Old Cumnock is a large parish to the east of Ayrshire centred on the small town of Old Cumnock some 14 miles east of Ayr. Old Cumnock was the centre of of one of Ayrshire's largest coal mining areas. The deep coal mines are all closed now and the town and surrounding area have undergone some development. The area surrounding Old Cumnock is mostly given to dairy and sheep farming.
An 1837 description of Cumnock and Auchinleck, including a listing of the key personalities of the towns, is given in this extract from Pigot's Directory for Ayrshire. The transcript was provided by Keith Muirhead from Queensland.
Old Cumnock is noted as the long term home of James Keir Hardie (1856-1915), coal-miner, socialist and labour leader.
Dumfries House is a beautiful house built 1754-59 by the Adams brothers with its associated estate. It is located on the outskirts of Old Cumnock, on the road to Ochiltree. The house belonged to the Marquis of Bute, having been largely the creation of the 3rd Marquess. There are private papers belonging to the estate, including details of staff and employees, but they are still in the hands of the Crichton-Stuart family. The Archivist for the estate may be contacted at: Andrew McLean, Archivist, Mount Stuart House and Gardens, Isle of Bute PA20 9LR, Scotland; Telephone: 01700 503877, Facsimile: 01700-505313.
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