NEWTON-UPON-AYR - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]

"NEWTON-UPON-AYR, a parish and burgh of regality in the district of Kyle, county Ayr, Scotland. It is a station on the Glasgow railway. It extends in length about 1½ mile from S. to N., with an extreme breadth of 1 mile. The parish is bounded on the W. by the Frith of Clyde, and on other sides by the parishes of Prestwick, St. Quivox, and the royal burgh of Ayr, of which it is a suburb. All the ancient privileges of the burgh were renewed by James VI. on the 24th September, 1595. Previous to the year 1759 it was comprehended in the parish of Monktown, in which year the community of Newton purchased from Sir William Maxwell, then patronage the right of electing their own minister, and with the consent of the heritors of Monktown. It is situated on the northern bank of the river Ayr, over which there is a stone bridge connecting it with the royal burgh of Ayr. The soil is a loose sand of an inferior quality, but has been considerably improved by the intermixture of blue shale from the coal mines. The whole of the parish is open and unsheltered, but the air is pure and healthy. The coast, with the exception of a small portion towards the northern end, is in general flat. The burgh of Newton derives its chief importance from its situation at the entrance of the harbour, which is unfortunately obstructed by a bar at the mouth of the river Ayr, only admitting vessels under 140 tons. In 1789 two reflecting lights were erected on the N.E. side of the harbour. The principal trade carried on is the exportation of coal, and ship-building has of late been on the increase. The town, which stands at a little distance above the place where the vessels anchor, has of late years been considerably improved, and many new villas have sprung into existence. The government of the burgh is vested in the hands of 2 bailies, a treasurer, and 6 common councillors, who are elected every two years by the freemen. A portion of the inhabitants are engaged in ship-building, rope and sail making, weaving, muslin embroidery, and in the hardware manufactory. The more important and general business is transacted in the adjoining burgh of Ayr. The fisheries are prosecuted with success. This parish is in the presbytery of Ayr, and synod of Glasgow and Ayr, and in the patronage of 13 delegates. The minister has a stipend of £228. The parish church was erected in 1777, and was restored and enlarged in 1832. Besides the parish church, there are a Free church and a parochial school. Near the boundary of the parish, but chiefly in the neighbouring parish of Dundonald, is a charitable institution called King's Case, and which, according to tradition, was founded by King Robert Bruce for eight poor men afflicted with the leprosy; but as no diseases of that description now appear, persons labouring under other diseases which are esteemed incurable are admitted to the charity. The presentation formerly belonged to the Wallaces of Craigie, but was purchased at the beginning of the present century by the town of Ayr."

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

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