Seagate castle, Irvine
Maryborough salt pan houses
weavers' cottages in Crosshill

Ayrshire Miners' Rows 1913

Culzean coach house
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Ayrshire Miners' Rows: Section 1.

OLD POTTERY, PARISH OF OCHILTREE, NEAR DRONGAN.

Owned by Countess of Hardwicke. Construction of houses. Size of houses.

This property consists of 5 single apartment houses and 3 two apartment houses. They are arranged in the form of three sides of a square. On one side there are 4 single apartment houses, on the other side one house of two apartments, and in the middle row there are two houses of two apartments and one house of one apartment. Most of the houses are built of stone, and have thatched roofs. We measured one single apartment house, and its dimensions were 12 feet by 13 feet. The roadway in front of the houses is unpaved, and pools of water and mud were at every door.

Lavatory accommodation.

There is one earth closet and open ashpit for the whole property, and this provides for a population of 48. The open ashpit is about 40 feet from the nearest door. The closet has no door, and, in fact, has not been built with the purpose of providing a door. Human excretion is littered about for yards round the entrance to the closet. This is probably due to the children not having sufficient accommodation inside. The stench was abominable, and originates round the closet and ashpit which are within 40 feet of the nearest house.

No outhouses.

No outhouses of any kind have been provided, and the people store their coals below their beds.

Overcrowding

We discovered six inmates in a single apartment house, and in another single apartment house we discovered a family of four and a lodger.

Rent.

The rent of the single apartment houses is 1s 5d per week, and the two apartments is 1s 8d.

DRONGAN, PARISH OF OCHILTREE

Owned by the Countess of Hardwicke.

This village is situated on the main road to Littlemill, and the houses are built in rows on both sides of the road.

Row No. 1. Construction of houses.

On the left hand side going towards Littlemill there is a block of five houses and one of ten built of stone and slated. These houses are all two apartment ones, but one of the apartments is so small that both apartments together are not much larger than an ordinary single apartment house. The roadway in front of the houses is unpaved, and in a very muddy condition.

Lavatory accommodation.

There is one earth closet for the 15 families and one ashpit. The population for which this lavatory accommodation provides is 63. The closet has no door, and from the construction it appears that no door was intended to be placed there. There are three compartments in the closet, but they are all open. Owing to human excretion being littered about the floor of the closet and for some yards around it there was a considerable stench. From conversation we elicited the information that grown up people seldom or never use the closet, and owing to want of privacy it is impossible for the women to use it. This leaves the grown up people without any closet accommodation at all.

No outhouses.

No outhouses of any kind have been provided, and the people store their coals below their beds. We observed one woman doing her washing in the open air while the rain was coming down so heavily that it was with the utmost difficulty that we could take our notes.

Overcrowding.

We discovered one house with a husband, wife, three of a family, and three lodgers. The rent of these houses is 2s 1d per week.

Row No.2.

On the opposite side of the street there is a row consisting of 5 one apartment houses, and one house of two apartments, built of stone. The roadways in front of the houses are unpaved and very muddy.

Lavatory accommodation.

There is one earth closet and ashpit for this row. The closet has no door, and three open apartments, which provide for a population of 33. The ashpit was in an abominable condition. It is, as is the case with regard to all the other ashpits in Drongan, entirely uncovered, and in this instance fermenting matter was responsible for a very strong stench.

No outhouses.

No outhouses are provided, and coals are kept below the beds.

Overcrowding

In a single apartment house (12 feet by 12 feet approx.) we discovered 9 inmates.

[7]

Rent.

The rent for the single apartment houses is 1s 5d per week, and in the case of the house described as a two apartment house (the family here has rented two single apartments), the rent is exactly double, viz., 2s 10d per week.

Row No. 3.

This is situated further down on the left hand side of the street. There are 12 single apartment houses. The conditions are similar to those described in the others rows, viz., roadways unpaved, no wash-houses, etc. There is one closet for 12 families with a population of 46. The closet and ashpit are in the same condition as the others previously described, but in this case the ashpit is so far away from the houses that heaps of refuse have been thrown all over the yard immediately behind the houses, and it would appear to be a playground for the children as for many yards the kitchen ashes and fermenting potato and other vegetable refuse has been strewn about.

The rent of these 12 houses is 1s 5d per week, each.

Row No. 4.

This row is situated on the opposite side of the street to Row No. 3. It consists of 4 blocks of houses with 8 houses in each block, 32 houses in all.

Construction of houses. Subsidence.

Conditions are practically the same as in the other rows, viz., unpaved roadways very muddy, closet built purposely without doors, and open compartments. In this row the people are provided with coalhouses, which are within three yards of the doors, and one of the tenants informed us that when these coalhouses become empty they are often used as the dumping ground for refuse of all kinds, and that in the Summer time the stench at the very doors is abominable. (The people in disposing of their refuse have to travel to the end of the block, and carry their refuse to the ashpit behind, a considerable distance from some of the houses.) These houses are all two apartment ones. This row appears to have suffered from a considerable subsidence. The windows and doorways appear to be badly twisted, and in some of the blocks several courses of bricks have been added to the stone walls to bring them up to the level of the roofs. The floors of the houses consist of large brick tiles, and the subsidence appears to have had the effect of breaking, cracking, and twisting the tiles. In one of the houses we inspected there was not a whole tile in the kitchen floor, and the surface was very uneven. In this house there was a hole in the floor several inches deep, and so large that one of the party put his boot right into it. Many of the houses are in such a bad state of repair that one woman showed us the bottom of her door where the holes were so large 'that cats came into the house during the night.' The holes were easily large enough to admit of that [8] possibility. Many of the tenants complained of the condition of the doors, and told us that in the Winter time the cold wind rushing through the house was almost unbearable. The houses are very damp.

Population and lavatory accommodation.

The population of this row was 208, and the lavatory accommodation for this population was 4 doorless earth closets. We discovered one house with 13 inmates. The rent is 2s 1d per week.

The village of Drongan.

In the mining rows of the village of Drongan there are 48 two apartment houses, 17 one apartment houses, with a population of 350, for which 7 doorless earth closets, with open compartments, are provided.

The houses are all owned (we are informed) by the Countess of Hardwicke, and are inhabited almost wholly by miners who work in the pits of the Shieldmains Colliery Co. and their families.

The village is supplied with gravitation drinking water.

Owing to the deplorable condition of the inadequate closet accommodation grown up people cannot use it, and the whole adult population of the village has therefore no closet accommodation at all.

GASSWATER ROWS, PARISH OF AUCHINLECK

Wm. Baird & Co., Lugar.

These rows are situated on the main road between Cumnock and Muirkirk, four miles from Cumnock. There are four rows. Two are built of stone and two of brick, and all are slated.

Row No. 1. Rent.

The first row (nearest Muirkirk) consists of eight houses, but six of them are unoccupied, and one tenant has rented two houses amid pays 6s 6d per month. There are eight inmates.

Outhouses. No Closets. No wash-house. No coalhouses.

There are no closets, no washhouses, and no coalhouses. The only water supply is from a pipe running into a horse trough on the side of the road about 300 yards from the houses.

Row No. 2.

The houses in No. 2 row are built of stone, and are all single apartment houses, but in some cases a family has rented two houses. The house measures 15 feet by 12 feet.

Outhouses. No wash-houses. No coalhouses.

There are neither coalhouses nor wash-houses. There are two closets without doors and ashpits without roofs. There are ten houses, but three of them were empty at the date of inspection (13th November 1913). The population was 26. The only water supply is at a pump about 200 or 300 yards away. The rent is 2s a week. Pathways in front of houses are unpaved and very muddy. [9]

Row No. 3. No wash-houses. No coalhouses.

This row is built of brick. There are ten single apartment houses. There are no wash-houses nor coalhouses. The people keep their coals below their beds. The apartment measures 17 feet by 14 feet. The rent is 2s 2d a week. There are two closets and ashpits. The closets have no doors and the ashpits no roofs. The population was 33.

Row No. 4. No wash-houses. No coalhouses.

This is also built of brick, and in the same position with regard to conveniences as Row No. 3. There are no wash-houses, no coalhouses, and there is one closet without doors for the 12 houses in this row, and one ashpit without a roof. There were two empty houses, and the population of this row was 30. The water supply is from the pump which supplies the other rows. The whole adult population of these four rows are without any closet accommodation, as owing to the want of privacy (no doors) they cannot use the accommodation provided. The surroundings of the closets are littered with human excrement. The houses are owned by William Baird & Co., and are inhabited by the workers of the pits belonging to that firm in the neighbourhood.

CRONBERRY.

Wm. Baird & Co.

These rows are situated about three miles from Cumnock on the Cumnock and Muirkirk Road.

Row No. 1.

This row is built of brick, and the walls are cemented. The roofs are slated. There are 18 houses in this row, and the population is 101. The houses have a kitchen 15 feet by 14 feet, and two small rooms 9 feet by 6 feet each. There are no fires in the rooms, and the tenants complain they are very damp. The windows are very small, measuring 4 feet 10 inches in height and 2 feet 4 inches wide. The windows are made so that they cannot be opened.

Outhouses. No wash-houses. No coalhouses.

There are neither wash-houses nor coalhouses, and the coals are kept under the beds. For this population of 101 there are three closets with doors on them, and three ashpits in front of the houses. A syvor runs down the front of the houses, and there was a considerable amount of filth at the grating at the end of the syvor. The refuse taken out of the syvor is dumped down on the ground immediately outside the door of the end house.

Row No. 2.

This is a replica of Row No. 1. The population was 113. The open cesspool was in a filthy condition. There are 18 houses with three closets and ashpits built in front of the doors. One of the tenants said to us at this row, 'You should have come here in the Summer time ; it costs us about 1s a week for flypapers.' [10]

Row No. 3.

This row is in exactly the same position as Row No. 2, but there are only 16 houses in this row, with a population of 73.

Row No. 4.

This row is built of brick, with walls cemented, but the roof is nearly flat and is not slated, but covered with tarcloth. There are 24 houses of two apartments. The kitchen is 16 feet by 9 feet, and the room 9 feet by 8 feet. There are no fires in the rooms, and the windows are permanently fastened. The rent is 5s 6d per month. There are three closets and three ashpits for these 24 houses. About half of the houses were empty, and the population of those inhabited. numbered 56.

Row No. 5.

This row is exactly the same as Row No. 4. The roofs are tarred instead of slated. There are 28 houses with five closets and five ashpits. The rent is the same as Row No. 4. A large number of the houses are empty. The population was 80.

Row No. 6.

This rowis similar to Row No. 5. The houses are constructed in the same manner. There are 30 houses in this row, but on 13th November, 1913, 21 were empty and only 9 inhabited. There were five closets for this row.

Row No. 7.

This is a superior row built of stone, and inhabited by the schoolmaster, policeman, and foremen of various kinds. There are 13 houses, 11 two apartment houses. The kitchen measures 12 feet by 12 feet and the room 10 feet by 10, feet. The other two houses are one of four apartments and one of three apartments. Even in this row no washing houses are provided unless the people build them themselves, and this has been done in several cases. In this row only are the people provided with coalhouses. The rent of the two apartment houses is 4 4s per annum.

Cronberry. Summary.

The population of this village will be approximately 6oo, and there is not a single washing-house for the whole population. With the exception of the small Row No. 7, there is not even a coalhouse. The windows are all permanently fastened. The pathways in front of the houses are all unpaved, and in the Winter time they are in the condition of a quagmire. The village is supplied with gravitation water, and there are two wells in every row. The company employs a scavenger. The houses are said to be about 6o years old, are owned by William Baird & Co., and inhabited by the mining workers of that firm. [11]

STABLE ROW, PARISH OF AUCHINLECK.

No wash-houses. No coalhouses. No ashpits.

This is a small row of 6 two apartment houses and one single apartment house. The rent is 5 per annum. The houses are built of stone. The kitchen is 16 feet by 12 feet, and the room 12 feet by 12 feet. The population was 37. There are no washing-houses and no ashpits. The refuse is thrown about on the ground round about the houses, and the stench is abominable. The sewage runs as a flow of filth through the ground into a burn close by. The only closet is a miserable wooden erection, with two compartments. It measured 6 feet in height, 5 feet in width, and 3 feet from back to front. This is a horrible place. It is said to belong to the trustees of Sir Claud Alexander, of Ballochmyle.

COMMON ROW, PARISH OF AUCHINLECK.

Wm. Baird & Co. No wash-houses.

This rowconsists of 96 houses built together in a long line without an opening. They are two apartment houses. The kitchen measured 14 feet by 12 feet, and the room 12 feet by 9 feet. The houses are built of stone, and the rent is 7s per month. The population of the row was 506. There is not a single washing-house for all this population. The ashpits, the closets, and coalhouses are all built together and placed only five yards from the doors of the houses. The closets have no doors, and two open compartments. There are 17 of these erections for the whole row. The stench of the closet and ashpits at the very doors of the houses is abominable. The floors of the closets are nearly all littered with human excrement, and owing to the want of privacy these closets cannot he used by females or grown up persons. The pathways in front of the houses are unpaved, and when we visited the place on the 13th November, 1913, the whole place was a perfect quagmire, and indeed it was hardly possible to step from a door without going up to the ankles in 'glaur'. An open syvor runs down the front of the row, and carries the filth past the doors of the houses to a settling tank, which is erected at the end of the row, from whence the sewage is discharged into the burn. The houses are owned by William Baird & Co.

DARNCONNER, PARISH OF AUCHINLECK.

Wm. Baird & Co.

Darnconner consists of two squares of houses and several rows. The houses are built of brick with cemented walls. [12]

Low Square.

This square consists of 17 houses of two apartments. The rent is 5s 6d per month. There are no washing-houses, but several washing-house boilers have been erected. Whoever erected them forgot to build a house over them, and the women have to do their washing in the open air. There are two closets, without doors, for these 17 families ; and an open ashpit in the centre of the square was filled to overflowing and the stinking refuse strewn about for yards. Another heap of refuse was dumped down at the corner of the houses. The coalhouses were so dilapidated that several tenants kept their coals below their beds. The kitchens measured 13 feet by 13 feet, and the room 9 feet by 5 feet. The population of this square was 99.

High Square. No wash-houses.

There are also 17 houses in this square, of the same description as in the low square. There is only one closet without doors, and two open compartments for these 17 families. The population was 90. The ashpit in the centre of the square is also here filled to overflowing and the filth strewn about everywhere. There are no pavements, and the 'glaur' is inches deep at the doors of the houses.

Railway Rows. No wash-houses. Broken floors.

These are two rows running parallel to each other. Each row has 12 single apartment houses at the front and 12 single apartment houses at the back, built back to back. In all they contain 48 single apartment houses, 24 built back to back. In several cases families have rented two kitchens, and by means of putting through a communication have made them into two apartment houses. The rent is 5s per month, and where one family has rented two kitchens the rent is 9s 6d per month. For these 48 houses there are two closets without doors and two open compartments, and one closet in ruins, but surrounded by a sea of human excrement. The population of these houses is 137. The houses are very damp. The floors are brick tiles with a very uneven surface, and in one case where a tenant had attempted to improve the amenities by putting in a wooden floor, the damp was so destructive that the floor rotted, and we saw a floor with half of the wood relifted and the other half of the floor with the original brick tiles. The unpaved roadways in front of the houses are in a horrible mess. Pools of water several inches deep lay at the very doors, and all the pathways were quagmires.

School Row

This row contains 6 two apartment houses, and has one closet without doors. The population is 17. It is in the same condition as the rows previously described.

Store Row.

This row has 6 single apartment houses, with a population of 23, and has neither closet nor ashpit, unless the people go [13] across the road to use the conveniences belonging to the other rows already described. The pavement here is also a quagmire.

Darnconner. Summary.

The population of Darnconner is approximately 400, and there is not a closet, for the whole of the population, with a door on it. There is not a washing house, and the whole place reeks of human dirt and 'glaur' It belongs to William Baird & Co., and is inhabited by a mining population.

BALLOCHMYLE ROWS, PARISH OF AUCHINLECK.

These are two rows of 24 houses each, facing each other on the main road. They are two apartment houses built in blocks of four. The kitchen measures 14 feet by 11 feet, and the room 11 feet by 11 feet. There is an earth closet with doors for each six tenants. The closets and ashpits are situated at the back of the houses. There are no washing houses and no coalhouses. The rent is 2s per week. The population was 227. There is no pavement in front of the houses, and there is an abundance of mud at the doors of the houses.

BROOM KNOWE COTTAGES, DALMELLINGTON.

The Dalmellington Coal and Iron Co. have built 40 model cottages in close proximity to the town of Dalmellington.

Model Dwellings.

The cottages are built in two rows, and are of brick and rough cast. There is a small garden plot of ground surrounded with a wooden railing in front of every house. Each house has both a front door and a back, and the accommodation provided is two rooms, a kitchen, a scullery, with washing house boiler and a water closet and coalhouse. The dimensions of the apartments are as follows:

Kitchen, 21 feet by 10 feet (exclusive of set in beds).

Room No. 1, 11 feet by 10 feet.

Room No. 2, 11 feet by 10 feet.

Back kitchen or scullery, 10 feet by 9 feet.

The rent of this house is 4s per week, including rates.

The kitchen is fitted up with a large press reaching from the ceiling to the floor, and is arranged so that one compartment serves as a wardrobe and another serves as a cupboard. The back kitchen, the water closet, and coalhouse are built like outhouses, but joined to the main building. There is no ashpit, but the people put their refuse in pails, and this is collected by the scavenger every day. This is almost an ideal [14] house for a miners family. The addition of a bathroom would have made it complete, and it will be observed that the length of the kitchen, 21 feet, leaves almost sufficient room to take a portion of it for a bathroom, and still leave an ordinary sized kitchen. This could have probably been done at a cost of another 3d per week on the rent. We are of opinion that it this were done, and houses of that description supplied to the miners the housing problem, so far as these workers are concerned, would be practically solved. We desire to draw the attention of the Commissioners specially to a consideration of this house. We consider that although in the case of a miner who is the only breadwinner the rent would be a little high, it is less than is usually paid by the artisan in the towns for a room and kitchen in a tenement building, and that the rent could easily be afforded by a miner who has some of his family working. The house for the accommodation provided is, in our opinion, very cheap.

LOUDOUN ROWS, GALSTON.

Wm. Baird & Co. Tarred roof. Rent. Closet Accommodation. No washing-houses. Houses flooded.

There are three rows running parallel to each other. They are built of brick, and the walls have a thick coating of cement and are whitewashed. The roofs are round shaped and covered with tarcloth instead of slates, and they are therefore better known as the 'Tarry Rows'. There are 18 houses in each row. The houses are two apartment ones. In the row nearest the Burgh of Galston the kitchens have two set-in beds, and the rent in this row is 7s 3d per month, including rates. In the other two rows the kitchen has only one set-in bed, and the rent is 6s per month. There are three erections with ashpit and closet built together, and placed only five yards from the doors of the houses in front of the buildings, for each row. The houses have no back doors. Wooden coalhouses have been provided, but there are no wash-houses, and on the date of our visit, 24th November, 1913, we saw several women washing in the open-air. The floors of the houses are brick tiles, and many of them have sunk considerably since they were laid. The surface of the floors is therefore so very uneven that some of the tenants complained to us that during wet weather the water sometimes lay two inches deep on the sunken tiles near the door. The houses are said to be very cold in the Winter time, for the walls seem to be only nine inches thick. The houses are said by the tenants to be so very damp that the water runs down the walls in wet weather. The windows are permanently fastened. The houses are situated so very near the River Irvine that when [15] the river overflows its banks they are inundated with water. We were informed that during the last nine years on three occasions the houses were so flooded that the water rose so high as to put out the kitchen fires. The pathways in front of the houses are unpaved, but owing to a good coating of ashes there was very little mud. A scavenger is employed by the company to keep the place clean, and his efforts appear to have been very successful, for there was an absence here of that filth which characterised most of the rows we have previously described.

KILLOCH SQUARE, GAUCHALLAND ROWS, GALSTON.

Galston Gauchalland Coal Co. Rent. Outhouses.

There are 36 houses in this square and these rows. They are built of stone. There are 6 single apartment houses and thirty two apartment Louses. The rent of the two apartment houses is 2s 3d per week and the single apartment houses is 6d per week, with the exception of six houses in the High Gauchalland Row, where the rent of a two apartment house is 1s 9d per week. The front row, facing the main road, has a plot of ground surrounded by a wooden railing in front of the houses. There is one closet for every two families, and one washing-house for every six tenants. All the tenants have coalhouses. The outhouses are situated in the centre of the square and a respectable distance from the doors of the houses. A slight subsidence has had the effect of causing cracks in some of the walls, and the brick tiled floors are very uneven. The pathways are unpaved, but at the date of our visit they were not very muddy. The tenants in the back row complain that their houses are very damp. The houses are said to be about 6o years old, and are inhabited by the mining population of the Gauchalland Coal Co. There is a plentiful supply of gravitation water.

MAXWOOD ROWS, GALSTON.

Littlejohn & Sons. Rent. No washing-houses.

These rows are situated just outside the boundary of the burgh of Galston in the direction of Newmilns. There are two rows. One row consists of ten single apartment houses, and the other ten two apartment houses. The houses are built of brick, with walls thinly cemented. The rent is - For single apartment houses 1s 7d per week, and for two apartment houses 2s 6d per week, inclusive of rates. There are four closets for the 20 families, and four ashpits. The closets have doors. but the ashpits have no roofs. Each tenant has a [16] coalhouse, but there are no washing-houses. We saw several rents in the walls, which appear to have been caused by a subsidence. The tenants complain that the houses are damp. The closets and ashpits are at the front of the doors. The pathways are unpaved and muddy. There is only one well to supply water for the twenty families. It is gravitation water, and a tank has been built to store it, but the tenants complain that very often the supply of water is so very scarce that they have to wait for a long time before getting their pails filled. This may be due to the fact that the houses are built on a considerable elevation. The measurement of the single apartment houses is approximately i6 feet by 11 feet. The houses are owned by Messrs. Littlejohn & Sons, coalmasters, Galston, and are inhabited by workers and their families.

GROUGAR ROW, NEAR GALSTON.

Rent. No washing-houses or coal houses. Closets.

This row contains 18 houses, and is situated on the back road from Galston to Kilmarnock, about 1 miles from Galston. Each house contains a kitchen, measuring approximately 14 feet by 13 feet, and two small rooms not much larger than cupboards. They measure approximately 8 feet by 6 feet. The houses are built of brick and face the main road. The row is formed of three blocks of houses, with six houses in each block. The windows are permanently fastened. The rent is 2s 3d per week. The floors are made of cement, and the walls are so damp that in one house we saw the wood of the set-in bed in the room had completely rotted and the mattress on the bed was completely destroyed. The pathways are unpaved and muddy. There are neither washing-houses nor coalhouses, and the people keep their coals below their kitchen beds. The closets and ashpits are placed at the back of the houses. There are doors on the closets, but in one case -the door had been broken off and the floor of the closet was littered with filth. There is one closet for every three tenants. The row is supplied with gravitation water. The houses have been leased by Messrs. Kyle, coalmasters, Burnbank Colliery, Galston, and are mostly inhabited by their workers and families.

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