building about 30 yds square. The oldest part was probably the side nearest the stream, which had almost completely disappeared. Most of the NE wall remained, showing that the lower floor had been vaulted. The SE front appeared to be a more modern addition, its central doorway and window being in Gothic style. Paterson notes arrow-slits and cable mouldings of pre-14th century date.
Name Book 1856; NSA 1845 (D Landsborough); J Paterson 1852

Only the E and part of the N and S remain. The E wing has been two storeys high and a round-arched doorway remains in the E wall which is 1.2m thick. Remaining architectural features, which include fireplaces, windows, recesses, and the remains of an angle turret at the NE corner, would suggest a late 16th - 17th century date.
Visited by OS (JLD)
13 September 1956

No change. The remains are now fenced off to public access, and are bounded by modern development on the S (see also NS24SE 30).
Visited by OS (JRL) 28 September 1982.

References


Dobie, J S (ed.) (1876 )
Cuninghame, topographized by Timothy Pont, A M, 1604-1608: with continuations and illustrative notices by the late James Dobie of Crummock, FSA Scot.,
Glasgow, 252-3,

NSA (1845 )
The new statistical account of Scotland by the ministers of the respective parishes under the superintendence of a committee of the society for the benefit of the sons and daughters of the clergy,
15v, Edinburgh, Vol.5 (Ayr), 452-3, 455,

Name Book (County) ( )
Original Name Books of the Ordnance Survey
Book No.57, 19,

Paterson, J (1863-6 )
History of the counties of Ayr and Wigton,
3v in 5, Edinburgh, Vol.2, 445,

 

Ardeer Sands, Misk Knowes - Cairn; Cinerary Urns; Faience Beads; Flints
  
NMRS Number: NS24SE 7

 

Location Map reference: NS 2866 4130 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 7 2866 4130.

(NS 2866 4130) Cairn (NR) (Site of)
OS 6" map (1958)

In 1906, the drifting of sand revealed a small oval cairn approximately 15ft by 10ft in size and 3ft high in the centre, composed of about eighty water-rolled boulders. This covered at least sixteen cinerary urns, mainly bucket-shaped. Four of the urns were sealed with plugs of half-baked or unbaked clay, some contained white quartz pebbles as well as cremations; one urn had six small white quartz pebbles and a reddish quartz pebble the size of a hen's egg embedded in the soft clay cover which sealed it. Another urn contained traces of thin gold leaf, two segmented, and one star-shaped, faience beads. Also found was a cremation covered by soft clay, but not accompanied by an urn.
Nine of the urns, and the beads, are in
Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum, one urn is in the Dick Institute, Kilmarnock, and two urns are in the North Ayrshire Museum, Saltcoats. Other urns or fragments, listed or illustrated by Mann, appear to have been lost (A Morrison 1968).
L M Mann 1906; A Morrison 1971

All traces of this cairn have been removed. It was possibly removed about 1934 when the area of the sand- hills was taken over by the ICI and built over (R Graham, civil engineer, ICI Ltd, Ardeer).
Visited by OS (JLD) 10 September 1956

Apart from the two mentioned, a fragment of a third urn, with a fingerprint impression, is held at
Saltcoats Museum (removed on loan in 1979). Also held are an unknown quantity of flint implements from the vicinity of this cairn. (None of this material is catalogued).
Visited by OS (JRL) 30 September 1982

Urn fragments in
Glasgow Art Galleries and Museum - Accession Nos 04.153b-f. There is also a flint nodule from 'Misk Pit?' (A747).
Typescript list of Ayrshire material in GAGM, undated.
 

References


Beck and Stone, H C and J F S (1936 )
'Faience beads of the British Bronze Age',
Archaeologia, 85, 1936, 203ff,

Mann, L M (1906 )
'Notes on - (1) a drinking-cup urn found at Bathgate; (2) the exploration of the floor of a a prehistoric hut in Tiree; and (3) a group of (at least) sixteen cinerary urns found, with objects of vitreous paste and of gold, in a cairn at Stevenston, Aryshire',
Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 40, 1905-6, 378-96,

Morrison, A (1968 )
'Cinerary urns and pygmy vessels in South-West Scotland',
Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc, 3rd Ser, 45, 1967-8, 105-6, nos 17-28,

Morrison, A (1971 a)

'Cist burials and food vessels- some recent discoveries and rediscoveries in Western Scotland',
Glasgow Archaeol J, 2, 1971, 18, 

 

Stevenston, Ardeer Mains - Cist
  
NMRS Number: NS24SE 8

 

Location Map reference: NS 2788 4208 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SE 8 2788 4208.

(NS 2788 4208) Cist Found (NAT)
OS 6" map (1958)

In 1832 when some labourers were levelling a sandy field at Dubbs (now Ardeer Mains), they came to a causeway 5ft under the surface. This pavement was 6 yards long and 2 feet broad. There was laid across one end of it a stone of about a ton weight. At the other end of it, there was a stone coffin 3ft in length and 2ft in breadth, containing two urns, the one of grey, the other of black pottery. There was nothing in the urns but earth. Within the stone coffin, they found five jet buttons. They were of different sizes, the largest over an inch in diameter, concave on one side and convex on the other, with knobs for attaching them. The urns were broken (NSA 1845). No further details of the urns and buttons, nor their whereabouts, are known.
A Morrison 1971

The find-spot was pointed out by Mr J Smith, who was present when the discovery was made. Mr G Cunningham, now about 76 years old, also pointed out this spot on the ground, but states that the discovery was made about 60 years ago (ie about 1796).
Name Book 1856

This site falls in a level pasture field, and there are no indications of there having been a barrow or mound. No further information was obtained during field investigation.
Visited by OS (JLD) 14 September 1956

This was certainly a cist burial, and the urns may well have been food vessels since the buttons are unlike the flat-based jet buttons, normally associated with beaker burials.

A Morrison 1978  

References


Morrison, A (1971 a)
'Cist burials and food vessels- some recent discoveries and rediscoveries in Western Scotland',
Glasgow Archaeol J, 2, 1971, 18,

Morrison, A (1978 )
The Bronze Age in Ayrshire,
[Ayr], 128-9,

NSA (1845 )
The new statistical account of Scotland by the ministers of the respective parishes under the superintendence of a committee of the society for the benefit of the sons and daughters of the clergy,
15v, Edinburgh, Vol.5 (Ayr), 454-5,

Name Book (County) ( )
Original Name Books of the Ordnance Survey
Book No.57, 59, 

 

Saltcoats – Possible Roman Coin Find  
NMRS Number: NS24SW 14

 

Location Map reference: NS 24 41 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SW 14 c.24 41.

Sibbald (1710) mentions the finding of a denarius of Faustina, along with other remains, near Saltcoats (NS 2441), and suggested that this may indicate a Roman station here. His source of information was R Wodrow, who, in a letter dated 23 November 1710 states that the coin was found with a spoon of mixed metal, "a little from the shore, about a mile from Saltcoats to the south. There are little blowing hills of sand there and by the blowing of the sand there begin to appear somewhat like the ruins of a building ..." This was where the finds were made, some years before 1710. Macdonald considers that the ruins referred to were those of a native settlement, and the coin is that "from Ayrshire" mentioned and illustrated by Gordon.
G Macdonald 1918; NSA 1845 (D Landsborough); A Gordon 1726

The sandhills SE of Saltcoats were perambulated, but no indications of the "ruins" referred to by Wodrow were found. The present location of the coin and spoon was not ascertained.
Visited by OS (JLD) 7 September 1956  

References


Gordon, A (1726 )
Itinerarium septentrionale: or a journey thro' most of the counties of Scotland and those in the north of England,
London, 185, no.15,

Macdonald, G (1918 b)
'Roman coins found in Scotland',
Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 52, 1917-18, 237-8,

NSA (1845 )
The new statistical account of Scotland by the ministers of the respective parishes under the superintendence of a committee of the society for the benefit of the sons and daughters of the clergy,
15v, Edinburgh, Vol.5 (Ayr), 454,

Robertson, A S (1984 )
'Roman coins found in Scotland, 1971-1982',
Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 113, 1983, Table 3,

Sibbald, R (1710 b)
Miscellenea quaedam eruditae Antiquitatis...,
110, 

 

Saltcoats - Tolbooth  
NMRS Number: NS24SW 7

 

Location Map reference: NS 247 411 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SW 7 247 411.

(NS 247 411) Saltcoats Tolbooth had become disused by 1714 when James Dickie was given permission to build over it. It was situated behind the upper left hand corner of Garnel Close, off
Quay Street, near the sea.
P C Carragher 1909

Most of the old buildings in and around
Quay Street have been demolished, and no evidence remains to accurately site the tolbooth.
Visited by OS (JLD) 7 September 1956  

References


Carragher, P C (1909 b)
Saltcoats old and new: 'Scotland's quaintest burgh': its lost links and landmarks restored,
Saltcoats, 14-15, 

 

Saltcoats – Burgh Town
 NMRS Number: NS24SW 35

 

Location Map reference: NS 2455 4134 Parish: Stevenston  

Notes

NS24SW 35 24 41

Precept for charter of erection as burgh of barony in 1528/9; erected byurgh of barony 1576.
G S Pryde 1965.  

References


Pryde, G S (1965 )
The burghs of
Scotland: a critical list,
London, 58, no.212,

Simpson, G G (ed.) (1972 )
Scotland's medieval burghs: an archaeological heritage in danger,
Edinburgh, 32,

 

 

 

   

 

 

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