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National Gazetteer, 1868

Largs - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868

"LARGS, a parish in the Cunningham district of the county Ayr, Scotland. It comprises the post town of Largs and the village of Fairley. The size of the parish is 9 miles by 4. Its surface is hilly, being broken by a ridge which cuts it off from the country behind, from which circumstance originated the proverbial expression "Out of the world, and into Largs." About 8,598 acres of the parish are heath and moorland, 5,500 in pasture, 1,145 under tillage, 3,300 in meadow, and 600 in woodlands. The Noddle and Gogo are the principal streams. There are extensive sandstone quarries. The parish is in the presbytery of Greenock, and synod of Glasgow and Ayr. The minister's stipend is £297. The parish church is a modern and commodious structure, and has tombs of the Montgomerys of Skelmorley. There are also two Free churches, an United Presbyterian church, and two chapels-of-ease, besides an Episcopalian chapel dedicated to St. Columba, to which saint the ancient church was dedicated. There are seven schools, one of which is endowed. The lordship of Largs was once possessed by John Baliol, the competitor for the crown of Scotland. It was on the plain of Largs that the celebrated battle was fought between Haco of Norway, and Alexander III. of Scotland, on the 2nd October, 1263. Margaret's-Law was in 1772 discovered to be an immense artificial accumulation of stones, and containing in its centre several stone coffins, urns, and human remains, supposed to have been there since the battle of Largs. Here is the castle of Fairley, once the property of the Fairley family, erected in 1521; Skelmorley Castle, part of which was built in 1502, and recently repaired; and Knock Castle, built about the commencement of the 16th century, and of late repaired. , The more modern structures are Brisbane House and Kelburn House. The fisheries on the coast are of considerable value. The town of Largs is situated on the Firth of Clyde, 30 miles S.W. of Glasgow, and 14 S. of Greenock. It is considered a very healthy spot, and possesses a fine beach, with good bathing. It enjoys convenient and expeditious communication with Glasgow and other large towns on the Clyde by means of steamboats, and during the season it is enlivened by a great number of visitors. In front of the town is a good quay, constructed in 1834. The parish church, with its tower and spire, is a great ornament to the town. The City of Glasgow Bank and the Western Bank have each a branch here, and there are several insurance agencies and a gas company. A suite of baths was erected here by public subscription in 1816. The inhabitants are employed in fishing and weaving, but a large proportion of them depend upon visitors. The town is chiefly under the control of the county authorities. There is a justice of peace court for small debts held here on the first Monday of each month. Thursday is market day. Fairs are held on the first Tuesday of February; on St. Columba's or Colm's Day (the Tuesday after the 12th June); on the third Tuesday of July, and the fourth Tuesday of October. The St. Columba's fair was formerly a scene of bustle and active traffic. It was attended by the people from the Highlands, who resorted hither to exchange their produce for that of the Lowland trader, but has recently much declined."

"FAIRLIE, a post town and quoad sacra parish in the parish of Largs, county Ayr, Scotland, 3 miles S. of Largs. It is situated on the coast of the Firth of Clyde, facing Cumbrae Island in the Fairlie roads. Here are a Free church and a chapel-of-ease. Fairlie House is the seat of Sir J. 0. Fairlie, Bart.; and Kilburne House that of the Earl of Glasgow. Portincross Castle stands on Fairlie Head, about 4 miles distant."

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