|Kirkoswald. [Stathclyde] 'Church of Oswald (personal name)'. The name
is that of the 7th century religious minded missionary King Oswald of Northumbria, an
associate of St Finan and of St Birinus
Above from The Dictionary of Scottish Place Names by Mike Darton Page 166
KIRKOSWALD 1837 - Ayrshire Directory by Pigot & Co
Is a small and picturesque old village, in the parish of its name, and the district of Carrick; 13 miles s. from Ayr, and 4 1/2 from Maybole; situate on a line of road from Portpatrick to Glasgow - 90 miles from the former and 48 (by the new road) from the latter town. The parish is highly interesting, as containing within its limits several objects of great attraction for the stranger and tourist. The sea-coast presents a sandy beach, with a beautiful rich sward to the very sea-mark; and there are two lakes, from whence flow many small streams which wander through the district towards the sea. Of late years there have been raised various delightful plantations, particularly near the shore around Culzean Castle, the splendid seat of the Marquess of Ailsa. The mansion, which is a fine specimen of ancient architecture, is placed on a rock overhanging the sea; and on the land side are delicious gardens, with a noble park of great extent. Not to far from the castle is a fort mounted with thirteen guns, and a mortar battery, both kept in the most effective order. The surrounding scenery, combining all in wood, water and field that can form a glowing and varied landscape, may here be contemplated with both mental and optical transport. In a low valley, between Kirkoswald and Maybole, are the remains of the abbey of Crossraguel, founded by Duncan, first Earl of Carrick, and dedicated to the Virgin Mary: at one period it was possessed by Cluniac monks from Paisley; at the reformation it became the property of the Earl of Cassillis, in whose family it still remains: dilapidated as it now is, this abbey is the most entire in the west of Scotland. From the coast-road between Girvan and Maybole may be seen the ruins of Turnberry castle, once the residence and property of Robert Bruce. Within view of this memorial of former centuries, and not more than a mile from it, lies the farm of Shanter, once the residence of Douglas Graham, the immortalised hero of Burns's poem, 'Tam - o - Shanter;' though that honour is disputed, by some, in favour of another farmer, called Thomas Reid.
Transcribed from Pigot's Directory of Ayrshire 1837
Second Statistical Account
Parish of Kirkoswald
Presbytery of Ayr, Synod of Glasgow and Ayr
The Rev. James Inglis, Minister
I. - Topography and Natural History
Name.- This parish takes its name from Oswald, a Northumbrian king of the Heptarchy, who built a church on the site of the burying ground beside the village - in gratitude, it is said, for a victory he had there obtained.
Situation, Erection, Extent, &c.- The parish is situate in that district of Ayrshire called Carrick. Prior to 1652, it was of considerably larger extent than at present. At that time, the parish of Barr was disjoined from Girvan, Dailly, and Colmonell. The sea-coast of the parish from north to south is six English miles in extent; the greater part of which is a sandy beach, with a beautiful and rich carpet of grass, to the very sea-mark. From every part of this coast, there is a beautiful prospect of the Firth of Clyde, land-locked, as it were, on all sides, by the coast of Cunningham, island of Bute, island of Arran, Kintyre, the coast of Ireland, and the Ayrshire coast. What adds to the beauty and grandeur of the prospect, is the noble rock of Ailsa, in the middle of the Firth.
Surface, Soil, &c.- The surface is hilly; but the hills, except in two places, called Mochrum and Craigdow, never rise to any considerable height. Near Mochrum, there is a loch which covers twenty-four Scots acres, and a another, apparently as large, near Craigdow. From these lochs, and from numberless springs which rise out of every hill, flow many small streams, which wander through the parish, and afford abundance of pure water. Except the very tops of Mochrum and Craigdow, and several tracts of moss the whole parish is arable.
There is little or no natural wood in the parish. But the want of this is happily supplied by the plantations made by the Earl of Cassillis and Sir Charles Fergusson of Kilkerran.
II - Civil History
Antiquities. - Upon a small promontory on the barony of Turnberry, now the property of the Earl of Cassillis, are the ruins of the famous castle of Turnberry, the seat of the Earls of Carrick. When or by whom it was built is altogether uncertain. Authentic history, however, informs us, that in 1724, Martha, Countess of Carrick, lived in this her castle, and was that year married to Robert Bruce, Earl of Annandale. From this marriage sprung the kings of Scotland, and the race of Stewart. In 1306, Turnberry was held by an English garrison, under Earl Percy; and some years after this, we find that King Robert Bruce stormed the castle, still in possession of the English, routed and expelled the garrison, but at the expense of the destruction of the building. After this, we do not hear of its being inhabited.
The next remarkable old building in the parish, is the Abbey of Crossraguel, founded by Duncan, King of Scotland, in 1260, situated two miles east from the village, It is more entire than any other abbey in the west of Scotland. The side walls of the church and choir still remain to the height of fourteen feet. It has been exceedingly well lighted within. Towards the east remains the niche where the principal altar stood. On the right of this is the vestry, and the Abbot's ecclesiastical court, all entire, and arched very much in the style of the cathedral at Glasgow. There are besides, several vaults and cells, all built of fine hewn-stone. At the east end of the abbey, stand the ruins of the Abbot's first house. On the west end of the abbey, stands the last house the Abbot inhabited. The whole building stands in the middle of eight acres of ground, commonly called the Abbot's yard, or precinct of Crossraguel. This ruin is preserved with great care and attention.
The next old building in the parish, is the house or castle of Thomaston, about half a-mile to the south-east of Culzean. Tradition tells us, that it was built by a nephew of Robert Bruce in the year 1335. It has been exceedingly strong, and of very considerable extent. It was inhabited fifty years ago, and is now the property of the Earl of Cassillis.
Of the more modern buildings in this parish, the most remarkable is Culzean castle, founded by David, late Earl of Cassillis, in the year 1777. This noble edifice is situated upon a rock, projecting a little into the sea, of about 100 feet in height from the surface of the water, and almost perpendicular. The style of the architecture, and the execution of the work, are singularly elegant. At a proper distance from the castle, stand the stables and farm-houses. The castle commands a delightful prospect of the whole Firth of Clyde, with a full view of the rock of Ailsa. On the land side, and immediately below the castle, are the gardens belonging to the old house of Culzean, formed out of rock, at a great expense, into three terraces; upon the walls of which are planted some of the rarest and most delicate shrubs and trees, seldom found growing in the open air. The remainder of the old gardens is formed into pleasure-ground and gravel walks, kept with great care. Round the castle, and adjoining buildings, lies an extensive policy of about 700 acres, interspersed with many thriving plantations.
Near to the castle, and immediately under some of the buildings, are the coves or caves of Culzean. These are six in number. Of the three towards the west, the largest has its entry as low as high-water mark; the roof is about 50 feet high; it extends inwards about 200 feet, and varies in breadth. It communicates with the other two, which are both considerably less, but of much the same irregular form. Towards the east, are the other three coves, which likewise communicate with each other. They are nearly the same height and figure with the former; but their extent has bot been precisely ascertained. (Old Stat. Account)
In the interior of the parish, there are very distinct remains of a Druidical circle. Stone-coffins have been dug up, and found to contain curios ornaments, some of which are in the possession of the minister of the parish. Some years ago, a very curios spear was discovered in a moss. On the shore, there is a vitrified fort, which will reward the curiosity of the visitor.
This parish is a good deal connected with the Life and works of the poet Burns. In the summer of 1788, he attended school in the village of Kirkoswald, where he seems to have been place in consequence of his mother's connection with the parish, she being the daughter of Gilbert Brown, tenant in Craigenton. While residing at Ballochneil, in this neighbourhood of the village, he was not far distant from the farm of Shanter, the occupied by some of the characters whom he afterwards introduced into his tale of Tam o' Shanter. The hero of this tale was Douglas Graham designed on his tombstone in the churchyard beside the village by his fictitious name.
Parochial Registers. - There are registers of births, baptisms, marriages, and deaths, all regularly kept.
Land-owners.- The following is a list of land-owners of the parish, with their respective valuations.
III - Population
In villages at present 344
In country at present 1681
Number of illegitimate births during the last three years 18
IV - Industry
The following table shows the amount of land in the parish in the different states of arable and pasture, and its value:
General average of arable land per acre, L.1. 5s 11d
General average of pasture land per acre 5s
Manufacturers. - The only manufacture in this parish is of tiles; for which purpose there are three works, which produce about 1,000,000 yearly, sufficient to drain upwards of 300 Scotch acres annually. Part of the tiles, however, are carried out of the parish.
A few cotton weavers, scattered over the parish, are supplied with webs from Maybole and Girvan and Glasgow; also a number of females are supplied with flowering webs from the same quarters.
Agriculture. - About a fourth less wheat is sown now than was done a few years ago; although along the coast, the quantity is still kept up, and of as good quality as any in the west country. The land is generally very well cultivated. A few beans are grown on two or three farms, well adapted for them, and may occupy about fifty or sixty acres yearly. Oats are grown of first quality all over the parish; little or no bear or barley. There are a great many dairies of first quality, the produce principally made into cheese, and generally sold for the Glasgow market. The produce of the cows is generally estimated at from L. 7 to L.10 each, according to the pasture and management; and in a few p laces it goes considerably beyond the latter sum. The chief markets for the parish are at Ayr and Girvan; and immense quantities of potatoes are annually shipped at the latter port, some of the farmers sending off 200 or 300 tons; as also wheat, oatmeal,&c. &c. Draining is going on with great spirit; it is only five or six years since the first tile-work was began; there are about forty men and boys engaged all summer, five or six horses, and a foreman to manage each; a number of both cattle and sheep are fed on turnips for the Ayr and Glasgow markets.
Coal.- The quantity of coal put out yearly at Dalzellowlie coal-work is about 60,000 creels or 1000 tons of 20cwts. each, the average value of which may be about L.1750. The number of persons employed is generally about thirty. It is understood that, about one hundred years ago, the coal there took fire (by accident); but there has been no appearance of active fire, for the last thirty years; and the working is now going on in the place where the fire was last supposed to be, which proves it to be quite extinguished. The seams of coal are five in number, varying from 5 to 18 feet in thickness. Above 30 fathoms below the surface are working at present. The dip and rise of the coal-field is about a foot in three and a-half.
Fishings.- Fishings of salmon, white-fish, and herrings are carried on in the parish to a considerable extent. Value about L.360 per annum.
V - Parochial Economy
Ecclesiastical State.- The whole population, with the exception of five or six Dissenting families, belongs to the Established Church. The stipend, by a recent augmentation, amounts to 17 chalders; the glebe is 4 3/4 imperial acres in extent. The manse was built in 1771, and is in good habitable condition.
Education.- There are six schools in the parish, including one female school kept in the village of Kirkoswald. Salary of the parochial schoolmaster, L.30; average yearly amount of school fees, L.45. The Kilkerran family has endowed one of the schools with accommodations, and a salary of L.12 per annum to the teacher.
Poor.- The average number of poor is 46; and the average allowance to each 1s. per week. The heritors contribute for their behoof about L.110 per annum; and about L.40 per annum is derived from church collections.
The above is a transcription of the Second Statistical Account of Kirkoswald, Ayrshire
It is Contracted, Agreed and Ended betwixt the parties following Viz.1 Eian Allan Hunter Esquire Clerk to the Signet Edinburgh Commissioner for the Honourable Archibald Kennedy Marquis of Ailsa Earl of Cassillis here table. Proprietor of the lands and a there aforementioned. Conform to Commission and Factory in his favour dated the Eighteenth and recorded in the Books of Council and Session the nineteenth days of April Eighteen hundred and Seventy whereby he is specially empowered to grant Tacks, Leases or Setts of the Lands Farms and others belonging to the said Marquis of Ailsa on the one part and Robert Cowperthwaite and Thomas Cowperthwaite Farmers in High Drumdow aforementioned jointly and severally on the other part in manner following. That is to say the said Eian Allan Hunter as Commissioner foresaid has set and in consideration of the Tack duty and other forestatings of aforementioned or referred to hereby Sets and in Tack and Associated Lets to the said Robert Cowperthwaite and Thomas Cowperthwaite and the Survivor of them and the heirs of the survivor All and Whole the lands and Farm of High Drumdow as currently possessed by the said Robert Cowperthwaite and Thomas Cowperthwaite with the Houses, yards and tenements lying in the parish of Kirkoswald and Those of Clyde with liberty to lift sea ware cast in by the tide in common with the other tenants of the said Marquis of Ailsa from the Klun of Turnberry upward so far as his Lordships properties goes and also on the sea shore opposite the lands of Chapeldonan, Burnside and Currah in common with the said other tenants and with the proprietors and tenants of the said lands of Chapeldonan, Burnside and Currah and that for and during the space of nineteen crops and years complete from and after the term of Martinmas Eighteen hundred and seventy one which is hereby declared to be the commencement of this lease not withstanding the date or dates here of and from henceforth to be peaceably first issued and enacted by the said Robert Cowperthwaite and Thomas Cowperthwaite during the whole foresaid space But declaring that these presents are granted with express reference to and under the whole conditions obligations reservations and others contained in articles and regulations of lease settled by the late Alexander
Hunter Esquire writer to the signet Edinburgh Commissioner for the late Most Honourable Archibald Kennedy Marquis of Ailsa Earl of Cassillis K.B. etc. etc. conform to Commission and Factory in his favour dated the nineteenth and registered in the Books of Council and Session the twenty fourth days of October Eighteen hundred and forty six and which articles of lease are dated the thirteenth and registered in the Books of Council and Sessions the fourteenth days of October Eighteen hundred and fifty one and it is hereby further declared and agreed to that the said Articles and Regulations of lease ( a copy of which is documented and Subscribed by the said Robert Cowperthwaite and Thomas Cowperthwaite as Relative hereto) with the whole clauses conditions obligations reserved and others therein contained so far as not inconsistent with the lease shall have the same force strength and effect to all intents and purposes as if the same were herein verbatim engrossed which Tack the said Eian Allan Hunter as Commissioner foresaid binds and obliges the said Marquis of Ailsa and his successors to warrant at all hands and against all mortals For which Causes and on the other part the said Robert Cowperthwaite and Thomas Cowperthwaite and the survivor of them bind and oblige themselves and their Heirs Executors Successors and Intromitters with their goods and gear whosoever all conjunctly and severally without the benefit of discussion to make payment to the said Marquis of Ailsa his Heirs and successors or to his or their Commissioners Factors Chamberlain or others having authority to endow the said of the sum of One hundred and seventy one pounds fourteen shillings and seven pence sterling (of which the sum of twenty eight pounds four shillings sterling is interest on money expensed in draining portions of the said lands prior to the commencement of this lease) yearly during the continuance of this Tack in name of rent or Tack duty and that at two times in the years Martinmas and Whitsunday by equal moieties beginning the first terms payment of the said rent as at the term of Martinmas Eighteen hundred and seventy two and the next terms payment at Whitsunday thereafter being in full of the first years rent and so on half yearly and termly thereafter during the currency of the lease until the last year thereof the whole rent of which year is to be paid at Martinmas the term of removal and before removal (declaring however that in the event of the Law of Hypothec
being modified or abolished then of the said Marquis of Ailsa shall desire it the rent shall be payable at the terms of Whitsunday and Martinmas by equal portions, that is the first half of each years rent shall be payable at Whitsunday of the year in which the crop is reaped and the other half at the term of Martinmas thereafter) with interest and penalty on each half yearly payment as specified in the said Articles of lease before referred to, together also with the Land Ass, County rates, School Salary, Road Conversion money and every other public and parish burden of whatever denomination which the lands hereby let are at present liable to or may become chargeable with during the currency of the lease (Minister & Stipends excepted) as also five shillings of Baron (officers wages) yearly; all which burdens are to be reckoned as additional rent and the Landlords right of Hypothec is to find to the same. If the said Robert Cowperthwaite and Thomas Cowperthwaite shall desire to drain any portions of the arable lands hereby let which have not already been drained and the said Marquis of Ailsa shall be satisfied that the arable land so desired to be drained requires it but not otherwise, then the latter is to be bound and the said Eian Allan Hunter as Commissioner foresaid hereby binds and obliges his Lordship to allow the said Robert Cowperthwaite and Thomas Cowperthwaite Tiles at Drums Bain Tilery free of expense but the said Tenants are to cart the Tiles from the Tilery to the Farm at their own expense and the drains are to be laid off cut and constructed at the sight and to the satisfaction of the said Marquis of Ailsa or those acting for him and the said Tenants are to keep and leave the drains so made as well as those already made on the said lands in complete repair and good going order: and with respect to the management of the said lands, the said Robert Cowperthwaite and Thomas Cowperthwaite hereby bind and oblige themselves and their foresaids during the whole years of this lease, to cultivate crop and manure the arable portions of the said lands in all aspects according to the rules of good husbandry in particular and without prejudice to the generality of this clause, it is hereby expressly stipulated and agreed to that such portions of the lands hereby let as are under tillage shall be managed as follows Viz1; the lands are to be divided into five divisions or breaks as nearly equal in extent as the present fences will admit of and only one of such divisions is to be broken up from pasture yearly and then it is to managed thus: first year, a crop of oats is to be
taken; second year it is to be in drilled green crops (Potatoes or Turnips) , or lane fallow to be properly prepared and cleaned, and the portion unfallow to be four times ploughed and as often harrowed; three of the ploughings to be done between first October and first July in each year; third year, the division is to regarding which crop with which it is to be sown out with Five bushels of best Imperial Rye grass and thoroughly cleaned and three pounds of red clover, two pounds of white clover, one pound of alsike clover, and one pound of cow grass, all of the best quality and properly mixed per acre; in the fourth year, in hay or pasture, and in the fifth year in pasture and after which the divisions may be again broken up once subjected to the same course of management and the land in green crop or lane fallow shall include the whole land broken up from pastures the previous year and shall be manured as follows Viz1; the portion in green crops with well made dung at the rate of forty cubic yards for imperial acre or with seventy cubic yards of well made dung and five hundredweight of best Peruvian guano and two hundredweight of best ground bones per imperial acre, and the portion, of any, lane fallow with well made dung at the rate of thirty cubic yards per imperial acre or with seventy cubic yards of well made dung and two hundredweight of best Peruvian guano and two hundredweight of best ground bones per imperial acre; and Potatoes are not to be taken from the same ground in five successive through goings and of in one extraction potatoes have been taken the land must be in turnips or lane fallow in the succeeding rotation; and at least one half of every turnip crop is to be fed off on the ground on which the turnips are growing, with sheep which are to be carefully flaked in so as to prevent them from injuring the fences and each field on being broken up from pasture or as it falls to be in green crop or lane fallow for the first time during this lease shall so be redressed with lime at the rate of six tons of lime shello of the best quality per scratch acre; and the Tenants shall be at liberty in sow out the lands in lane fallow with Rye grass and clover seeds of the kinds and in the proportions above specified without taking a whole crop providing the land has been properly cleaned and the quantities of lime and other manure's have been given to the land
but the break or portion of a break and sown out shall be in pasture for at least three years before it is again broken up; and the arable lands having been so divided into five divisions or breaks in manner foresaid no change or alteration of any of the divisions is to be during this lease without the consent in writing of the said Marquis of Ailsa; and the said tenants bind and oblige themselves and subject each division to the forgoing management in a due and regular manner; and no part of the lands which are a clover and engrassed in pasture during the first twelve years of this lease is thereafter sold broken up for silage: The said Tenants are not to be allowed to keep either Cattle or Sheep on said lands, and of their own property and if they do keep sheep belonging to themselves they are to be carefully flaked so as to prevent them from injuring the fences; and if any time the tenants shall be found to have kept either Cattle or Sheep on said lands of their own property it shall be in the power of the said Marquis of Ailsa if he so pleases, To put an end to this lease at the first term of Martinmas which shall happen after the contravention has come to his knowledge:; And as the said Robert Cowperthwaite and Thomas Cowperthwaite are bound by their present lease to leave the Dwelling House and office Houses on the said farm in a state of substantial repair therefore they hereby agree to accept as in such a state at the commencement of this lease and bind and oblige themselves to keep them in a like state during its currency and to leave them in a state of substantial repair at the expiry thereof or their removal from the lands: And as the said Robert Cowperthwaite and Thomas Cowperthwaite are bound by their present lease of the said Farm to leave the hail fences thereon in a complete tenantable and fencible condition, therefore, they hereby agree to accept them as in such a state at the commencement of this lease and bind and oblige themselves to keep them in such a state during the currency thereof and to leave them in a complete tenantable and fencible condition at the expiry of this lease or their removal from the lands; And with regard to all the thorn fences on the lands hereby let, the said Robert Cowperthwaite and Thomas Cowperthwaite
shall be bound and hereby bind and oblige themselves without reference to the state in which they shall receive them, to scour the ditches and mud and dress the fences at least once every year and to fill up any banks, with young thorns and generally to do everything necessary to improve and protect the fences; and if the said tenants shall neglect so to protect the fences, the said Marquis of Ailsa or those acting for him shall be at liberty to employ labourers to do whatever is necessary to the fences and to charge the said tenants with the cost of the work.; Power is hereby reserved to the said Marquis of Ailsa at any period of this lease he pleases to take the thorn fences on the Farm hereby let entirely under his own charge and management and to entirely Accepted to cut overdress weed and otherwise improve and repair the fences as often as it shall be necessary to do so and to charge the tenants without half of the cost of the work so done on the said farm and lands; and an account certified by the Land Steward on the Estates for the time being shall be a sufficient voucher and instruction of the money expected; and the said tenants or their foresaids shall not be entitled to object to pay their half of the amount of the account so certified on any ground or pretence whatever; and they shall not be entitled to ask or demand the said Marquis of Ailsa to execute and work on the said fences beyond what his Lordship or those working for him shall consider to be satisfactory and the said tenants and their foresaids shall be bound to scour the ditches on the Farms and lands hereby let at their own expense as often as it shall be necessary to do so and that to the satisfaction of the Land Steward and the Estates for the time being; and in the event of the said tenants or their foresaids failing to scour any of the ditches within ten days from the date on which they have been required to do so, it shall be in the power of the said Marquis of Ailsa and those acting for him to employ labourers to do the work and to charge the said tenants or their foresaids with the expenses and in the event of the said Marquis of Ailsa carrying out the said arrangement and afterwards finding
it not to be working to his satisfaction, he is at full liberty to abandon it at any term of Whitsunday or Martinmas on giving the said tenants or their foresaids one months previous notice, of his intention and thereafter the lease obligations incumbent on the said tenants in regard to fences prior to such arrangements having been gone into shall be implemented by them and their foresaids fully in all aspects as if no different arrangement had ever existed and that and their foresaids shall be bound and obliged to keep and leave the fences in the same state of repair as they are by this lease taking bound to do as if the said Eian Allan Hunter as Commissioner foresaid binds and obliges the said Marquis of Ailsa and his foresaids and the said Robert Cowperthwaite and Thomas Cowperthwaite bind and oblige themselves and their foresaids to implement their respective parts of the promises here and to each other under the penalty of One hundred pounds they bind to be paid by the party failing in the party observing or willing to observe the same over and above performance; and they consent to the registration here of along with the said articles and regulations of lease in the Books of Council and Sessions or others competent therein to remain for preservation; and that all execution necessary may pass here on and therein on a charge of six days in common form and for that purpose constitute\par \par their Procurators in witness here of these presents written on this and the six preceding pages of stamped paper by John Gilmour clerk in the Cassillis and Culzean Estates office in Maybole are subscribed under the declaration that the words \lquote in his favour\rquote are interlined by the said John Gilmour between the second and third words of the fourth line from the top of page second hereof before subscription - as follows videlicit by the said Robert Cowperthwaite and Thomas Cowperthwaite at Maybole the twenty fifth day of July Eighteen hundred and seventy one before their witnesses Thomas Dykes Factor to the said Marquis of Ailsa and the said John Gilmour and the said Eian Allan Hunter at Edinburgh the twenty second day of December and year foresaid before these witnesses, Andrew Gifford Yorston and Alexander Austine Brown both clerks to messers Hunter Blair and Girvan writers to the Justice Edinburgh
The above is a transcription of the lease from 1871 for High Drumdow farm, Kirkoswald which was copied to myself by the factor Mr D G Gray of Cassillis Estate, Maybole, Ayrshire Scotland.
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