National Gazetteer, 1868


Mauchline - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868


"MAUCHLINE, (or Macklin), a parish and post-office village in the district of Kyle, county Ayr, Scotland, 2 miles N.W. of Catrine, and 11 N.E. of Ayr. It is a station on the Glasgow and South Western railway. The parish contains the town of its own name, also the villages of Auchmillan and Haugh. It extends in length from N. to S. about 7½ miles, with an average breadth of from 2 to 4 miles. It is bounded by the parishes of Craigie, Galston, Torn, Auchinlech, Ochiltree, Stair, and Tarbolton. The land is principally arable, and with the exception of Mauchline Hill moderately flat. The soil is chiefly of a clayey nature, though in the vicinity of the town it is light and sandy. Coal, ironstone, and limestone exist, and were formerly worked; and white and red sandstone, of excellent quality, are quarried to some extent. There is a fine prospect from Mauchline Hill, which forms a part of the Long Ridge of Kyle, towering a little to the N.E. of the town. Here was formerly a Cistercian cell belonging to the Abbey of Melrose, but when that abbey was erected into a temporal lordship, the lands and barony of Kylesmure and Barmure, and the patronage of the church of Mauchline, were ,given to the Earl of Loudon, from whom they passed by marriage to the Earls of Moira, and in 1789 went by purchase to Gavin Hamilton, Esq., the friend of the poet Burns. There are numerous caves hewn out of the rocks, one of which, called Peden's Cave, was the hiding-place of Alexander Peden, during the persecution of the Covenanters. The Lugar stream joins the river Ayr at Barskimmey, where is a bridge of one arch with a span of 100 feet, and upwards of 90 feet in height; and at Ballochmoyle is a railway viaduct. This parish was reduced to less than a fifth of its original extent in the years 1631 and 1636, when Muirkirk and Torn were detached, and formed into separate parishes. The Glasgow and South-Western railway, and the road betwixt Glasgow and Dumfries, pass through the parish. This parish is in the presbytery of Ayr and synod of Glasgow and Ayr. The minister has a stipend of £231. The parish church is a structure of red sandstone, with a turreted tower; it was rebuilt in 1829 on the site of an older one on Mauchline Moor. Here Wishart preached in 1544, and the royalists were defeated in 1647. In the churchyard are the graves of the Rev. Mr. Auld Nanse Tinnock and others, satirised in the poems of Burns. There are an United Presbyterian church, free school, new educational school, female school of industry, also a subscription school at Crosshands. The town, which is situate on an eminence near the river Ayr, is well built, and contains several mansions. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the weaving of cotton goods; there are also extensive manufactories of snuff-boxes and various decorative ornaments; but this trade has been greatly superseded of late years by ornamental painting, which is carried on to a considerable extent. It was formerly a burgh of barony, and had power to elect its own magistrates, but its charter being lost, its right& have never been renewed. At Mauchline Town Head is a monument of recent erection to the five Covenanters, who suffered martyrdom in James VII.'s time. About half a mile N. of the town of Mauchline is Mossgiel, a small farm where the poet Burns resided several years; the house is a small rude building consisting of two rooms, and while here Burns composed his first edition of poems under the advice of Mr. Hamilton, of Mauchline Castle, an ancient building situated near the church. His chief resort when he visited Mauchline was the public-house kept by John Dow, which still stands, and is a thatched house of two flats nearly opposite the churchyard gate, close to which is the cottage of "Poosie Nancy," or "Agnes Gibson," the scene of the "Jolly Beggars." Many spots alluded to in his lyrics occur along the banks of the river Ayr, a short distance from Mauchline. Annual fairs for cows, horses, hiring servants, &c., are held on fixed days in February, April, May, June, August, September, November, and December."

"AUCHMILLAN, a village in the parish of Mauchline, Kyle district of the county of Ayr, Scotland, not far from Mauchline."

"HAUGH, a village in the parish of Mauchline, county Ayr, Scotland. It stands near Mauchline, and has a woollen factory."

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