Ayr - 'The Town of Aire, from ye House of Newtowne'

The House of Newtown (or 'Newtowne') of the title is the large fortified building in this view. Ayr Auld Brig ('old bridge'), dating from 1470, is on the left of the house, leading into the town. The spire in the distance belongs to the Tolbooth, and the church on the left of the prospect is the New Church.

Slezer gives a slightly different spelling of 'Aire' for this drawing than the one used for 'The Prospect of the Town of Air from the East'. Spelling of names was rarely consistent until the 19th century.

Like the previous plate, there are sheep and shepherds in the foreground of this view.

Image from Theatrum Scotiae by John Slezer, 1693.

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  Read what Robert Sibbald wrote in Theatrum Scotiae about Ayr


To the Right Honourable John Maister of Stairs, One of the Lords of their Majesties Most Honourable Privy Council; and Principal Secretary of Sate for the Kingdom of Scotland.

Aire or Airth

Aire, an ancient Town, and the Chief Market-Place of the West of Scotland. In it the Sheriff Courts are kept, it being the head Town of that Sheriffdom, which bears the same Name. It was of old called St. John's Town; but now that Name is antiquated.

This Town though it be situated in a sandy Plain, yet it hath pleasant and fruitful Fields, and Greens equally pleasant both Summer and Winter. It hath a stately Church; and a Bridge with Four Arches joins it to the New Town, which is situated on the North side the Water, where is to be seen the Castle of the Laird of Craigwallace.

A Mile North of the Town, not far from the Sea-Shore, there is a Lazer-House, commonly called the King's Chapel, which King Robert de Bruce set apart for maintaining Lepers.

This Town by the King's Patent is the Sheriff's Seat, and hath Thirty and Two Miles to the South and North within its Jurisdiction.

Who was Robert Sibbald?

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