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 6.

MUIRKIRK SOUTH, PARISH OF MUIRKIRK.

Owned by Wm. Baird & Co. General Notes.

Muirkirk South is a considerable village on the south side of the River Ayr from Muirkirk proper. It is built in rows, having 237 dwellings, with a population of 1064, exclusive of officials' houses and of Linkieburn, most of which is tenanted by Spaniards, making it a little difficult to get exact figures. It belongs to Messrs. William Baird & Co., Ltd., and is tenanted chiefly by miners. In Linkieburn and Linkieburn Square there are a number of furnace workers, the -Muirkirk furnaces being quite near.

Linkieburn. Right side up.

The row nearest to the station is Linkieburn. On the right hand side up there are 14 houses, with only seven entrances. It is almost wholly inhabited by Spaniards, some of whom have rented two houses for the purpose, we presume, of accommodating lodgers.

Size of house.

The size of the house is 14 feet by 12 feet, and the rent is 2s for the two houses. They are built of stone.

Left side up.

There are six house, of two apartments on the left hand side up.

Rent.

The rent is 2s 1d for this double house.

Accommodation.

There are two dry-closets, with doors, for both sides, but no coalhouse and no washing-house. One Spaniard on left side of row had built a washing house for himself, so we were told, the use of which he allows some of the other tenants.

Unpaved paths.

The paths are unpaved, but very clean. [63]

Spaniard a good type.

The Spaniards here are of a good type, one house we were in being nice and clean.

Water supply.

There is a good supply of water, a continual run going down the open syvor.

Linkieburn Square. No. of houses. Population.

There are 15 two apartment houses in Linkieburn Square. The kitchens measure 15 feet by 10 feet, but the rooms are mere strips, 11 feet by 6 feet. There are in all 64 people here.

Rent.

The rent is 4 4s per year.

Accommodation, Closets, etc.

There are no washing-houses and only three coalhouses, but some of the tenants have built wooden ones for themselves. There is a dry-closet for every four tenants, with open ashpits. The closets were very clean.

Unpaved paths.

The paths are unpaved, but very clean. There is a copious supply of water always running in the open syvor about 9 feet from the door.

Water supply.

This water is led in pipes from the hills.

Brick built.

This square is built of brick, and some of the houses are slightly damp.

Midhouse Row. Population, etc. Rent.

There is a population of 90 in what is called Midhouse Row, inhabiting 25 two apartment houses. Some rent two of these two apartment houses, the rent of which is 3s 10d a week, and 2s for the ordinary house.

Accommodation, Closets, etc.

There is a washing-house for every five tenants, a dry-closet for every three tenants, with coalhouses and covered ashpits. All these are under one roof, only 12 feet from the door, which is always undesirable.

Unpaved paths, etc.

The paths are unpaved, but very clean; the kitchen floors of brick tile and the rooms of wood.

Water supply.

Like the other rows there is plenty of water running, as well as for use.

Railway Terrace, No. 1.

Railway Terrace, No. 1, contains 26 two apartment houses built of brick, with a population of 101.

Same as previous row.

It is the same as to size, rent, and accommodation as the Midhouse Row. In this Railway Terrace, No. 1, a good number of tenants have rented three apartments.

Railway Terrace, No. 2.

Railway Terrace, No. 2, contains 27 two apartment. houses, with a population of 146.

Accommodation, Closets, etc.

These houses are built of stone, with the same washing-house, closet, coalhouse, and ashpit accommodation as the two previous rows.

Rent.

The rent is 1s 10d a week.

Condition.

These houses are said to be a little damp.

Unpaved.

The paths are unpaved, but clean. As in the other rows, there is plenty of water.

Kames Row, No. 3.

Kames Row, No. 3, is built of brick, containing 27 houses, with a population of 123. The kitchen measures 14 feet by 12 feet, the room 12 feet by 10 feet. [64]

Rent.

The rent is 2s a week.

Accommodation, Closets, etc.

There is a washing-house for every eight tenants, and a closet for every four. There are coalhouses and covered ashpits.

Paved.

This row is paved in front, which is a great help to the appearance and comfort of the houses.

Water.

Plenty of water, as in the other rows.

Kames Row, No. 2.

Kames No. 2 is a replica of Kames No. 3. There are several tenants here who have taken three apartments. The population here is 291, inhabiting 56 dwellings, and the rent is 1s 11d a week.

Kames Row, No. 1. Accommodation. Unpaved.

Kames No. 1 has 98 houses of two apartments, with a population of 249. It has the same accommodation in everything as the others, but is unpaved.

Rent.

The rent is 1s 10d here.

General Remarks.

At the lower end of these rows there is a settling pond which ought to be removed, as it gives off a very bad smell, especially in Summer. The flies at this lowest row are a perfect plague. Another thing which is to be deprecated is the washing-house, coalhouse, closet, and ashpit all under one roof, and in many instances only 12 feet from front door.

Water.

The water supply is excellent, the gravitation water being brought from Cairntable. The water is plentiful and good.

Inhabitants.

The inhabitants are a markedly good type. They take a great interest in their gardens, many of them having glass frames and some large glass houses. A great many of them have rented three and four apartments, which is proof that the people here are willing to pay for better accommodation.

What is lacking.

The one thing lacking here is water-closets. if those were erected, and a bathroom added, we believe that the people would justify their erection by using them and appreciating them. On the whole this is a good type of village. A very little trouble and expense would make it a desirable place to live in.

TRABBOCH, PARISH OF STAIR.

Owned and leased by Wm. Baird & Co., Ltd. Description. Number of apartments.

Trabboch is a village of 94 dwellings on the Stair and Littlemill road, about two miles distant from Stair. It is made up of four rows, three of 18 houses each and one of 40. The bulk of the houses are of two apartments. It was in the parish of Ochiltree, but is now in the parish of Stair, the alteration being made for parochial purposes.

The 1st or Long Row. In blocks of 8.

The first, or Long Row, contains 40 houses, built in five blocks of eight each. The end house of each block is of three apartments, the others of two.

Dimensions.

The measurement of the two apartment house is 14 feet by 12 feet for the kitchen, and for the room 12 feet by 6 feet. The three apartment house is not much larger in floor space. [65]

2nd Row.

The second row has 18 houses on the same principle as the Long Row.

3rd and 4th Rows.

The third and fourth rows are exactly the same as the second row. All the rents are 2s a week.

Cottages.

Besides the houses mentioned, there is a cottage built crosswise at the beginning of each of rows 2, 3, and 4, the rent of which is 2s 6d a week. These have four apartments. The three rooms are very small, the largest being 9 feet- by 8 feet. The kitchen is of a fair size.

Water supply.

The water supply is from Loch Bradan.

Accommodation, Closets, etc.

There is a washing-house for every four houses, and a coalhouse and a small dry-closet for every house. There is a tiny ashpit attached to every closet.

Closets and Ashpits dirty.

There were no doors on any of the closets when we saw them (6th December, 1913), and both closets and ashpits were deplorably dirty. Some of the ashpits were half-full of foul water and rotten matter.

Paths unpaved.

The paths are unpaved, parts of them badly cut up, and in wet weather exceedingly dirty.

Remarks.

With a little attention Trabboch could be much better. Pavements before the doors would be a great help both as to appearance and comfort.

HIGHHOUSE ROWS, PARISH OF AUCHINLECK.

Owned by Wm. Baird & Co., Ltd.

Highhouse Rows stand on the side of the Ochiltree and Auchinleck road, just outside of the village of Auchinleck.

Number of houses.

There are two rows of 49 and 48 dwellings respectively, of two apartments.

The first row.

The first row contains 49 two apartments, except four which have three apartments. The two apartments are rented at 2s 1d a week, the three at 3s 6d, exclusive of rates.

Dimensions.

The kitchens measure 13 feet by 11 feet, the rooms 12 feet by 10 feet.

Of stone.

This row is built of stone, which gives it a nice, clean appearance.

Accommodation, closets, etc.

There is a washing-house for every four houses and a closet for every four, with coalhouses and ashpits. These have the defect common to most rows - all built together in front of the houses, and only 18 feet distant in this case.

Water supply.

There is a supply of Loch Bradan water.

Paved.

The paths are paved, which give here, as everywhere else, the houses a better appearance, and help to keep the inside of them much cleaner.

Open syvors.

The open syvors at the top of this row were almost stagnant, and when we saw them on 6th December, 1913, contained quantities of dirty water. [66]

Houses inside.

The houses inside are fairly comfortable, having wooden floors, and in the dwellings we visited were oven grates.

Second row.

The second row is built of brick, otherwise it is the same as the first row.

Bad smell at top.

There is often a bad smell at the top here, so we were informed, from the fact that there is an outlet from all the closets here. There are provisions for flushing regularly, but this is often neglected. The ashpits, too, were very dirty; indeed, some of them were disgraceful. We were told that in Summer the flies were 'something awful'. We could well believe it from the state in which we found the ashpits. Some of the people to whom we spoke expressed an earnest desire for water-closets. The open syvors all along the rows looked dirty, and better scavenging here is urgently needed.

HURLFORD, PARISH OF RICCARTON.

Marchmont Place.

Owned by Messrs. J. & R. Howie, Ltd.

Hurlford is a large village about two miles from Kilmarnock. With the greater part of the village we will not deal, our purpose being to report on houses owned by colliery owners, as well as on a few in which miners live.

Number of houses.

Marchmont Place is a 'land' of 16 dwellings in all, eight upstairs and eight on the ground floor. It is situated on the right hand side of the Galston road, a short distance from Hurlford Cross.

Appearance of houses.

These houses are of a good appearance, and have fair accommodation. Some are of three apartments.

Rents.

The rents of these are 11 a year upstairs, and on the ground flat 10. The two apartment house on the ground flat is 8 10s. These have cement floors, while the others are of wood.

Accommodation, closets, etc.

Every family has a water-closet and every four have a washing-house. There are small open ashpits over against the courtyard, which might be better arranged.

Unpaved, but clean.

The paths are unpaved, but when we saw them on 6th December, 1913, they were clean. The backs might be muddy in wet weather.

Next Row, or Red Row.

There is a small row next to Marchmont place of one storey, having six dwellings of two apartments and sculleries. These also have a fine appearance, and we believe are comfortable. The paths, etc., are the same as Marchmont place.

The rent is 8 a year. [67]

Collier Row.

Rent.

The next now on the same side of the road is called the Collier Row, and consists of 12 two apartment houses rented at 5 17s 6d. The kitchen measures 14 feet by 12 feet, the room 12 feet by 10 feet. The floors are of brick tile.

Accommodation, closets, etc.

There is a closet for every three tenants, with an ashpit and a washing-house. Coalhouses are provided also.

Paths clean.

The paths in front of this row are clean and dry, though unpaved. This row is very much older than the others mentioned, but it is in a fairly good state of repair.

Salisbury Place.

The next row is of two storeys, with 14 houses of two apartments. The top storey is reached by an outside stair.

Rent.

The rent is 7 10s a year.

Accommodation, closets, etc.

There is a washing-house for every four tenants, and a closet, with open ashpits - not too clean when we saw them There are coalhouses also.

Water supply.

There is a supply of gravitation water throughout.

Owners. Ornamentation.

We believe all these rows belong to Messrs. J. & R. Howie Ltd. The path all along is dry and clean, and there is an attempt at ornamentation by young trees being planted al intervals along the front.

Office Row.

Number of Apartments.

Crossing the road we get the Office Row. It was originally a row of six single apartment houses, but two tenants were occupying two houses each and two the remaining single ones when we visited it on 6th December, 1913.

Type of house.

The houses are old and of a poor type.

Dimensions.

Each measures 13 feet by 11 feet, and some of them are rather damp.

Accommodation, closets, etc.

The conveniences are very poor, there being only one closet for the row and one small ashpit. These were disgracefully foul, dirty, stinking water lying in pools around. There are coalhouses, but no washing-house.

Owners. Rent.

They belong to the Messrs. Howie, and the rent is 1s 7d a week.

Chapel Cottages.

Owned by Messrs. J. & R. Howie, Ltd.

The next row, coming back towards Hurlford Cross, is Chapel Cottage Row. There are four houses here of two apartments and scullery - two at front and two at the back - with a sink and water tap. [68]

Accommodation, closets, etc.

There are water-closets and one open ashpit in a deplorable condition.

Rent.

The rent of the two houses at the front is 7 a year, those at the back being 6 10s. There is one washing-house.

Owned by Messrs. J. & R. Howie, Ltd.

Alongside of these is Chapel Buildings. This is a tenement of four houses - two on the ground floor and two above. One is of three apartments, the others two apartments.

Accommodation, closets, etc.

There are water-closets, but the one ashpit, already mentioned, has to serve for these four houses also. When we saw it it was overflowing.

Skerrington Row.

First two houses. Rent.

The next row down towards the Cross is the Skerrington Row. The first two houses, so we were informed, belong to J. & R. Howie, Ltd. They are of two apartments, at a rent of 2s 6d a week.

Accommodation, closets, etc.

There is a water-closet for these, but no washing-house nor any coalhouse. These two have the privilege of sharing with the Chapel Cottage and Chapel Buildings the use of ashpit already described.

The rest of Skerrington Row.

The remainder of Skerrington is privately owned. It is a pity there is any remainder.

Number of houses.

This portion of it consists of three houses in front and six down the side - all of two apartments.

Rent.

The rent is 2s 2d a week.

Accommodation, closets, etc.

There is one washing-house for all the Skerrington Rows. There are two small boilers, but there was not a single whole pane in the window when we saw them on 6th December, 1913. There is one dry-closet of three compartments, with no locks on the doors. There are no coalhouses. The closet entrance was flooded with foul water. There is a woman employed to keep them clean, but is unable because of the nature of them.

Dimensions.

The size of the kitchen is 12 feet by 12 feet, and the rooms about half that size. The side row is out of repair and is very damp. The water gets through the ceiling. The floor is brick tile, badly broken. The pathway here is unpaved and beggars description. Besides the 2s 2d a week for rent for these houses, the rates this year amount to 27s 9d.

Next lot. Number of houses.

The next lot of Skerrington houses consists of five fronting Hurlford and nine fronting the Galston Road - four of two apartments upstairs at the back, at a rent of 2s 7d a week, and four of two apartments downstairs at the front at the same rent; except one tenant who pays 3d a week extra because there is a back door. The other house has one apartment at 1s 10d a week. [69]

Condition.

There are other four houses of one storey fronting the road. All of them are damp.

Factor.

We were informed that the factor for these houses is Mr James Finlay.

Remarks.

The type of these houses is as poor as can be imagined The accommodation as to closets, washing-houses, etc., is altogether inadequate. At the lower end of the side row we looked into an empty house which had a broken door, and which was littered with every conceivable abomination.

Howie's Square.

Owned by Messrs. J. & R. Howie, Ltd.

Coming still back towards Hurlford Cross, behind the front street is what is known as Howie's Square.

Number of houses.

There seems to have been 11 dwellings originally, but only four single apartments vv ere occupied when we visited till square on 6th December, 1913.

Kind of houses.

Whatever these houses may have been, they are ding enough looking now. The inside appearance confirms the impression given outside.

Where situated.

The square is situated on the margin of the River Irvine and in high floods the houses arc inundated.

Accommodation, closets, etc.

There arc three dry-closets, one washing-house, and an open ashpit. This was full of all kinds of decaying vegetable matter, and was littered in front fully 12 feet. We were informed that 20 tenants, besides two shops, use. this ashpit.

Rent.

The rent of the single house is 1s 3d a week.

Portland Rows.

Owned by Wm. Baird & Co., Ltd. General description.

Portland Rows are on the right hand side of the main road to Riccarton, about three minutes walk from Hurlford Station. There are two rows.

Front or Old Row. Number of dwellings/

The front, or old row, is a huge tenement of two storeys built originally, so we were informed, to house 180 families We were slow to believe this statement, but the same number was given to as when we made further enquiries.

How constructed.

There are 20 double porches at the front, giving an entrance to four houses each, and a like number at the back. The entrance from one side of the porch goes straight in to the house on the ground floor, and to the. left is a stone stair leading to the flat above. On the other side of the porch the stair to the room above is on the right. It was the construction of these stairs which led us to believe that both up and downstairs were meant for one tenant, but we were assured that that was not so. It is true that a goodly number of families are occupying an upstair and a downstair house, [70] but on the other hand it seems also to be true that there are some who have only the one apartment. A number of these houses were empty when we visited the row.

Dimensions. Rent.

The size of the house on the ground floor is 14 feet by 12 feet, and the porch 8 feet by 6 feet. They are said to be about 70 years old, and the rent is, for the single house, 5s 5d a month, exclusive of taxes.

Accommodation, closets, etc.

There are six washing-houses, but some of those on 6th December, 1913, had not a single pane of glass. There are sixteen dry-closets in all, some with doors, some without, with a few small ashpits only 18 feet from the porches at the back.

Unpaved.

The paths, both at front and back, are unpaved, and muddy in wet weather. Beside the porches at the back is a brick paved space, very badly broken and lying in pools of water. There is a small cesspool, one of which had been closed by the tenants because of the offensive smell. There are no coalhouses, the coals in some instances being stored in the porch. The accommodation is far below what it ought to be both as to amount and quality. The population in this row is 250.

New, or Back Row. Dimensions.

The New, or Back Row, has 20 houses of two apartments. The kitchen measures 13 feet by 11 feet, and the room about 10 feet by 9 feet.

Accommodation, closets, etc.

There are dry-closets for every three tenants, with ashpit, etc. As is the case in many other places, the washing-house, coalhouse, closet, and ashpit are all under one roof, about 12 feet from the front of the row.

The paths are unpaved and very muddy. There are open syvors in front of the doors not too clean.

Rent.

The rent is 7s 4d a month.

Owners.

Both rows belong to Messrs. William Baird & Co., Ltd.

Furnace Row.

Owned by Wm. Baird & Co., Ltd. Number of houses.

The Furnace Row is situated on the right hand side of the main road to Riccarton, about a stone throw from Hurlford railway station. It is owned by William Baird & Co., Ltd., and consists of 16 two apartment houses.

Dimensions.

The kitchen measures 12 feet by 6 feet, the room being 11 feet by 6 feet. The rent is 8s 8d a month, inclusive of taxes. There are no fires to the rooms.

Accommodation, closets, etc.

There are two washing-houses at the far end, but they are in very bad repair. There are two dry-closets of two compartments each. The two at upper end had no doors when we saw them on 6th December, 1913, and were very filthy. We were told they were never used except by children. Those at the other end of the row were not much better, and rarely used. As one man put it, 'We are compelled to go to the fields, and may be taken up any day for trespassing.'

Filthy ashpits.

The two ashpits were in a horrible litter. We were told these places in Summer were 'hotchin with mauks', i.e., moving with maggots.

Drying green.

There arc six or seven coalhouses at the back, and running parallel with the backs of the houses is a high stone wall, 19 feet from the houses, in which space is the drying green so called. This space is littered with refuse and filth, the children evidently using it as a closet.

Unpaved.

The front paths are unpaved, but fairly clean.

Water supply.

There is a supply of gravitation water.

Remarks.

These houses are of a poor type, and the sanitary arrangements are abominable. [72]

 

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