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


Culzean coach house
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Old Statistical Account


[Transcribed from the original by David Courtney McClure.]


[Vol. IV, pages 305–307]

(County of Air.)

By the Rev. Mr Ebenezer Walker.

Name, Situation, Soil, &c

Dalrymple appears to be a Gaelic word, Dalrymole, and signifies ‘the valley of the slaughter of the king.'  Here , it is supposed, Coilus king of the Britons fell.  This parish is in the presbytery of Air, and Synod of Glasgow and Air.  The lower part of it is delightfully situated, and is valley–ground, surrounded on both sides with little green hills.  near the river Doon, for the space of 5 or 6 miles SE the situation is beautiful.  The length of the parish is 6 or 7 miles; its breadth, in several places, is 2 Scotch miles.  Dalrymple is bounded by the parishes of Dalmellington, Coylton, Maybole, Air and Kirkmichael.  The general appearance of the country is partly flat, and partly hilly; part of the soil is fertile, and part barren; part of it deep, and part shallow.  Some of it well cultivated and manured by lime or marl.  There is variety of mineral springs and lochs.  There is only one river called Doon, which flows from Loch Dune [sic].  After a course upwards of 24 miles of various windings and turnings, it [306] discharges itself into the sea.  The river is stored with trout, salmon, pike and eel.  The salmon–fishing here lets at present for £13.  This species of fish is sold in summer for 6d the pound, the season in which it is in its highest perfection.  There is freestone, marl and lime.


According to Dr Webster's returns, the numbers were 439.  The number of souls at present is 380.



Farmers and their families






Examinable persons




Annual births, about




Annual marriages, about




Annual burials, about






Inhabited houses



No sectaries.  The proportion between the annual births and the whole population is as 1 to 24; between the marriages and the whole population as 1 to 54; between the deaths and the whole population as 1 to 40.


The parish, for the most part, supplies itself with provisions, and sometimes exports.  A considerable proportion of the grounds is employed in raising corn, roots, potatoes, and cabbage.  Only a few acres are cultivated in raising hemp or flax.  There are many acres, both in sown grass and pasture, but more in pasture.  The farmers here commonly sow between the middle of March and the end of April; and reap between the middle of August and the end of September.  The valued rent is £1980 1s 1d.

Stipend, Poor, &c

The church was built in 1764; the manse in 1728; and both of them were lately repaired.  [307] The value of the living is about £76 or £80.  The glebe is extremely small.  There are 5 heritors.  The King is patron.  The number of poor on the roll is 7.  The yearly amount of the collections for their relief, is about £11.  There is also about £20, for their maintenance, in the Bank of Air.  No parish in the presbytery has its poor better supplied.

Miscellaneous Observations

This parish lay formerly under disadvantages, which are now, in a great measure, removed, by means of inclosures and good roads.  There are 3 old castles, the most remarkable of which is called Barbiston.  A battle is said to have been fought between Dick of Barbiston and Kennedy, the latter of whom was killed.  And from the stone which killed him, the place is reported to have been called Barbarous Stone, or Barbiston.  Some stones of the old vaults were found, and bear the dates of 1340 and 1345.  A spear, and several large bones, which dissolved when exposed to the air, were also found near this spot.  The price of provisions has increased much within these few years.  A day's wages for a labourer in husbandry, are generally from 10d to 1s 5d the day.  The wages of a common labourer, when married, are from £3 to £3 10s in the half year, and are found little enough to bring up a family.  The fuel commonly used is coal and peat.  Very little wood is used.  The price of the coal and peat is nearly the same, from 4d to 6d the load.  The people in general are disposed to industry, and are oeconomical.






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