South Ayrshire

The South Ayrshire Unitary Authority replaced Kyle and Carrick District Council when local government was reorganised in 1996. The principal administrative centre is Ayr. Prior two the creation of Kyle and Carrick District, there were five distinct burghs within the area, each with a local providing a variety of services.

Historically, the area was divided into Kyle, the lands in and around Ayr and the southerly area of Carrick. These two districts have distinct characteristics, Carrick being predominately upland whereas Kyle is comparatively flat. These differences are a reflection of the geological structure of the south of Scotland, with the Southern Upland fault determining the alignment of the River Stinchar.

Ayr was established as administrative centre for the area with the earliest burgh charter dating from 1203.  The sheriffdom, that evolved into the county of Ayrshire at the end of the 19th century, was, was located in Ayr.  There were three divisions, Cunninghame in the north (including the royal burgh of Irvine), Carrick to the south and Kyle (sometimes known as Kings Kyle) centred on Ayr.

Robert Burns was born in Alloway, educated in Ayr and farmed at Lochlea in the parish of Tarbolton before moving on to Mosgiel and later to Dumfries.  His contemporary, John Loudoun McAdam, was born in Ayr (at Lady Cathcart's House which still stands in the town), making his name as an engineer and road builder.

The district of Kyle was among the most fertile regions of Scotland and was a centre for agricultural improvement in the 18th century. There were numerous large estates where the owners successfully exploited the land and the mineral wealth.

The estate at Culzean, with extensive woodlands and pleasure gardens, has been conserved by the National Trust for Scotland.  The house was commissioned in the 1770's, by the 10th Earl of Cassilis, and built by Robert Adam.

In the 19th century artists linked with south Ayrshire have included Robert Bryden, born at Coylton and William Bell Scott who created a mural at Penkill Castle and painted numerous landscapes of the castle grounds.  In the 20th Century, Peter Howson lived in Prestwick for a number of years and Robert MacBryde was born in Maybole.  International stage designer Julian Crouch lived in Ayr for several years and was educated at Ayr Academy

Today, deep mining for coal has ceased, but potatoes are grown in fields along the Carrick coast.

Links to local groups and organisations.



South Ayrshire Locations

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Dunure Castle
Dunure Castle Ruins   magnify   ©M.Bailey

Dalquharran Mansion Dailly (Ruin) magnify
©Bernie Bailey

Turnberry Light
Turnberry Lighthouse magnify
©Paul Russell

Fish Cross
The Fish Cross, Ayr magnify

Loudoun Hall
Loudoun Hall Courtyard from the west magnify

South Ayrshire ©Art Advice

Small Ayrshire
Ayrshire ©Howard Cheng

Culzean Castle
Culzean Castle on the Ayrshire Coast magnify

McCandlish Hall
McCandlish Village Hall, Straiton magnify  © JSL595

Ruined Church Prestwick
St Nicholas Church, Prestwick (ruin) magnify
©David Edgar

The Woodcutter's Art, Dailly Woods magnify ©Bernie Bailey

Ma;t Cross
Ayr Malt Cross and Loudoun Hall magnify

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