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Saltcoats and Stevenston, 1837 - Ayrshire Directory by Pigot and Co

Saltcoats is a sea-port, partly in the parish of Stevenston and partly in that of Ardrossan; 74 miles wsw from Edinburgh, 30 sw from Glasgow, 19 n from Ayr, 14 w by n from Kilmarnock, and one from Ardrossan: eligibly situate on the Firth of Clyde, near to its northern extremity. The general appearance of this town is far from prepossessing, but its situation and proximity to Ardrossan, the arrival and departure of the trading vessels, and the passing and repassing of the different steam-packets and railway carriages, all contribute to give life to this ancient place; a spirit of improvement is becoming manifest with the inhabitants; and the town, it is expected, will be lighted with gas before this work is published.

About 170 years ago, Salt-cots (then so called) consisted only of a small number of cots or cottages, the inhabitants of which obtained a livelihood by making salt in kettles. But at the beginning of the last century, a harbour being constructed for the convenience of shipments of coal, the produce of the mines in this neighbourhood, the little hamlet began to assume the semblance of a village; it is but in recent years, however, that it has risen to any note. During the late war [The French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars ending in 1815] this place possessed an extensive trade, and ship-building was carried on with great spirit; but since the peace its commerce has been much reduced, and it is now nearly confined to the importation of timber, and the exportation of coals to Ireland, in which trade there are sometimes about forty vessels employed.

The manufacture of salt here is considerable, and a great number of looms are employed in the weaving of muslins, &. for the Glasgow and Paisley markets. A branch of the Irvine custom-house transacts the revenue business, and the proprietors of the Ayrshire bank have a branch here; the house in which the business of the latter is transacted, and which is also the residence of the manager Mr. W.B.Orr, is a very handsome building, and an ornament to Raise Street in which it stands. Both at the east and west of the town are extensive chymical works, belonging to Messrs Burns and Son, who manufacture magnesia and epsom salts.

The principal Inns are the 'Saracen's Head', in Harbour street, and the 'King's Arms', in Bradshaw street, the former a good posting- house. The Town-house, the foundation of which was laid in 1825, consists of a spacious hall, with two smaller apartments adjoining, and a lock-up for prisoners: the edifice, which is surmounted by a steeple, is a prominent and effective object when approaching the town. A justice court, for the recovery of small debts, sits in this town once a month.

The places of worship are a church of the establishment, two others for the seccessional body, one for the relief synod, a Gaelic church, and a Baptist meeting-house. The children of the town have the advantage of free, parochial and Sabbath schools, and a library of religious and moral works. There are several benefit societies, which alleviate the suffering and relieve the necessities of the poor; and one of those establishments that must ever aid the impulse of industry and prudence - a savings bank.

An annual fair is held on the last Thursday in May.


Stevenston is a village in the parish of its name and district of Cunningham - situate one mile north-east of Saltcoats, and two south-west from Kilwinning. It consists chiefly of one street, half a mile in length; and derives its name from Stephen, or 'Steven', the son of Richard, who obtained a grant of lands from Richard Morville, Constable of Scotland; the latter, then a very celebrated man, died in 1189. Under this grant Steven settled here, and gave his patronymic designation to the place. The parish abounds with coal and freestone, of which large quantities are annually shipped.

The dairy and agricultural produce, comprising cheese, butter, wheat, oats, and potatoes, is likewise of considerable value. A great portion of the inhabitants of the village are employed in weaving, and through the agents here the works of their looms are conveyed to the Glasgow houses. The present church is a neat and handsome building, of modern erection. The old church belonged formerly to the monks of Kilwinning.

Yearly fairs are held on the second Friday in August and the 31st of October.


Quay street, Saltcoats, William Snodgrass, Post Master - The Kilmarnock, Irvine and Edinburgh mails arrive every morning at eight, and are despatched every afternoon at four.

Post Office, Stevenston, Robert Forrest Scott, Post Master - the Irvine and Kilmarnock mails arrive every morning at eight, and are despatched every afternoon at half-past four.

Bell, John Esq, Raise st Black, Mrs, Hamilton st
Blair, Rev. James, Raise st Bolton, Mrs, Sandylands
Brown, Hugh, Esq, Park end Brown, John Esq, Raise st
Bryce, Rev. John, Manse Crawford, James, Esq, Birkhead
Croker, Samuel Esq, Rock vale Cunningham, Robt., Esq, of Sea bank
Currie, John, Esq, Hamilton st Dow, Miss, Sandylands
Elles, Rev. James, Windmill st Giffen, Rev. James, Hill st
Hamilton, Col. Alexander of Grange Hamilton, Capt. James, Raise st
Henry, Mrs Mary, Sandylands Howie, John Esq, Hullerhirst
Jack, Mrs William, Raise st Landsborough, Rev. David, Manse, Stevenston
McFee, Capt. John, Raise st Martin, Major Alex. Mayville cottage
Miller, Robert, Esq, Raise st Miller, Capt. William, Sandylands
Muir, John Esq, of Hayocks Poe, Captain, Sandylands
Reid, Boyd Esq, Sandylands Ronald, Rev. David, Hamilton st
Roxburgh Mr Thomas, Raise st Stevenson, Mr Robert, Raise st
Stewart, Wm. H. Esq, Hamilton st Thomson, Mrs. Canal bank
Warner, Patrick Esq of Ardeer Woodrow, Miss, Hamilton st
Workman, Mrs Robert, Raise st Young, Thomas Esq, of Springvale
Free School, Saltcoats - Helen Allen, mistress Heron, Daniel, Chapel st
Ormond, Hugh, Stevenston Parochial School, Stevenston - John Crawford & Jas Orr, master
Shaw, Neil, Raise st Smith, Alexander, Hamilton st
Wakelin, William, Chapel st  
Aitken, James, Dockhead st Baird, Hugh, Dockhead st
Barclay, Robert, Raise st Bolton, James, Chapelwell st
Boyd, Thomas, Sandylands Crawford, Alexander, Windmill st
Ferguson, Alexander, Dockhead st Gordon, Gilbert, Sandylands
Smith, Andrew, Hamilton st Smith, James, Raise st
Thomson, David, Raise st  
Chalmers, Hugh, Quay st Gibson, Gavin, Quay st
Jamieson, George, Dockhead st Leckie, William, Dockhead st
Logan, John, Stevenston McAllister, Daniel, Green st
McMillan, John, Bradshaw st Poe, David, Quay st
Ayrshire Banking Co (Branch of), Raise st - (Draw on the Royal Bank, Edinburgh & Glasgow, & Williams, Deacon & Co, London). William Bowes Orr, manager. Savings Bank, Raise st - James Dunlop, manager.
Allan, James, Stevenston Barclay, John, Dockhead
Burns, William, Chapelwell st Lambie, William, Stevenston
Miller, Thomas, Quay st Richie, Hugh, Raise st
Skoech, James & Co, Bradshaw st Wilson, Amelia, Quay st
Wilson, John, Dockhead st  
Currie, Daniel, Dockhead st Currie, John, Quay st
Galloway, John, Dockhead st Glossop, George, Quay st
Hamilton, Alison, Raise st McKenzie, Donald, Bradshaw st
McKillop, John, Quay st McMicken, William, Raise st
McNeil, James, Quay st Scott, John, Stevenston
Shaw, Thomas, Bradshaw st Sillars, Duncan, Dockhead st
Thomaon, James, Quay st  
King, Jean, Raise st McMahon, Patrick, Quay st
Davidson, Daniel, Dockhead st McArthur, Alexander, Raise st
Richie, James (and fish curer), Raise st  
Graham, Thomas, Quay st/ Thomson, James, Raise st
Watt, William, Raise st  
Anderson, Robert (and tanner), Raise st Cunningham, Alexander, Raise st
Scottish Amicable (Life) and West of Scotland (fire), Hugh Richie, Raise st
Baillie, Hugh, Stevenston Crawford, John, Dockhead st
Fleck, John, Raise st McCall, John, Stevenston
McKillop, Daniel, Dockhead st Maitland, Margaret, Quay st
Adam, John, Raise st Auld, John, Stevenston
Boyd, John, Raise st Boyd, William, Raise st
Brown, Janet, Hamilton st Bryce, Robert, Dockhead st
Chalmers, Hugh, Chapel st Craig, Helen, Harbour st
Davidson, Archibald, Dockhead st Dunlop, James, Raise st
Fullarton, Adam, Dockhead st Fullarton, Catherine, Dockhead st
Fulton, Andrew, Stevenston Hodson, Elizabeth, Raise st
Howie, Alexander, Stevenston Lockhart, William, Stevenston
McBride, James, Raise st McBride, John, Raise st
McConechy, Alexander, Bradshaw st McKillop, John, Green st
Miller, William, Stevenston Murchie, Peter, Quay st
Orr, Alexander, Raise st Pennel, Joseph, Stevenston
Poe, Janet, Raise st Reid, James, Chapel st
Robertson, Daniel, Dockhead st Service, George, Raise st
Shedden, James, Dockhead st Smith, James, Stevenston
Snodgrass, William (and Stamp distributor) Quay st Wilkie, Adam, Hamilton st
Bolton, John, Dockhead st Gray, Robert, Raise st
King's Arms, Jas. Reid, Bradshaw st Saracen's Head (& posting house), Alexander Campbell, Harbour st
Alexander, Alexander, Sandylands Armour, William, Raise st
Baillie, Hugh (ship joiner), Green st Baillie, John, Raise st
Craig, William, Chapel st Dickie, James, Stevenston
Hodge, James, Green st Hunter, Alexander, Green st
Lusk, David, Quay st Miller, Thomas, Raise st
Scott, Thomas, Stevenston Service, John, Raise st
Young, James, Stevenston  
Aitken, William, Dockhead st Baird, Alexander, Quay st
Davie, Matthew, Quay st Ewing, Hugh, Quay st
Gemell, William, Quay st How, John, Bradshaw st
Burns, William & Sons (carbonate and calcined) Sandylands
Davidson, Mary, Dockhead st Galt, Jean, Hill st
McDonald, Elizabeth, Harbour st McDonald, Margaret, Harbour st
Moffat, Phoebe, Green st Skroech, Elizabeth & Janet, Raise st
Smith, Agnes, Stevenston  
Cooper, Peter, Chapelwell st Lennart, John, Chapel st
Campbell, Boyd, Sandylands Hogarth, Robert, Stevenston
Maule, Alexander, Dockhead st  
Burns, Willam & Sons (and Epsom salt and Magnesia ), Sandylands Warner & Cunningham, Sandylands
Brown, John jun, Dockhead st Willock, Jas (& nursery) Dockhead st
King, Peter, Hamilton st McGill, Alexander, Chapelwell st
Mills, Joseph, Green st Reid, Thomas, Hill st
Brown, James, Dockhead st Drinnan, John, Quay st
Wallace, Robert, Raise st  
Bennet, Robert, Hill st Bryden, James, Raise st
Currie, Daniel, Green st Hamilton, Archibald, Stevenston
Henry, John, Dockhead st Hughs, Peter, Quay st
McBride, Andrew, Dockhead st McBride, Thomas, Green st
McFee, Daniel, Harbour st McIntoch, James, Stevenston
McKinnon, Alexander, Dockhead st McWhinnie, Hugh, Quay st
Scott, William, Raise st Smith, James, Raise st
Fullarton, Wm. & John, Quay st Richie, James, Raise st
Fullarton, Duncan, Hill st Fullarton, Jas., (& ironmonger), Quay st
Adam, John, Raise st Banks, James, Stevenston
Barclay, Hugh, Chapel st Boyd, Hugh, Stevenston
Boyd, John, Raise st Bryce, Robert, Dockhead st
Chalmers, Hugh, Quay st Chalmers, Hugh, Chapel st
Cowan, David, Sandylands Crawford, James, Stevenston
Ferguson, Alex. (Swan), Dockhead st Fullarton, Adam, Dockhead st
Fulton, Andrew, Stevenston Good, John, Chapel brae
Graham, Thos. (Cross Keys) Quay st Holmes, Mary, Quay st
Howie, Alexander, Stevenston Howie, John, Stevenston
Jack, John, Stevenston Kenneth, Sarah, Stevenston
Kerr, Malcolm, Green st Lockhart, John, Stevenston
Lockhart, William, Stevenston Logan, John (True Sun), Sandylands
McBride, James, Raise st McBride, John, Quay st
McCall, John, Stevenston McConechy, Alexander, Bradshaw st
McKillop, John, Green st McMillan and Co, Stevenston
McMillan, John, Bradshaw st Orr, Alexander, Raise st
Pennel, Joseph, Stevenston Ramsay, Alex., (Black Bull), Raise st
Richie, James, Stevenston Roy, Betty, Quay st
Russell, Gavin, Sandylands Service, George, Raise st
Shedden, James, Dockhead Smith, James, Stevenston
Smith, John, Stevenston Snodgrass, William, Quay st
Taylor, Archibald, Quay st Taylor, Gilbert (Rob Roy), Quay st
Wilkie, Adam, Hamilton st Willock, Thomas, Chapel st
Wilson, William, Stevenston Young, John and Co, Quay st
Coulter, William, Quay st Gibson, John, Bradshaw st
Boyd, David, Stevenston Smith, Thomas, Quay st
WRITERS [lawyers]:
Orr, William Bowes, Quay st Wark, Francis, Sandylands
Banks, John, saddler, Quay st Barclay, John, tallow chandler, Harbour st
Brown, Jno., jun hardware dlr, Dockhead st Croker, Samuel, Manager of the Stevenston collieries, Rock vale
Cunningham, John, harbour master, Quay Duncan, Sinclair, searcher and landing waiter, Saltcoats
Duncan, Thomas, stocking maker, Quay st Gilmour, Robert, auctioneer, Stevenston
Hill, Peter, horse and cattle dealer, Chapel st Hill, William, horse dealer, Chapel st
Hoole, James, stone merchant, Stevenston Hunter, John, flax dresser, Dockhead st
Kenneth, Sarah, corn miller, Stevenston McDonald, Daniel, block maker, Harbour st
McKelvie, John, sail maker, Raise st Maule, Margaret, dyer, Dockhead st
Moffat, Jas., superintendant of the Ardrossan and Johnstone Railway, Railway Office Warner & Cunningham, coal proprietors, Stevenston collieries
Watt, Robert, rope &c maker, Sandylands Watt, Wm., brewer and maltster, Raise st
Whinton, Andw., umbrella maker, Dockhead st  
Established Church, Stevenston - Rev. David Landsborough
Established Church of Ardrossan and Saltcoats - Rev John Bryce
Relief Church, Rev Jas. Giffen
Secession Church, Rev David Ronald
Secession Church, Rev James Ellis
Baptist, Rev James Blair
Gaelic Church


To Glasgow, the 'Fair Trader', from the Saracen's Head, Saltcoats, every morning (Sunday excepted) at seven; and the 'Herald' at six in the evening; both go thru' Kilwinning, Dalry, Beith,and Paisley.

To Irvine and Kilmarnock, the 'Time Keeper', from the Saracen's Head, every morning (Sun excepted) at eight; and the 'Ayrshire Lass' at six in the evening; and an Omnibus, from the King's Arms, every morning (Sunday excepted) at eight.


To Ardrossan and Eglingtoun, Carriages six times a day.

CARRIERS (From Saltcoats):

To Ardrossan, Thomas Graham and James Harra, daily.

To Glasgow, Thomas Willock, every Monday, and Alexander and John Cunningham, every Monday and Thursday.

To Irvine, John McBride and James Harra daily.

To Kilbride, Andrew Clark, daily.

To Kilmarnock, John Barr, every Tuesday and Friday.


To Lamlash and Brodick, sailing vessels daily.

This transcript was kindly provided by Keith Muirhead from Queensland.

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