DREGHORN, Ayrshire

"This parish comprehends the old parishes of Dreghorn and Pierstoun, which were united in 1668. The whole of the parish was, in olden times, the property of the De Morvilles, who were Constables of Scotland and Lords of Cunninghame. A mound of earth near the side of the River Irvine, and on the line of road from Dreghorn to Dundonald, is called Maid Morville's Mount, and, according to tradition, marks the grave of a lady of the house of De Morville, who was drowned in passing the ford."

"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 & Co. of Kilmarnock, Dunlop and Drennan.

Church History

"The church of the united parish now stands at the village of Dreghorn, which is pleasantly situated on a gentle eminence a short distance south of the water of Annick, and two miles south-east of the town of Irvine. The site of the church has been happily chosen in regard to airiness and picturesque effect. It was built in 1780, and is a neat, though unadorned building of octagonal form, with a double row of equilateral arched windows. A steeple is attached to the south side of the structure. In regard to accommodation, it is capable of holding, comfortably, 427 sitters."

"The greater part of the walls of the old church of Pierstoun are yet entire. It is situated on a densely wooded knoll overlooking the Water of Annick, and about a mile and a half north of the village of Dreghorn. The interior of the ivy-mantled ruin contains the burial places of the families of Pierstoun and Cunninghamehead."

"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 & Co. of Kilmarnock, Dunlop and Drennan.

There is a photograph of Dreghorn parish church together with a short history including some words about the origin of its unusual octagonal shape, and references to other such churches.

Church Records

There are two cemeteries in Dreghorn: Dreghorn & Perceton Old Parish Church; and Dreghorn Parish Churchyard, Station Brae. The Memorial Inscriptions are held at the North Ayrshire District Library in Ardrossan which will accept email enquiries.

Some of the gravestones have been photographed. The library also have the burial records for the Old Churchyard for 1889-1947 and a list of applications for interment at Dreghorn and Perceton from 1901-1930.

Description and Travel

Dreghorn is a relatively small parish in terms of area. It lies east of Irvine and west of Kilmarnock, centred around the cross-roads village of Dreghorn. Dreghorn grew considerably in the Industrial Revolution of the late 19th century, but the coal mining and brick making industries have now vanished. Latterly Dreghorn has become involved in the residential development of Irvine New Town.

Dreghorn was the birthplace of John Boyd Dunlop [1840 - 1921], the Veterinary Surgeon and the inventor of pneumatic tyres. Dunlop, who founded the rubber company that bears his name, studied veterinary medicine at Edinburgh University before setting up a practice in Ireland, near Belfast, in 1867. In 1887, to help his child win a tricycle race, he bound an inflated rubber hose to the wheels. The same year he developed commercially practical pneumatic tyres for bicycles and cars, first patented in 1846 by another Scot, Robert William Thomson (1822-1873).

View photographs of Dreghorn and the surrounding area.

Gazetteers

Historical Geography

Information about boundaries and administrative areas is available from A Vision of Britain through time.

Maps

View maps of Dreghorn.