|The small town of
Muirkirk, East Ayrshire, in SW Scotland lies on the main A70
trunk road to Edinburgh, some twenty-four miles inland
from the seaside resort of Ayr.
Entering Muirkirk by this route from the West, the traveller will see on the right, the "Covenanting Heritage lay-by", which gives further information and most certainly warrants a visit.
|Reference to the
area now recognised as Muirkirk can be traced back as far
as 1176 in writings by the Monks of Melrose.
The area was part of what had been known as the "Forest of Selkirk". This forest land had, centuries previously, covered the area from Selkirk, in the East, (no surprises there then!) Westward to the "Castle of Ayr".
Ironworks frontage, mid 1960s
|In the mid 17th
century, a few extremely crude dwellings sited to the
south of what was then no more than a rough track,
between Ayr and Edinburgh, constituted a settlement known
In later years, the spelling of Garan became Garron. Whether this change was through education or was simply a "corruption" is debatable. What is known however is that "Garron" relates to horses and there used to be stables at the foot of present day Garronhill. This serves to reinforce the belief that Garronhill is Muirkirk's earliest street.
|With the establishment of it's Church (or Kirk), the area took the name "The Moor Kirk of Kyle" referring to the Kirk on the Moor - which leads us very nicely to the present day name of Muirkirk. (Well, I mean, the "Moor Kirk of Kyle"....come on!....that's too much of a mouthful!)|
|Points worthy of
Historic Note include:
I remember as a boy (now THERE'S a good memory for you!) regular walks with my dad on fair nights were past Macadam's Stone, (P7) heading towards the old Sanquhar Brig (P8) or sometimes turning westward from Macadam's Stone and walking to Tibbie's Brig (P9)
In those days,
we lived in "Stitt Place", just to the left of
the background image used on this page.
the end of the Second World War, these
"prefabs" were intended as temporary
Some of my abiding memories of the prefabricated housing include the flat roof which invariably leaked in heavy rain, the metal window frames which were always cold to the touch, the perpetual condensation on the interior faces of the external walls on anything other than a hot summer's day and, in winter, the icicles hanging from the window sills.
(I mean on
I can recall winter months from the early 1960s, my mother wakening me for school, her breath visible in clouds as soon as she entered "the boys' bedroom. Oh yes, my breath too - as soon as I removed the blankets which were covering my face! I also remeber at least two occasions of her setting fire to a full "Household Box" of matches on returning a partially extinguished match (used to light the obligatory gas heater) to the box. No lasting damage was caused but the stench of burning sulphur lives on..............that and the fact that all the windows had to be thrown wide open to clear the air sort of defeated the purpose of using the matches in the first place!
On a brighter note however, the sun does indeed still shine in Muirkirk from time to time - as the background image used here demonstrates!
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Last updated 7th June 2005
© 1998 -
2005 Stuart Thomson
This is: Page 6 (Muirkirk)