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DIRECTORY
KILMARNOCK
AYRSHIRE
the market cross a very handsome monument to the memory of Sir
James Shaw, Bart., late Lord Mayor of London, who was a native of
Mosshead, in this neighbourhood, where ho was horn in 176-1, and
died on tho 22nd October, 1843. The statue of the deceased, by
Fillans, is eight feet in height, mounted on a pedestal of the same
altitude. The former, which is cut out of a solid block of marble,
weighing ten tons, represents him in his civic decoration as lord
mayor, and is altogether a Yery fine production of art.
The Kay Park owes its existence to the late Alexander Kay, in-
surance broker, Glasgow, a native of Kilmarnock, who died in
January, 1866. By his will, besides £6,000 for the building and en-
dowment of two elementary schools for the children of industrious
poor, he left £10,000 to purchase ground for a public park and main-
tain the same. After several attempts to obtain suitable ground, the
trustees gave up their endeavours, and the money was allowed to
accumulate. In 1878 the latoDuke of Portland intimated his willing-
ness to deal with the trustees for the purchase of ground for a public
park, whose capital was then about £13,000. After negotiations, the
present site of the park was fixed, and consists of nearly forty acres.
The cost of the ground alone was £9,000. It includes the" Clerk's
Holm, and stretches from Braehead House to the Townhead bridge,
and from the river on the west to Grassyards on the east. Nearly a
fourth of it is reserved as fouing ground. A large portion of the money
was spent in laying out the park, and forming drives and walks, so
tha* when the trustees handed it over to tho council little more than
£1,000 remained as a fund to maintain it. In the centre of tho
Clerk's Holm is an ornamental fountain, the gift of the late Mrs.
Crooks, which cost £800. In the samo place a band-stand has
been erected for music on Saturday afternoons. On August9th,1879,
the park was publicly handed over to the the council, in behoof of
the town, by the trustees, the council undertaking, if necessary, to
provide £100 yearly. In 1882 the town council purchased Strawberry
Bank, an adjoinining property, consisting of 8 acres, for £1,800,
which has been incorporated with the Kay Park. A portion is
reserved for fouing purposes, and a small ornamental lake is formed
on the south-east of the ground. In connection with Kay Park may
be noticed the Bums' Monument, said to be ono of tho finest to the
memory of the Bard in Scotland. The monument was originated at
the public anniversary of Burns, held on January 26tb,1877, when a
proposal to erect a statue in honour of the poet was agreed to, and
a committee appointed to carry out the project. In a short time
£1,000 was subscribed, and this before long was doubled. Instead
of a simple statuo.tlie committee found they couldierecta monumect
and statue therein. By tho kindness of the Kay Trustees a sito for
the monument was granted in a most eligible situation in the Park.
The erection is in the Scottish baronial style, from a design by
Mr. Ingram, architect, Kilmarnock, and has a height of 80 feet. It
overlooks the entire town, and commands one of the finest possible
views. The memorial stone was laid with masonic honours on
September 14th, 1878, and on August 9th, 1879, the whole was com-
pleted. The statue, which is of Sicilian marble, was executed by Mr.
W. G. Stevenson, Edinburgh, and cost £800. It is reckoned an excel-
lent likeness of the poet. K. W. Cochran-Patrick, Esq., M.P. for
North Ayrshire, laid tho memorial stone, and Major-General C.
Alexander, M.P. for South Ayrshire, unveiled the statue, which is
placed in an alcove at tho top of the entrance stair. The entire cost
of the building and statue was about £2,700, the whole being raised
by subscription, and both were handed over to the council for the
community free of debt. Part of the building is used as a Burns'
and Archaeological Musuem.
The Buchanan bequest will be the most important charitable insti-
tution when it comes fully in operation. In 187;3 the last survivor
of the Misses Buchanan, of Bellfield, died, and according to settle-
ment made by the three sisters the estate of Bellfield and mansion
was gifted to the town of Kilmarnock and the village of Riccarton,
close to which the estate, which consists of 240 acres, is situated.
Part of the trust camo into operation at the death of Miss Buchanan,
and the main portion will come into force during tho present
year (1885). The following digest of the trust deed fully explains
its mature. The lands and estate of Bellfield and tho minerals
are to be held by trustees till Martinmas, 1885, and the trust
called tho Buchanan Bequest. The annual proceeds are to defray
expenses of the bequest, to pay yearly at Martinmas £5 to the Cer-
tified Industrial School; £3 to Kilmarnock Infirmary; £10 to the
parish minister of Riccarton, to be expended on flannel for
deserving poor; £130 yearly as salary to a missionary for Riccarton
parish, and the balance of the yearly rents from lauds and miuorals
to accumulate. As soon as convenient, part of the mansion to be
fitted up as a library, and open for consultation and reference only
to the public of Kilmarnock and Riccarton, and the gardens and
policies to be open for recreation. Oat of the accumulated funds,
and before ten years, the rest of the mansiou to bo fitted up as an
asylum for aged and infirm people, not on the poor roll, who are to
be sixty years old and upwards, or younger if rendered unable by
accident to provide for themselves, and resident for ten years in
Kilmarnock or Riccarton parish. Theinmates are to be clothed and
fed, and all charges paid out of the rents ; but a sum must bo avail-
able yearly for equal division between Kilmarnock aud Riccarton
for charitable purposes. The trustees have power to abandon the
asylum part of tho bequest, should they think the revenues not
sufficient. At the end of ten years all the estate and funds arc to
be transferred to the provost and magistrates of Kilmarnock, the
Established Church clergymen of the town, the minister of Riccar-
ton and the trustees under the settlement, who shall thereafter
administer the trust, and shall be the trustees. The mansion and
grounds bave been open to the public since shortly after the bequest,
except on Sundays. The minerals have been let, and are being
worked, and the funds have been accumulating. It is calculated
that from ten to twenty aged persons will lind refuge in the house,
should it be opened. The library contains 1,500 volumes. The
place is much visited during summer.
Tho civil parish of Kilmarnock consisls ecclesiastically of fonr
parishes, the Low, tho High, St. Marnock's and St. Andrew's, each
containing an established church- Part of the original or Low
church is of great antiquity. St. Marnock's church, erected at a
cost of £5,000, is a large handsome edifice, seated for 1,700 persons,
and ornamented with an admirable Gothic tower. The Free Church
has Bix places of worship in tho town, and a seventh in tho village
of Crookedholm, in tho parish. The United Presbyterians have
also four churches in the town. Their church in King stroet,
erected as a relief church, is very neatly designed, and has a singu-
larly elegant spire, forming a conspicuous object in the scenery of
the town. There are also chapels for the Original Soceders, tho
Evangelical Union, the Scottish Episcopalians and the Roman
Catholics, besides places of worship for other religious denomina-
tions. The oldest churchyard and that of St. Andrew's are now
closed, but a public cemetery, covering seven acres of ground, was
opened in 1875.
The most remarkablo obiect in this vicinity is the ruin of Dean
Castle, formerly the property of tho Boyds, Earls of Kilmarnock,
It stands in a " dean," or hollow, loss than a mile north from tho
town. It was burnt down in 1735. When in a perfect state it was
considered capable of sustaining a long siege, as, according to
tradition, it had the means of drawing secret supplies through
subterranean ways that communicated with Crawfurdlaud Castle,
two miles distant. A portion of this castle dates from 1066. Kil-
marnock House, another edifice onco belonging to and the last
residence of that noble family, is situated in St. Marnook street.
From this house proceeded the last unfortunate earl, in 1745, to join
tho standard of rebellion, which cost him his head. This building
is now occupied as an industrial school. About three miles from
the town, beautifully situated on the Carmel, is Rowallan Castle,
which is of considerable antiquity, though the oldest portions are
greatly decayed. It was the seat of the barons of Rowallan, and is
famous as boing the birthplace of Elizabeth More, or Mure, the first
wife of Robert the Second of Scotland, who lived and died, tradition
says, at Duudonald Castle. The Rowallan estate has passed by
marriago into the Hastings, or Loudoun, family, whose residence is
near Galston. Among the residences of the gentry may be named
the Mount, the property of Lady Oranmore, Caprington Castle,
Annanhili House, and others. The FeverJHospital and Dispensary,
a stone building, situated on an elevated sito, was opened in 1868,
the cost of its erection being £4,146.
The markets, which are held on Tuesday and Friday, are abund-
antly supplied with every necessary article of domestic consump-
tion. Fairs are held the second Tuesday in May, last Thursday in
July (commonly called the " gooseberry fair "), and the last Thurs-
day in October, for horses. The cheese show and fair, held at the
end of October, is affirmed to be tho largest in the kingdom, and is
attended by dealers from all parts of the country. It was calculated
that at the last show and fair (1884) fully 15,000 tons of cheese were
represented at it. The October show is purely an agricultural one.
About the middle of April a large show of cattle has been held for
years. It ranks next to the great Ayr show. The acreage of the
parish of Kilmarnock is about y,552. As showing the progress of
the town, it may be mentioned that in 1801 the population of tho
parish was 8,079, and in 1884, 25,81)4. The burgh proper in that year
numbered 23,910, and the Parliamentary burgh, including Riccarton,
25,841.
The paiish of Riccarto;,- is in the district of Kyle, lying on tho
left or south bank of the Irvine river, which separates it from Kil-
marnock. It contains about 7,600 acres. The village stands on an
eminence, a mile to tho south of that town, but is almost connected
with Kilmarnock by a long street. The parish extends about six
miles in length by between two and three in breadth, and includes
tho village of Hurlford, at which latter place is situated the ex-
tensivo works of tho Eglinton Iron Co., also a large manufactory
for firo clay articles, and several extensive collieries. A very hand-
some Established church and a Free church have also been erected
in the immediate neighbourhood, but iu Kilmarnock parish, and a
large subscription school was built for tho education of the children
of the working class, but is now one of the public schools of the
parish. The is a sub-post office here. The village of Riccarton is
remarkable for having been the residence of the venerable Sir
Rowland Crawford, tho maternal uncle of WaUace, with whom, it ia
said, the hero sometimes sojourned; and it was to Riccarton that
he generally retired after performing any of his very daring exploits*
before he openly unfurled his country's banner. On avenging the
treacherous murder of his uncle and other chieftains, by burning
the barns of Ayr, he took his way by night to this village, accom-
panied by a few followers. When he reached a certain eminence,
about six miles from Ayr, he turned round, and seeing the flames
still ascending, exclaimed with stern exultation, " the barns burn
well!" From this laconic expression (tradition adds), the spot
obtained the uamo of " Burn-weil,' 7 which it still retains. Tho
church of Riccarton is a modern structure, having been erected in
1823; it has a fine lofty steeple, and, from its elevated position, has
an ornamental effect on the country round. An excellont bridge
across the Irvine materially improves the approach from Ayr to
Kilmarnock. A considerable quantity of coal is raised in" this
parish. The Duke of Portland is tho principal landed proprietor.
Acreage, 7,550. In 1881 the parish contained 7,112 persons.
Kilmaurs is a parish in the district of Cunninghame, with an
acreago of 5,900. The town, a small one and burgh of barouy, is
two miles from Kilmarnock, Bituated on the right bank of a rivulet
called Kilmaurs or Carmel water. It was erected into a bugh of barony
by James V., at the instance of Cuthbert, Earl of Glencairn, and his
son, Lord Kilmaurs. Tho government of the town is vested in two
bailies (chosen annually by the portioners), before whom debts may
bo recovered. Kilmaurs is composed principally of one street, in
the middle of which is a small town houso, with a steeple and clock.
There is a sub-post and itfpney order ofiiCe here. Formerly this
place was somewhat noted for the manufacture of claso-kuives or
whittles, the sharpness of tho edge of which instrument gave rise
in Ayrshire to a peculiar expression of comparison ; a man of acuto
understanding and quickness of action is said to be " as sharp as a
Kilmaurs whittle." The most prominent trade now is weaving for tho
Glasgow and Paisley houses. Coais aro raised in the parish, tho
surface of which consists of large level fields, interspersed with
gentle declivities and elevations ; the summits of the latter are well
woodod, and the whole district has a pleasing appearance.
Communicaticn with all parts of the country is afforded by The
Glasgow, Banhead and Kilmarnock Joint Railway line which has
a station here. There is an old pile of buildings near to the church,
seemingly of very ancient urigiu, but with respect to its founder, or
the dato or object of its erection, ovon tradition itself is silent. In
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