STEWARTON - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868

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

"STEWARTON, a parish, post and market town, in the district of Cunninghame, county Ayr, Scotland. It extends nearly 10 miles in length from S.W. to N.E., with an extreme breadth of 4 miles, and is bounded by Renfrewshire, and by the parishes of Fenwick, Kilmaurs, Dreghorn, Irwin, Kilwenning, and Dunlop. The surface is undulating and slightly elevated at the N.E. end, but gradually declines towards the sea. It is watered by the Annock, Twinsey, Corshill, Eastburn, and Glazert Waters. The soil is mostly a strong clay. Extensive plantations have lately been made, and the whole of the land is enclosed. The prevailing rocks are trap in the north-eastern district, with carboniferous limestone and traces of coal in other parts, both of which are worked. The parish is traversed by the roads from Irvine to Glasgow, and from Kilmarnock to Paisley. The town of Stewarton is about 5 miles N.W. of Kilmarnock, and 2 S.E. of Dunlop. It is a station on the Glasgow and South-Western railway, and is within access of the Crofthead station of the Glasgow and Neilston railway. It is situated near the centre of the parish, on the right bank of the river Annock, which is crossed by three bridges. At a little distance from the town are the foundations of a house said to have been a seat of the royal race of Stewarts, from which the place derives its name. Of late years it has risen to some importance, and is now uniform and well built. It has a savings-bank and two commercial banks, one a branch of the Ayrshire Banking Company, and the other of the Western Bank of Scotland. This place has long been distinguished for the production of Highland or tartan bonnets, which business furnishes employment to from 300 to 400 hands. The manufacture of carpets, which was considerable in the early part of the present century, has declined, but the forging of clockwork and silk and muslin weaving are still important branches of industry. There are besides several woollen mills engaged in carding and spinning for the carpet and bonnet trades. Justice of the peace courts are held on the first Thursday in each month, for the recovery of small debts, for the parishes of Stewarton, Dunlop, and Fenwick. This parish is in the presbytery of Irvine and synod of Glasgow and Ayr. The stipend of the minister is about £297. The parish church was erected in 1696, and enlarged in 1825. There are an United Presbyterian church, a Free church, a Congregational chapel, parochial and other schools. Market day is on Thursday, and fairs are held on the Thursday prior to the first Friday in January (old style), on the Monday prior to the first Thursday in May, and on the Wednesday prior to the last Thursday in October."

"DARLINGTON, a suburb of the town of Stewarton, in the county of Ayr, Scotland. It was originally called Templehouse, and is sometimes called Deanston, after William Deans, who introduced the woollen and carpet manufactures into the district."

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

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