Ayrshire Towns and Parishes

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      Ayrshire Directory 1837 - by Pigot & Co   


Stewarton is a prosperous manufacturing town, in the parish of its name and district of Cunningham; 16 miles s by w from Glasgow, 6 n from Irvine, 5 n from Kilmarnock, and 3 from Fenwick; situate in a pleasant part of the county, on the bank of the water of Annock. 

The parish, which is about ten miles in length, and varying from three to four in breadth,  is a rich agricultural district, highly cultivated and improved, and adorned by several gentlemen's tastefully laid out seats.  For centuries Stewarton remained an inconsiderable and unnoted village; and it is only of a comparatively recent date that, owing to the general extension of trade and manufacture, it has increased to its present dimensions and consequence.  It has, however, been long distinguished by the production of Highland or tartan and other bonnets, especially of regimental bonnets and caps; this business, which is chiefly carried on domestically, and partially in factories, furnishes employment to from three hundred and fifty to four hundred hands; whilst in the manufacture of carpets one hundred and fifty more persons find occupation.  The making of spindles for cotton and woollen mills is an extensive branch here, and a considerable number of the cotton mills of Scotland are supplied from hence.  The manufacture or forging of clock-work, for which this town is peculiar in North Britain, is a trade of some significance, as it forms an item of exportation to the continent of Europe and America.  Several woollen mills are engaged in carding and spinning for the carpet and bonnet trades;  the largest concern is that belonging to Alexander Esq of Robertland, and occupied by Messrs Muir, Dunlop & Co, who have a steam engine for propelling the machinery on the occurrence of droughts or frosts.  A large portion of the population consists of silk and muslin weavers, who are employed by the Glasgow and Paisley establishments; linens and damasks are also issued from the Stewarton looms to some extent; and in the ingenious pursuits of "Ayrshire Needlework" not fewer than three hundred females enjoy the fruits of industry.  The "Glasgow Union Banking Company" have a branch of their firm in this place, and there is likewise a bank for savings; this latter institution, together with several benefit or friendly societies, creates a stimulus to the spirit of dilligence and frugility in the working classes.  

This thriving little town has no magistracy or police; but regular district courts for the recovery of small debts, and such business as falls under the jurisdiction of Justices of the peace for the parishes of Stewarton, Dunlop and Fenwick, are held by quorum of the neighbouring magistrates.  Beside the established church, there are three other places of worship, including a united seccession church, one for original burghers, and the third for independant congregationalists.  The market day is Thursday.  The fairs are held as follows:  on the Monday before Irvine fair, for the sale of horses, cattle, dairy produce and dairy utensils, and for the hiring of servants; on the last Thursday of June, or Thursday following (Shotts and Kelton Hill fairs), for horses and cattle; on the next Friday after the 12th November, for fat cattle, dairy stock, and hiring servants; and on the last Thursday of December, for horses and cattle.  

Dunlop is a small village, two miles and a half from Stewarton, romantically situate on the banks of the Swiney, about three hundred yards off  the road leading from Kilmarnock to Paisley; and when seen from a little distance, through the trees in which it is embounded, has an agreeable retired appearance.  The houses being mostly old, and the street narrow, it does not improve on a nearer view, though in this respect it does not suffer by comparison with other places of similar rank throughout the country.  A new and handsome church was erected in 1835, its predecessor having suffered much from the continued effects of age and weather; it is a great ornament to the neighbourhood.  In the church-yard is a small arched chamber, formed under the direction of Lord Viscount Clanaboyes, in 1641, over the grave of his father, the Rev Hams Hamilton, who for 45 years was minister of this parish; it contains a well executed monument in marble, justly deserving attention.  

The parish, to which the village gives name, lies principally in the bailery of Cunningham, and county of Ayr; but on the north it extends into Renfrewshire.  It has long been noted for the excellent quality of its cheese, which bears a rich character throughout Scotland.  About the close of the seventeenth centuary one Barbara Gilmour is said to have commenced the practice of making cheese from the entire milk, nothing but skimmed milk having been used in the process, in this district, previously to that period; at present all the cheese similarly made in the western counties receives the appellation of "Dunlop"; about 25,000 stones imperial are made in this parish annually.  There is also a very considerable trade in meal carried on by the inhabitants of the village and the surrounding territory. Dunlop House, in this parish, the seat of John Dunlop, Esq. member of parliament for Ayrshire, is one of the handsomest mansions in the county; on this estate, resting on a small knoll, is a stone of large dimensions, called the "O Great Stone", supposed to have been employed in some ancient rites of worship.  Two fairs, for the sale of dairy stock, take place here annually; one about the middle of May, the other on the 12th of November; both are almost invariably well attended. Post Office, Avenue street, Stewarton,  Andrew Barr, Post Master.  Letters from all parts arrive (from Kilmarnock) every morning at half-past eight, and are despatched every evening at ten minutes before five.  

     GENTRY & CLERGY        (Marked thus * are Justices of the Peace)

Brisbane, Rev Jas, Manse, Dunlop/ * Brown, Andrew Esq. (of Hill house) surgeon in the Hon. East India Company's service, Clerk hill/ Cairns, Rev Peter, Bridge end/ * Cuninghame, Wm Esq of Lainshaw/ Dickie, Rev Matthew, Borland/ *Dunlop, John Esq. MP of Dunlop/ *Kerr, Alexander Esq. of


Brownlee, John, High st/ Buchanan, Walter, Dunlop/ Holborn, John, Avenue st/ Marshall, Peter, Langton/ Parish School, near the Church - Duncan McFarlane, master/ Parochial School, Dunlop - Wm Bryce, master/ Smith, Alexander, Kingston/ Sutherland, Dundas, Avenue st  


Brown, John, Townhead/ Caskie, Mary, Vennel st/ Dunlop, Alexander, High st/ Kerr, James, Avenue st/ Logan, Andrew, High st/ Logan, Robert, Townhead  


Craig, Robert, High st/ Mackenzie, Duncan, (& spirit dealer), High st/


Glasgow Union Banking Company (Branch of) - (draw on Robert Burns, Glasgow, the Union Bank, Edinburgh, and Jones, Loyd & Co, London) - James Anderson


Baird, John, Lainshaw smithy/ Brown, Thomas, Townfoot/ Edgar, William, Dunlop/ Simpson, Thomas, Sidehead/ Wyllie, James, Avenue st  


Bicket, James, Kirkford/ Bicket, Mary, Kirkfoot/ Black, Hugh, Darlington/ Black, Mary, Darlington/ Bowles, James, Darlington/ Caskie, Jane, Holm/ Currie, Alexander, Darlington/ Currie, Andrew, Townhead/ Currie, David, Darlington/ Currie, James, Darlington/ Currie, John, Darlington/ Currie, Thomas, Darlington/ Gibson, James, Kirkford/ Gibson, James jnr, Kirkford/ Harper, Margaret,


Dunlop, William, High st/ Dunlop, William jnr, High st/ Ferguson, Robert, High st/ Fulton, Robert, Dunlop/ Hall, Roger, High st/ Hood, Thomas, Dunlop/ Jamieson, James, Dunlop/ McFarlane, Andrew, Kingston/ Picken, Alexander, High st/ Smith, David, Dunlop/ Young, David, Rigg st/ Young, William, Society buildings


Alexander, John, Cross hill/ Dunlop, John, Avenue st/ Paton, Adam, Avenue st/ Smith, George, Townhead  


Bowies, James, Townhead/ Conn, James, Avenue st/ Dunlop, John, Avenue st/


Deans, John, Thomas & Co. Scoto, Turkey & Persian carpet & rug, & three ply superfine & fine carpet manufacturers , Holm Muir, Dunlop and Black, Nether Robertland mill  


Dunlop, Gabriel, Rigg st/ Dunlop, Gabriel and John, Vennel st  


Cochrane, John, Dunlop/ Cochrane, Robert, Chapel house/ Cochrane, Thomas, Mains/ Malcolm, James, Dunlop/ Maxwell, Frame, Dunlop/ Nairn, Robert, Dunlop/ Nairn, William, Dunlop/ Peacock, Andrew, Dunlop/ Reed, Robert,


Insurance Co of Scotland (fire) & Standard (life), James A Snodgrass, High st  


Kerr, John, High st/ Kerr, William, Cross/ Mackie, Peter, High st/

      GROCERS         (marked thus * are also spirit dealers)

* Anderson, William, High st/ Barr, Andrew, Avenue st/ * Blair, James, High st/ * Blair, Joseph, Townhead/ * Dalgleish, John, Avenue st/ Dunlop, Robert, High st/ * Ferguson, James, High st/ Ferguson, John, High st/ * Grubb, Thomas, High st/ * Jackson, David, High st/ King, Alexander, High st/ Logan, John, High st/ Nairn, James, High st/ Stirling, James, Cross/ * Wallace, Francis, High st  


Anderson, William, High st/ Angus, Malcolm, Leighmoor/ Barbour, John, High


Miller, Hugh, (and nail maker, and printer & stationer), High st  


Armstrong, Jane, High st/ Gavin, Hugh, High st/ McHardie, Joseph, High st  


Anderson, James, Aiket mill/ Eaglesham, William, Lainshaw mill/ Kerr, Robert, Old mill/ Orr, William, Crosshill mill/ Wyllie, John, New mill  


Dalrymple, Mary, High st/ Picken, Martha, High st/ Richmond, Janet & Sister, high st/ Snodgrass, Margaret, High st/ Wallace, Margaret & Sister, High st/ Wilson, Mary & Sister, Avenue st


Anderson, John, Dunlop/ Greig, Margaret, Dunlop/ Morns, John, Dunlop  


Kirkland, James, High st/ Stevenson, John & Son, High st  


Skeoch, Charles & Son, Avenue st  


Anderson, William, High st/ Brown & Steel, Dunlop/ Brown, Matthew, High st/


Caskie, John, High st/ Ferguson, Alexander, Langmoor/ Ferguson, Alexander, Avenue st/ Newman, William, Avenue st/ Renfrew, William, Langmoor/ Skeoch, Charles R.N. Avenue st/ Wyllie, Andrew, Townhead  


Aird, John, Dunlop/ Allan, John, High st/ Borland, James, High st/ McRaith, Stewart, Andrew, Dunlop  


Cameron, James, Rigg st/ Wilson, Thomas, High st  


Bowes, James, Crosshill mill/ Harper, Margaret, Scrogle mill/ Muir, Dunlop & Black, Nether Robertland mill/ Somerville, William, Hapland mill  


      (See carpenters, Joiners &c)  


Miller, Robert (and Notary Public & justice of peace clerk), Clerk hill

Snodgrass, James Anderson (and Notary Public and proctor in the Ayr court),

High st  


Aitken, James, cooper, Vennel st/ Faulds, Andrew, factor to Lainshaw/ Gas Works, Holm - James Stirling, manager; John Caskie, treasurer; Andrew Dunlop, clerk/ Gordon, William, tinsmith, Avenue st/ Kerr, James, damask manufer, Avenue st/ Kerr, Robert, saddler, High st/ McKie, Thomas, dyer, Darlington/ Patrick, William, auctioneer, Kirkford/ Skoech, (J?), clock-work forger, High st/ Smith, Robert, wheel maker, High st/ Templeton, Robert, flax dresser, Aiket mill/ Thomson, Wm, skinner &c, Robertland/ Watt, Alexr., horse dealer, Peacock bank/ Wilson, John, umbrella maker, High st/ Wilson, Thomas, painter, oil and colour man, and druggist, High st  


Established Church, Rev Chas B Steven

United Secession Church, Rev Peter Cairns

Original Burgher, Rev James Clelland

Independent Congregational  


To Glasgow - the "Union" (from Irvine), calls at the Buck's Head, Stewarton,

every morning at eight; goes through Barrhead and Pollockshaws

To Irvine - the "Union" (from Glasgow), calls at the Buck's Head, Stewarton,

every evening at seven.


To Glasgow - George Russell & George Smith every Tuesday and Friday

To Kilmarnock - Alexander Picken, daily, and George Russell and George Smith

every Tuesday and Friday

To Paisley - Alexander Russell, every Monday and Thursday

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