"AYRSHIRE, a maritime co. in the SW. of Scotland, adjoining the cos. of Renfrew, Lanark, Dumfries, Kirkcudbright and Wigtown. It is in the shape of a crescent, with the concave side, measuring about 70 miles, adjacent to the Firth of Clyde. Its greatest breadth, across the middle, is 30 miles. Area, 1128.5 sq. m., or 729,186 ac. Pop. 217,519 or 193 persons to each sq. m. The coast in the S. is rocky and destitute of natural harbours, but becomes low and sandy northwards from Ayr. The lofty islet of Ailsa Craig is comprised in this co. The surface slopes with slight undulations from the landward border, which is hilly in most parts, and is mountainous in the SE. The soil is various, sandy near the coast, of a rich clay in the middle parts, and moor in the uplands. The rivers are the Garnock, Irvine, Ayr, Doon, Girvan, and Stinchar. The largest lake is Loch Doon, on the SE. border. The minerals are coal, iron, limestone, and sandstone, all of which are extensively worked. The co. is famous for dairy produce and a fine breed of cows. The mfrs. are valuable and include woollen, cotton, iron, and earthenware."
Bartholemew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887