GIRVAN, AYRSHIRE DIRECTORY 1837 - by Pigot & Co

Is a port town and burgh of barony, in the parish of its name and district of Carrick; 99 miles wsw of Edinburgh, 56 ssw of Glasgow, 31 nnw of Portpatrick, the like distance nne of Stranraer, 21 s by w of Ayr, 13 n by e of Ballantrae, 12 ssw of Maybole, and 6 sw of Dailly; situate on the left bankof the Garvan or Girvan, near to its influx with the sea and at a point exactly opposite the islet called Ailsa Craig.

The harbour, which is now convenient for shipping, underwent great improvement at the expense of the late Sir H.D. Hamilton, the then sole proprietor; and others, upon an extensive scale, are contemplated, in consequence of, an act to give convenience and effect to, the new line of railroad, and the establishment of a steam-packet direct to Glasgow. Large quantities of grain, of various kinds, are annually exported from hence, chiefly to Liverpool and Glasgow. The consignments of timber from North America to merchants in this town are considerable; the trade in coal and lime is likewise important - the mines of the former and quarries of the latter being numerous in this neighbourhood; but the principal business of the town consists in the manufacture of a variety of cotton and other goods, for the Glasgow and Paisley markets, which affords employment to the bulk of the inhabitants.

The government of the town is vested in two bailies and twelve common councilmen - four of the latter being chosen annually, upon the retirement or otherwise of the like number, on the 12th October; the Duchess of Coigney, or her representative, is superior of the burough. The places of worship are, a church of the establishment (a neat structure, thoroughly repaired some years since), United Secession and Methodist meeting-houses, and a Roman Catholic chapel.

To the parochial school a valuable donation was made by the late Mrs Crawford, of Ardmillan, who left the interest of 1,000 forever to the teachers, for the education of forty children, subject only to the deduction of two guineas, to be distributed in small prizes amongst the pupils; the same munificent lady also left the interest of 1,000 of which 12 are given to the precentor of the church for the instruction of ten of the children in sacred music, and the balance to be divided among poor householders, not receiving parish relief. Here is also a charity school, supported by various donations and subscription from the gentry and others residing in the town and neighbourhood.

A market, chiefly for grain, is held at Girvan every Monday; and there are two annual fairs, on the last Monday in the months of April and October, for stock, hiring servants, and general business.

The celebrated and extraordinary rock called Ailsa Craig is immediately opposite to, and fifteen miles distant from Girvan, rising out of the Firth of Clyde to the height of a thousand feet. It is two miles in circumference; and the top, which is conical, is covered with a luxurious crop of heath, grass and other plants, which feed great numbers of goats and rabbits. In one place the nettles form an impenetrable forest, six feet in height; and all the other plants likewise attain a proportionably gigantic size. All around, on the precipitous sides of the rock, uniformly nestle almost inconceivable numbers of solan geese, puffins, and gannets, which flutter about, and produce incessant deafening noise. On a long terrace or shoulder of the craig, at the elevation of 200 feet from the base, stands a deserted square tower, or castellated house, still very perfect as a ruin. Higher up issue two sparkling and beautiful springs of water, one of which forms a small marshy plain, covered with various plants, amongst others, the "hydrocatile vulgaris" of extraordinary magnitude. The rock belongs to the Marquess of Ailsa, who draws from it a yearly rental of about 30 which is paid by the feathers of the fowls and the rabbit skins. Naturalists and botanists would find a visit of value, in increasing their knowledge of the vegetable world.

Post Office, Thomas Donaldson, Post master - Letters from Glasgow and England arrive every night at a quarter before twelve, and are despatched at a quarter before eight at night - Letters from Portpaatrick arrive every night at a quarter before eight, and are despatched every night at a quarter before twelve - A penny-post to Barr every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at eight.

GENTRY AND CLERGY
Crawford, Archibald Clifford Blackwell, esq., Ardmillan house Duncan, Rev. Alex, (secession), Old st
McMaster, Rev. Peter, Manse Tyson, Mrs. Mary, Shallock
Wilson, John, esq., (factor to the Duchess de Coigney), Bailock cottage, Bank street  
 
ACADEMIES AND SCHOOLS
Frew, Agnes, High st McDougall, Alexander, the Green
Parochial School, the Green - Rev Cathcart Kay, master Shaw, John, Dalrymple st
Steven, Rev. Andrew, Montgomery st Subscription School, Hamilton st - William Goudy, master
 
AGENTS TO MANUFACTURERS
Davidson, James, Dalrymple st Davidson, Thomas, High st
Chalmers, Joseph, Montgomery st Frazer, Hugh, Dalrymple st
Graham, John, Dalrymple st Harvey, John, Down park
McClymont, Alexander, High st McHowell, Thomas, Hamilton st
Neil, Thomas, Dalrymple st Paul, Adam, High st
Powell, James, Dalrymple st Powell, James, Hamilton st
Powell, John, Dalrymple st Tinsley, Thomas, Dalrymple st
 
BAKERS
Austin, James, High st Howie, William, Dalrymple st
Kelly, Alexander, Hamilton st Kelly, Dugald, High st
Murray, John, Knockushion st Peacock, Andrew, Dalrymple st
Powell, William, Dalrymple st Thomson, Hugh, Dalrymple st
 
BANKS
Ayr Bank (Branch of), High st - (draws on Sir William Forbes and Co Edinburgh, The Royal Bank, Glasgow, and Herries, Farquhar, and Co, London) - Kennedy Brown, agent Ayrshire Bank (Branch of), Bank st - (draws on the Royal Bank, Edinburgh and Glasgow, and Williams, Deacon and Co London), William Johnston, agent
 
BLACKSMITHS
Adams, Hugh, Bridge st Deckie, William, Bridge mill
Forbes, William, Bridge st McCracken, William, Shallock
Wallet, John, Down park  
 
BOOKSELLERS
Ferrier, William, Dalrymple st/ McQuaker, Joseph, Dalrymple st
 
BOOT AND SHOE MAKERS
Chalmers, David, Montgomerie st Davidson, Alexander, Dalrymple st
Eglesham, Archibald, High st Gillespie & Roxburgh, Montgomery st
Irvine, Samuel, Dalrymple st McAuley, James, Montgomery st
McCrorie(?), Robert, Montgomery st McHarg, William, Hamilton st
Steven, Alexander, Dalrymple st White, James, Hamilton st
 
CART & WHEEL WRIGHTS (see also wrights)
Dunbar, Jeremiah, Dalrymple st McClatche, Hugh Bridge mill
McCracken, Alexander, Beggar know McTaggert, James, Old street
Young, Alexander, (and millwright), Vicarton row  
 
COAL DEALERS
Hannah, Alexander, Down park McEwan, Robert, Ailsa street
 
COOPERS
Conway, Charles (& turner), Montgomery st Gardner, Robert, Hamilton st
Goudie, John, Dalrymple st  
 
FIRE &c OFFICE AGENTS
Caledonian, Kennedy Brown, High st Insurance Company of Scotland, David Randall Craig, Bank st
Hercules, John Gardner, Montgomery st West of Scotland (fire) and Scottish Amicable (life) Co., William Johnston, Bank st
 
FLESHERS
McKissock, James, High st McMillan, Robert, Dalrymple st
Sinclair, James, High st Smith, James, Dalrymple st
Weir, William, Dalrymple st  
 
GLASS AND EARTHENWARE DEALERS
Clachar, Alexander, Hamilton st Smith, William, High st
 
GROCERS (Marked thus * are also spirit dealers)
(See also Spirit Dealers and also Shopkeepers &c)
* Armstrong, James, Dalrymple st * Cathcart, James, Dalrymple st
Douglas, Robert, Montgomery st * Ferguson, David, Hamilton st
Ferguson, James, Dalrymple st * Hannah, John, Dalrymple st
* Hannah, Robert, High st * Hunter, Andrew, Hamilton st
Irvine , James, Knockushion st * McClure, James, Dalrymple st
* McClymont, Samuel, High st * McKechine, Robert, Dalrymple st
Powell, Anthony, Dalrymple st * Robinson, Thomas, High st
* Smith, William, High st * Steven, Thomas, Montgomery st
 
IRONMONGERS
McCaa, Hugh, Dalrymple st McCracken, John, Dalrymple st
McQuaker, Hugh, Dalrymple st  
 
INNKEEPERS AND VINTERS
Bryden, Andrew, (and car keeper), Montgomery st Clacher, John, (Star Inn, and livery stables), High st
Davidson, Thomas, Dalrymple st Forgie, Thomas, Montgomerie st
Harvey, John, (Weaver's Arms), Down park Irvine, Samuel, Dalrymple st
Irving, James, Knockushion st Lyle, Thomas, (King's Arms Inn & livery stables), Dalrymple st
McCulloch, _____, (George), Down park McKissock, Elizabeth, (Buck's Head), Dalrymple st
Mantell, David George, Old st Patterson, John, the Green
Powell, Thomas, Dalrymple st Sands, David, Dalrymple st
Tinsley, Thomas, Down park  
 
LEATHER CUTTERS
McIlwraith, Andrew, Montgomery st White, William, Hamilton st
 
LIBRARIES - CIRCULATING  
Agricultural, Wm. McMorran's, Bank st - William Johnston, librarian and secretary Ferrier, William, Dalrymple st
McQuaker, Joseph, Dalrymple st Subscription, High st - Robert Niven, librarian
 
LINEN AND WOOLLEN DRAPERS
Davidson, Alexander, Dalrymple st Davidson, Thomas, (and clothier), High St
Drynan, James, Dalrymple st Haldane, Thomas, (& silk mercer), Dalrymple st
McClymont, Alexander, (and silk mercer), High st McQuaker, John, Dalrymple st
Morton, William, Old st  
 
MILLERS
Austin, James, Bridge mill Trawburn, William, Shallock
 
NAIL MAKERS
Hannah, David, Bridge st Hannah, Robert, Montgomery st
 
PAINTERS - HOUSE, &c
Allen, Alexander, Dalrymple st Mantell, David George, Old st
 
SADDLERS
Campbell, Anthony, Hamilton st Kennedy, John, Bridge st
 
SHIP OWNERS
Cathcart, James, Dalrymple st Ferguson, David (and agent), Hamilton st
McKechine, Robert, Dalrymple st  
 
SHOPKEEPERS AND DEALERS IN SUNDRIES
Brackenridge, Elizbth, Dalrymple st Brown, Gilbert, Dalrymple st
Chalmers, Joseph, Montgomery st Davidson, James, Dalrymple st
Davidson, John, Dalrymple st Davidson, Thomas, Dalrymple st
Eaglesham, James, Dalrymple st Frazer, Hugh, Dalrymple st
Girvan, Margaret, Montgomery st Guthrie, John, Montgomery st
Hannah, David, Hamilton st Heron, Alexander, Down park
Houston, Ann, Hamilton st Lore, Thomas, Hamilton st
Luck, John, Dalrymple st McCrozie, John, Dalrymple st
McCulloch, George, Down park McIlwraith, Helen, Hamilton st
McMicking, Marian, Knockushion st McNeill, Roderick, Montgomery st
McTaggart, James, Old st Mantell, David George, Old st
Matland, John, Montgomery st Neill, Thomas, Dalrymple st
Powell, John, Dalrymple st Ralston, John, Montgomery st
Scobie, Mary, Montgomery st Scott, Thomas, Montgomery st
Steven, Andrew, Montgomery st  
 
SLATERS & PLASTERERS
Henderson, James, Montgomery st McKnight, Daniel, Knockushion st
 
SPIRIT DEALERS (See also Grocers)
Dunn, John, Bridge st Ferguson, David, Hamilton st
McCracken, John, Dalrymple st Powell, William, Dalrymple st
 
STONE MASONS
Ferguson & Wright, Plumb st Knox, John, Dalrymple st
Murrow, Robt. and Archbld., Plumb st  
 
STRAW HAT MAKERS
Eglesham, Mary, High st McIlwraith, Mary, High st
 
SURGEONS
Ballantine, Robert, High st Crawford, James, MD. Redman lodge
Robinson, Andrew, Dalrymple st Robinson, David, Bogrie hall/
Thomson, Samuel, MD. Dalrymple st Walker, John, Old st
 
TAILORS
Annan, Alexander, Vicarton st Ballantine, William, Montgomery st
Brown, William, Hamilton st Crossan, James, Dalrymple st
Cunningham, James, Montgomery st Davidson, Samuel, Dalrymple st
Davidson, Thomas, High st Gammel, Thomas, High st
Hannah, John, Bridge st Hannah, Robert, High st
Law, Andrew, Bank st McClymont, John, Old st
 
TANNERS
Law, David, Bridge st McIlwraith, John, Bridge st
 
TIMBER AND SLATE MERCHANTS
Ferguson, David, Hamilton st McKechine, Robert (and lead), Dalrymple st
 
WATCH AND CLOCK MAKERS
Davidson, James, High st Graham, James, High st
 
WRIGHTS (See also Cart & Wheelwrights)
Davidson, Thomas, Newton Kennedy Ferguson, James (and cabinet maker), Plumb st
McConnell, Alexander, Knockushion st McKenna, James, Dalrymple st
Nelson, James, Bank st Ross, David, High st
 
WRITERS
Brown, Kennedy, N.P. High st/ Craig, David Randall, (& messenger at arms), Bank st
Gardner, John, Montgomery st Johnston, William, N.P. (magistrate for Ayrshire), Bank st
   
MISCELLANEOUS
Bell, William, gauger, Excise office Craig, David Randall, auctioneer, Bank st
Crawford, William, druggist &c, Bank st Elder, James, principal coast officer, the Green
Gray, Andrew, gardener, Bank st Johnston, William, factor to Sir J A Cathcart, Bank st
Lawson, John, rope maker, Dalrymple st McAdam, Saml., hair dresser, Montgomery st
McMorran, Wm., bookbinder &c, Bank st Murdock, Wm., coppersmith, Montgomery st
Powell, James, grain dealer, Dalrymple st Randall, David, town clerk, Graig town
Shaw, Thomas, tallow chandler, Bridge st Stamp Office, High st - Brown Kennedy, distributor
White, James, town treasurer, Hamilton st  
   
PLACES OF WORSHIP  
Church of Scotland, Hamilton st - Rev. Peter McMaster United Secession Meeting House, Bridge street - Rev. Alexander Duncan
Catholic Chapel, Montgomery st - Rev. William Thomson, of Ayr Methodist Meeting House, the Green - (No regular minister)

COACHES

To Ayr, the 'Robert Burns', from the King's Arms, every Tuesday and Friday morning at six; goes through Kirkoswald on Tuesdays and Dailly on Friday.

To Glasgow, the 'Royal Mail', (from Portpatrick), passes through every evening at half-past seven.

To Portpatrick, the 'Royal Mail', (from Glasgow), passes through every night at half-past eleven.

CARRIERS

To Ayr and Maybole, Wm. Dryden, from Montgomery st every Tuesday To Ballantrae, John McWhirter, from the Star, every Monday.

To Glasgow, Robert Hannah, from Dalrymple st, every Tuesday.

To Stranraer, John Steven, from Vicarton-row, every Wednesday.

CONVEYANCE BY WATER

Steam-Packets:

To Glasgow, the 'Nimrod' (from Stranraer), calls every Monday, and the 'Loch Ryan' every Tuesday.

To Stranraer, The 'Loch Ryan' (from Glasgow), calls every Friday, and the 'Nimrod' every Saturday.

Coastal Vessels:

To Glasgow, the 'Earl Gray' (Robert McKechine, agent), and the 'Irvine' (David Ferguson, agent) once a fortnight.

To Liverpool, the 'Jenny and Nancy' (Robert Ballantine, agent), and the 'Sutit'(?) (Robert McKechine, agent) occasionally.

This transcript was kindly provided by Keith Muirhead from the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.

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