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Pigot 1837

Stewarton, Dunlop and Neighbourhood
1837 - Ayrshire Directory
Pigot and Co

Stewarton is a prosperous manufacturing town, in the parish of its name and district of Cunningham; 16 miles s by w from Glasgow, 6 n from Irvine, 5 n from Kilmarnock, and 3 from Fenwick; situate in a pleasant part of the county, on the bank of the water of Annock. The parish, which is about ten miles in length, and varying from three to four in breadth, is a rich agricultural district, highly cultivated and improved, and adorned by several gentlemen's tastefully laid out seats.

For centuries Stewarton remained an inconsiderable and unnoted village; and it is only of a comparatively recent date that, owing to the general extension of trade and manufacture, it has increased to its present dimensions and consequence. It has, however, been long distinguished by the production of Highland or tartan and other bonnets, especially of regimental bonnets and caps; this business, which is chiefly carried on domestically, and partially in factories, furnishes employment to from three hundred and fifty to four hundred hands; whilst in the manufacture of carpets one hundred and fifty more persons find occupation. The making of spindles for cotton and woollen mills is an extensive branch here, and a considerable number of the cotton mills of Scotland are supplied from hence.

The manufacture or forging of clock-work, for which this town is peculiar in North Britain, is a trade of some significence, as it forms an item of exportation to the continent of Europe and America. Several woollen mills are engaged in carding and spinning for the carpet and bonnet trades; the largest concern is that belonging to Alexander Kerr Esq of Robertland, and occupied by Messrs Muir, Dunlop & Co, who have a steam engine for propelling the machinery on the occurrence of droughts or frosts.

A large portion of the population consists of silk and muslin weavers, who are employed by the Glasgow and Paisley establishments; linens and damasks are also issued from the Stewarton looms to some extent; and in the ingenious pursuits of 'Ayrshire Needlework' not fewer than three hundred females enjoy the fruits of industry.

The 'Glasgow Union Banking Company' have a branch of their firm in this place, and there is likewise a bank for savings; this latter institution, together with several benefit or friendly societies, creates a stimulus to the spirit of diligence and frugality in the working classes. This thriving little town has no magistracy or police; but regular district courts for the recovery of small debts, and such business as falls under the jurisdiction of Justices of the peace for the parishes of Stewarton, Dunlop and Fenwick, are held by quorum of the neighbouring magistrates.

Beside the established church, there are three other places of worship, including a united seccession church, one for original burghers, and the third for independent congregationalists.

The market day is Thursday. The fairs are held as follows: on the Monday before Irvine fair, for the sale of horses, cattle, dairy produce and dairy utensils, and for the hiring of servants; on the last Thursday of June, or Thursday following (Shotts and Kelton Hill fairs), for horses and cattle; on the next Friday after the 12th November, for fat cattle, dairy stock, and hiring servants; and on the last Thursday of December, for horses and cattle.


Dunlop is a small village, two miles and a half from Stewarton, romantically situate on the banks of the Swiney, about three hundred yards off the road leading from Kilmarnock to Paisley; and when seen from a little distance, through the trees in which it is embounded, has an agreeable retired appearance. The houses being mostly old, and the street narrow, it does not improve on a nearer view, though in this respect it does not suffer by comparison with other places of similar rank throughout the country.

A new and handsome church was erected in 1835, its predecessor having suffered much from the continued effects of age and weather; it is a great ornament to the neighbourhood. In the church-yard is a small arched chamber, formed under the direction of Lord Viscount Clanaboyes, in 1641, over the grave of his father, the Rev Hams Hamilton, who for 45 years was minister of this parish; it contains a well executed monument in marble, justly deserving attention.

The parish, to which the village gives name, lies principally in the bailery of Cunningham, and county of Ayr; but on the north it extends into Renfrewshire. It has long been noted for the excellent quality of its cheese, which bears a rich character throughout Scotland. About the close of the seventeenth century one Barbara Gilmour is said to have commenced the practice of making cheese from the entire milk, nothing but skimmed milk having been used in the process, in this district, previously to that period; at present all the cheese similarly made in the western counties receives the appellation of 'Dunlop'; about 25,000 stones imperial are made in this parish annually. There is also a very considerable trade in meal carried on by the inhabitants of the village and the surrounding territory.

Dunlop House, in this parish, the seat of John Dunlop, Esq. member of parliament for Ayrshire, is one of the handsomest mansions in the county; on this estate, resting on a small knoll, is a stone of large dimensions, called the 'O Great Stone', supposed to have been employed in some ancient rites of worship.

Two fairs, for the sale of dairy stock, take place here annually; one about the middle of May, the other on the 12th of November; both are almost invariably well attended.


Avenue street, Stewarton, Andrew Barr, Post Master. Letters from all parts arrive (from Kilmarnock) every morning at half-past eight, and are despatched every evening at ten minutes before five.

GENTRY & CLERGY: (Marked thus * are Justices of the Peace)
Brisbane, Rev Jas, Manse, Dunlop * Brown, Andrew Esq. (of Hill house) surgeon in the Hon. East India Company's service, Clerk hill
Cairns, Rev Peter, Bridge end * Cuninghame, Wm Esq of Lainshaw
Dickie, Rev Matthew, Borland *Dunlop, John Esq. MP of Dunlop
*Kerr, Alexander Esq. of Robertland * Macallister, Col Charles Somerville of Kennox
* Pollock, William Esq. of Barnyhill * Provan, David Esq. of Lockridge
Steven, Rev Charles B manse  
Brownlee, John, High st Buchanan, Walter, Dunlop
Holborn, John, Avenue st Marshall, Peter, Langton
Parish School, near the Church - Duncan McFarlane master Parochial School, Dunlop - Wm Bryce, master
Smith, Alexander, Kingston Sutherland, Dundas, Avenue st
Brown, John, Townhead Caskie, Mary, Vennel st
Dunlop, Alexander, High st Kerr, James, Avenue st/
Logan, Andrew, High st/ Logan, Robert, Townhead
Craig, Robert, High st Mackenzie, Duncan, (& spirit dealer), High st
Picken, Thomas, (and spirit dealer), High st  
Glasgow Union Banking Company (Branch of) - (draw on Robert Burns, Glasgow, the Union Bank, Edinburgh, and Jones, Loyd & Co, London) - James Anderson Sandgrass, agent Saving Bank, Townhead - John Brown, secretary and treasurer
Baird, John, Lainshaw smithy Brown, Thomas, Townfoot
Edgar, William, Dunlop Simpson, Thomas, Sidehead
Wyllie, James, Avenue st  
Bicket, James, Kirkford Bicket, Mary, Kirkfoot
Black, Hugh, Darlington Black, Mary, Darlington
Bowles, James, Darlington Caskie, Jane, Holm
Currie, Alexander, Darlington Currie, Andrew, Townhead
Currie, David, Darlington Currie, James, Darlington
Currie, John, Darlington Currie, Thomas, Darlington
Gibson, James, Kirkford Gibson, James jnr, Kirkford
Harper, Margaret, Kirkford Highet, William, Townhead
Knox, Alexander, Kirkford Laughland, Alexander, Holm
Laughland, David, Townhead Laughland, James, Townhead
Laughland, John, High st Picken, Alexander, Townhead
Picken, David, Darlington Ramsay, David, Darlington
Rayburn, Robert, Kirkford Robertson, John, Darlington
Scoullor, Isabel, Townhead Stewart, Shaw, Kirkford
Stewart, Shaw jnr, Kirkford Wilson, James, Kirkford
Wilson, John, Townhead Wilson, Margaret, Kirkford
Wilson, Mary, Darlington Wyllie, Agnes, Darlington
Dunlop, William, High st Dunlop, William jnr, High st
Ferguson, Robert, High st Fulton, Robert, Dunlop
Hall, Roger, High st Hood, Thomas, Dunlop
Jamieson, James, Dunlop McFarlane, Andrew, Kingston
Picken, Alexander, High st Smith, David, Dunlop
Young, David, Rigg st Young, William, Society buildings
Alexander, John, Cross hill Dunlop, John, Avenue st
Paton, Adam, Avenue st Smith, George, Townhead
Bowies, James, Townhead Conn, James, Avenue st
Dunlop, John, Avenue st/ Gemmell, Robert, Dunlop
Kerr, James, Kirkford Logan, William, Dunlop
Mitchell, William, Sidehead Paton, Adam, Avenue st
Picken, James, Dunlop Robertson & Dunsmuir, Dunlop
Smith, John, Thorn Smith, Robert, High st
Deans, John, Thomas & Co. Scoto, Turkey & Persian carpet & rug, & three ply superfine & fine carpet manufacturers, Holm Muir, Dunlop and Black, Nether Robertland mill
Dunlop, Gabriel, Rigg st Dunlop, Gabriel and John, Vennel st
Cochrane, John, Dunlop Cochrane, Robert, Chapel house
Cochrane, Thomas, Mains Malcolm, James, Dunlop
Maxwell, Frame, Dunlop Nairn, Robert, Dunlop
Nairn, William, Dunlop Peacock, Andrew, Dunlop
Reed, Robert, Leighmoor Robertson, Robert, Dunlop
Ross, John, Titwood Stevenson, David, Money acres
Stevenson, James, North Borland Wyllie, Alexander, Dunlop
Insurance Co of Scotland (fire) & Standard (life), James A Snodgrass, High st
Kerr, John, High st Kerr, William, Cross
Mackie, Peter, High st Sommerville, David, High st
Wyllie, James, Townhead  
GROCERS (marked thus * are also spirit dealers):
* Anderson, William, High st Barr, Andrew, Avenue st
* Blair, James, High st * Blair, Joseph, Townhead
* Dalgleish, John, Avenue st Dunlop, Robert, High st
* Ferguson, James, High st Ferguson, John, High st
* Grubb, Thomas, High st * Jackson, David, High st
King, Alexander, High st Logan, John, High st
Nairn, James, High st Stirling, James, Cross
* Wallace, Francis, High st  
Anderson, William, High st Angus, Malcolm, Leighmoor
Barbour, John, High st Brown, James, Dunlop
Brown, Matthew, High st Chapman, Roger, Cross
Craig, William, Holm Currie, John, Darlington
Dunlop, Thos, (Buck's Head), Avenue st McLelland, Andrew, Dunlop
Picken, M.A. Townhead Ramsay, James, Darlington
Slater, David, Cross Smith, John, High st
Thomson, James, Townhead Wyllie, Hugh, Townhead
Young, Matthew, High st Young, Richard, Leighmoor
Miller, Hugh, (and nail maker, and printer & stationer), High st
Armstrong, Jane, High st Gavin, Hugh, High st
McHardie, Joseph, High st  
Anderson, James, Aiket mill Eaglesham, William, Lainshaw mill/
Kerr, Robert, Old mill Orr, William, Crosshill mill
Wyllie, John, New mill  
Dalrymple, Mary, High st Picken, Martha, High st
Richmond, Janet & Sister, High st Snodgrass, Margaret, High st
Wallace, Margaret & Sister, High st Wilson, Mary & Sister, Avenue st
Anderson, John, Dunlop Greig, Margaret, Dunlop
Morns, John, Dunlop  
Kirkland, James, High st Stevenson, John & Son, High st
Skeoch, Charles & Son, Avenue st  
Anderson, William, High st Brown & Steel, Dunlop
Brown, Matthew, High st Gillies, James, High st/
Howie & King, Dunlop Love, John (quarryman), Vennel st
Stevenson, Robert, High st  
Caskie, John, High st Ferguson, Alexander, Langmoor
Ferguson, Alexander, Avenue st Newman, William, Avenue st
Renfrew, William, Langmoor Skeoch, Charles R.N. Avenue st
Wyllie, Andrew, Townhead  
Aird, John, Dunlop Allan, John, High st
Borland, James, High st McRaith, Mungo, (and clothes and haberdasher), High st
Morton, John, High st Stewart, Andrew, Dunlop
Cameron, James, Rigg st Wilson, Thomas, High st
Bowes, James, Crosshill mill Harper, Margaret, Scrogle mill/
Muir, Dunlop & Black, Nether Robertland mill/ Somerville, William, Hapland mill
WRIGHTS (See carpenters, Joiners &c)  
Miller, Robert (and Notary Public & justice of peace clerk), Clerk hill Snodgrass, James Anderson (and Notary Public and proctor in the Ayr court), High st
Aitken, James, cooper, Vennel st Gordon, William, tinsmith, Avenue st
Faulds, Andrew, factor to Lainshaw Gas Works, Holm - James Stirling, manager; John Caskie, treasurer; Andrew Dunlop, clerk
Kerr, James, damask manufacturer, Avenue st Kerr, Robert, saddler, High st
McKie, Thomas, dyer, Darlington Patrick, William, auctioneer, Kirkford
Skoech, (J?), clock-work forger, High st Smith, Robert, wheel maker, High st
Templeton, Robert, flax dresser, Aiket mill Thomson, Wm, skinner &c, Robertland
Watt, Alexr., horse dealer, Peacock bank Wilson, John, umbrella maker, High st
Wilson, Thomas, painter, oil and colour man, and druggist, High st  
Established Church, Rev Chas B Steven United Secession Church, Rev Peter Cairns
Original Burgher, Rev James Clelland Independent Congregational


To Glasgow - the 'Union' (from Irvine), calls at the Buck's Head, Stewarton, every morning at eight; goes through Barrhead and Pollockshaws.

To Irvine - the 'Union' (from Glasgow), calls at the Buck's Head, Stewarton, every evening at seven.


To Glasgow - George Russell & George Smith every Tuesday and Friday.

To Kilmarnock - Alexander Picken, daily, and George Russell and George Smith every Tuesday and Friday.

To Paisley - Alexander Russell, every Monday and Thursday.

This transcript was kindly provided by Keith Muirhead from Queensland.