Milestone at Hillhead on Ayr to Cumnock
From David Thom, 26 July 05: My late father
was born & brought up in "Milestone Cottage",
Hillhead, Coylton. The cottage stands on the north side
of the (A 70) Ayr - Ochiltree - Cumnock road adjacent to
the junction of the B742 (Hillhead - Annbank) road [The
immediate descent from Hillhead to Meadowhead Farm was known
as Black's Brae by the locals.] The cottage was, of course,
named as such because of the milestone which was incorporated
in the front garden wall. It's a long time since I was last
in Hillhead but I believe the milestone is still there.
You will, no doubt, already know about this but, if not,
I hope it is on interest. (Sadly I can't remember the mileage
from Ayr which was incised on the stone.)
From David McClure: Thank you for the
information. It is the Ayr 6 milestone and you can see it
here. The cottage however
is no more. Have you a photograph of it that I could add
to the site?
From David Thom 5 Aug 05: As the family
'ancestral' photograph collection was wantonly disposed
of several years ago I can no longer access several interesting
scenes of Hillhead from around 1890 / 1900, "Milestone
Cottage" included! I am puzzled, though, as 'Milestone
Cottage' stood on the East side of the B742 Coylton-Annbank
road and its junction with the A70 Ayr-Cumnock main road.
The photograph shows the milestone on the West side of the
junction, adjacent to the War Memorial. One of my relatives
remembers that back in the 1950s he asked why the cottage
was named 'Milestone' when the stone was across the road!
I now have 'subliminal recall' from family lore that the
milestone had, at some time, been re-located to its present
site - a situation which caused perplexity to the resident
Thom family, but the cottage retained its name! There was,
I believe, at one time, a house or cottage on, or very near
to, the site of the present War Memorial. A Mr. Liddle (Liddell)
who was manager of one of the local pits lived there with
his family. My memories of Coylton are diminishing with
age but I clearly remember the late 1940s when the main
road was considered to be busy if more than one vehicle
an hour travered along it!
From David Thom, 27 March 2006: I see
from the clipping below (courtesy of Free Historical Maps
GAZETTEER) dated circa 1880, that the Hillhead milestone
was indeed on the West side of the Coylton -Tarbolton road,
and not in its present position on the East side of the
road. No sign of 'Milestone Cottage' on the map - it must
have been built just after the map was drawn.