"With reference to the county town, an old historian says: "Aire is an ancient town and eminent for its privileges, having been built from patent by King Robert Bruce. Streams from the river drive several mills in the middle of the new town, which is joined to the old by a bridge of four arches. The old town was once called St. Johnstown-upon-Aire in contra-distinction to that upon the Tay. It is situated amidst pleasant fertile fields with delightful greens, that afford a good prospect winter and summer. It is reckoned the principal market town in the West of Scotland, next to Glasgow, has a beautiful, stately church, and is at present the seat of a presbytery, to which belong twenty-eight parishes, and with Glasgow constitutes a provincial synod." "We thus learn that in olden times Ayr was quite as enamoured of her greens as she is at the present day, and that her markets ruled the roost over the entire West of Scotland, the city of St. Mungo excepted."
"Ayrshire Nights Entertainment: A Descriptive Guide to the History, Traditions, Antiquities of the County of Ayr" by John MacIntosh of Galston, Ayrshire, published in 1894, by John Menzies and Co. of Kilmarnock, Dunlop and Drennan.