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National Gazetteer, 1868

Girvan - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868

"GIRVAN, a parish, post and market town in the district of Carrick, county Ayr, Scotland. It is a subport to Ayr, 20 miles S.S.W. of Ayr, and 95 from Edinburgh; is situated on the Carrick coast, and has Kirkoswald on the N., Dailly and Barr on the E., Colmonell on the S., and the Clyde on the W. Its length is 9 miles, and its breadth varies between 6 and 2 miles. The surface includes a range of hills in the S., some of which attain a considerable altitude. There is a large proportion of pasturage, and the soil is light and variable in quality. The Lendal and Assel ate the chief of several small streams which rise in the interior. The road from Glasgow to Portpatrick follows the coast, which is about 8 miles in extent, and for some distance bold and rocky. This parish is in the presbytery of Ayr and synod of Glasgow and Ayr, in the patronage of the crown. The minister has a stipend of £281. The church was built about 1770, but has been subsequently enlarged. Here are Free and United Presbyterian churches; also places of meeting for the Reformed Presbyterians, Reforming Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Episcopalians. There are parochial, Free church, and charity schools, besides a number of others. The ancient parish of Girvan was much more extensive than the present; its church belonged to the monks of Crossraguel until the Reformation, when it was included in the see of Dunblane, and was eventually annexed to the crown. The town is seated at the mouth of the river Girvan, opposite Ailsa Craig. Its site is one of great beauty, but in itself it is an ill-built place. The people are mostly employed in linen-weaving. Here are a townhall, gasworks, branch banks, insurance agencies, market-place, mechanics' institute, library, and benefit societies. It is a burgh of barony under Hamilton of Bargeny, was incorporated in 1696, and is governed by 2 bailies and 10 councillors. The town has a good bay and fishery, and steamboat communication with Ayr and Glasgow, the Ayr boats being in connection with the railway company. There are ruins of the chapel of Kirkdomince, also several cairns and ancient encampments. Limestone is plentiful, and sandstone and whinstone are also worked. Copper ore and tile clay are found. Monday is market day. Fairs are held on the last Mondays in April and October. A small debts' court sits in March, July, and November."

"KIRKDOMINAE, an ancient chapelry in the parish of Girvan, but now included in the parish of Barr, county Ayr, Scotland. It is situated on the river Sinchar, on the N. bank of which stood the ancient chapel belonging to the monks of Crossraguel. A fair is held here on the last Saturday in May."

Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003