Ballantrae & District Timeline

2000 > Present day
Ancient Times

2000 > Present day


Glenapp Church held Service of Celebration on 27th August for 150th Anniversary, with guest preacher the Very Rev. John McIndoe, former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

Jean B Dunlop, Head Teacher of Ballantrae Primary School, awarded MBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

River Stinchar flooded in October, closing the A77 road for several hours

2000 Gala Day

2001 Gala Dalmations

2004 Flower Show Prizewinners


The Honourable George ('Geordie') Fergusson, son of the late Lord Ballantrae, appointed British High Commissioner to New Zealand & Samoa and Governor of the Pitcairn Islands.  He served in these posts until 2010.


Rosemary Stevenson awarded MBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for services to the community


River Stinchar flooded, closing the A77 road


John Scott, Member of the Scottish Parliament, mentioned Ballantrae and Ardstinchar Castle in an address to the parliament at Holyrood about the Ayrshire Coastal Path


The Honourable Hew North Dalrymple, son of the 12th Earl of Stair, celebrated his 100th birthday


The Honourable Hew Dalrymple died, aged 102

The Honourable George Fergusson appointed Governor of Bermuda, and served until 2016



Mrs Frances Logan celebrated her 104th birthday

1990 Drama Group


Several of the remaining Grey Stanes of Garleffin torn up from field and destroyed.  Only two of the original eight now survive within a bungalow garden.


VE Day celebrating end of WW2 – address to the villagers given by The Honourable Hew Dalrymple

1995 Hon Hew Dalrymple delivers VE Day message


Nursery Class opened for under-fives education at Primary School


John Doak, Manager of Balig Farm, awarded MBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II



Death of Bernard Fergusson, The Right Honourable the Lord Ballantrae, KT, GCMG, GCVO, DSO, OBE


The Honourable Geordie Fergusson succeeded his father as patron of the Bernard Fergusson School in New Zealand


Bernard Fergusson Memorial Scholarship established by the Maori Queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu


A lorry laden with 600 straw bales caught fire in the village centre, damaging two houses

Death of Henry Ewing Torbet, known as 'Snib', who lived in Bennane Cave for many years and was shown great kindness by the Ballantrae folks.  The villagers erected a memorial cairn nearby with his epitaph "RESPECTED AND INDEPENDENT".

1983 Lobster fisherman


Ballantrae Schoolhouse burned down


River Stinchar burst its banks, closing the A77 road

Mrs Peggy Kirk and the Melville family of Bennane took part in BBC Radio Scotland's programme 'The Carrick Connection'


Mrs Frances Logan celebrated her 100th birthday

1986 Flower Show winners


Emily Mitchell retired from service to Ballantrae Primary School after ten years as Dinner Lady and 42 years driving the school taxi


1989 Ardstinchar Players









A new Conference and Leisure Complex was proposed for building on 50 acres of coastline between the village and Bennane.  Plans for the 'Ailsa Craig Centre' were shelved after a Public Enquiry, despite the villagers supporting this development described as the 'New Aviemore'.


Sir Bernard Fergusson awarded life peerage as Lord Ballantrae of Auchairne, county of Ayr, and the Bay of Islands, New Zealand

River Stinchar and hedgerows


Lord Ballantrae was Chancellor of St Andrews University 1973-801973 Invitation to Holyrood Palace

1973 & 1974

Members of church congregation invited to Garden Party at Holyrood Palace by Lord Ballantrae in his role as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.  These special invitations included Afternoon Tea inside the palace.


Lord Ballantrae created Knight of the Thistle, the highest Order of Chivalry in Scotland

1974 Church congregation outing


Margaret ('Peggy') Kirk, former Councillor, awarded MBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The Old Hall in Church Street was consecrated as Masonic Lodge No. 1705, named Lodge Stinchar Valley, on 6th November 1975.  Their penny design featured Ailsa Craig, Ardstinchar Castle and the old bridge.  The hall has since been converted to a private house.

Masonic Penny of Lodge Stinchar Valley


1976 Roadmen

1976 Cubs and Scouts

1976 WVS Long Service Medals


The Weber brothers from USA lodged at Threeways in Ballantrae while attending the British Open Golf Championship at Turnberry.  Their love of Ballantrae village led to Chuck Weber naming a new condominium 'Ballantrae' in North Ocean Boulevard, Delray Beach, Florida.  Margaret Kirk provided the village history, and 23 kilos of beach stones were freighted from Ballantrae to Florida to be incorporated into the build.

    'Ballantrae' condominium in Florida


BBC Radio Scotland visited Ballantrae for their programme 'John Leese from Cullen to Castlebay'.  Contributors included Lord Ballantrae, District Councillor Struan Stevenson, Mrs Kirk MBE, Mr Roy Lopez, Mr James Neil and Mr J C R Brown.

Comedienne and author Joyce Grenfell, sister-in-law of Lady Ballantrae, gave a charity performance in the village Community Centre.  At the end of the evening's entertainment, Lord Ballantrae made a special presentation to Mrs & Mrs J C R Brown who were retiring from the Post Office.


Tragic death of Lady Ballantrae, nee Laura Grenfell, near her home of Auchairne



The Monte Carlo Rally passed through Ballantrae.  Ten drivers were stopped and charged with speeding, and the rally route never again included our village.


Bernard Fergusson of Auchairne appointed Governor General of New Zealand for five years


Royal Observer Corps underground nuclear monitoring post built at Holm Park Farm.  Remained in use until 1968, then reopened 1974-91.

Ballantrae cut off by snow.  Supplies and mail delivered by fishing boat 'Annabelle'.

1963 Snow


Ballantrae New Bridge built

1965 New Bridge complete


Mr George Boreland retired as Headmaster of Ballantrae School after 21 years

School in New Zealand named after Bernard Fergusson, the Governor General


The 'May' ran aground

1966 "May" runs aground


Crowds lined the Main Street as HRH Princess Margaret passed through on her way to open the Scottish Milk Marketing Board's new creamery in Stranraer



River Stinchar burst its banks.  Stranded vehicles pulled out by lorries.  The Girvan to Ballantrae bus was forced off the road by four feet of water and plunged over a banking.  The five trapped occupants broke the windows and climbed onto the roof where they stayed for over an hour before a farmer came to the rescue with a rope.  One passenger lost her grip, fell into the water, and the farmer dived in to save her.

Earl of Inchcape sold Auchairne Estate by Public Roup in Kings Arms Hotel.  The 16th century house and grounds sold for £5,500 to Mr Hannah, an Ayr solicitor, and the five farms were sold privately to the tenants.


Ballantrae New Cemetery opened

Gib Templeton junior's Welsh Corgi won 'Best in Show' at Old Kirkpatrick and 'Best in Section' at Scottish Kennel Club Show in Edinburgh

1951 advert for Gib Templeton

The Ardstinchar Players (formerly Ballantrae Dramatic Group) presented the 3-act Scots comedy 'Bunty Pulls The Strings'.  Its roaring success was remembered for many years afterwards.


1951 programme for 'Bunty Pulls The Strings'


Celebrations for coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  Programme included Divine Service in the church, a Fancy Dress Parade, Sports, Whist Drive, a Coronation Dance in the New Hall, and ended with a Bonfire on Big Park Hill.  Ballantrae Pipe Band played during the day "to give the Celebrations a real Scottish touch".

1953 Pipe Band at Coronation.

Coronation Programme

Coronation Parade


Procession along Main Street


Judging the Fancy Dress Competition


Drought forced farmer Graeme McCulloch to pump water from River Stinchar to irrigate the early potato crop

War Memorial repaired after storm damage, having lost 14 feet off the cross

The 'Ballantrae Cross' discovered by Mr Douglas of Shallochwreck Farm on Lord Inchcape's estate, recycled into a dry-stane dyke.  Measuring about nine inches wide by 13 inches long, this may have been a marker cross on the pilgrimage route to Whithorn, or from the old Chapel of St Ninian, or part of a gravestone.  The cross is in the care of the Hunterian Museum at Glasgow University.

1957 Fishing family

1957-60 Ballantrae Thistle

   1957 The 'Ballantrae Cross' found at Shallochwreck






Heavy snow in late January led to shortages of food and fuel in villages around Girvan.  Mail and bread did not get through for several days.

1940 Snow Man North Lodge Glenapp

Telephone Exchange automated in Girvan and surrounding villages


Ballantrae Golf Course closed due to war

The Honourable James Lyle Mackay, aged 17, youngest brother of Earl of Inchcape, fell from a cliff at Glenapp whilst out shooting and was sadly killed


Ballantrae raised £3,797 in only four days towards their target of £8,000 as part of the 'Wings for Victory Week'

Royal Observer Corps WW2


Prime Minister Winston Churchill stayed at Glenapp Castle, said to have been venue for planning the D-Day Landings with General Dwight Eisenhower


Tragic death at Glenapp of Mrs Marshall when walking home from Cairnryan to Big Park Farm during snow storm

Telephone installed in Church Manse

Pulpit of Free Church rotted away in Manse garage storage and disposed of


Laggan House used as private boarding school with 20 pupils

Alexander Steel of The Foreland, aged 53, killed on banks of River Stinchar during drilling work for the planned new bridge


First nine holes of new Haw Braes Golf Course completed, and the old clubhouse was refurbished and moved

Golf Club Founders' Appeal raised £1,011 by October, but work on the second nine holes delayed by bad weather

Snow storm blocked A77 road at Glenapp, with southbound buses held at Ballantrae

1947 Wearing Grannie's Clothes


Ballantrae Volunteer Fire Services manned by six volunteers

1949 John Mitchell haulage










A77 road blocked at Glenapp by snowdrifts 15 feet deep

Charles F Kennedy of Bennane & Finnarts, the last local representative of the Kennedys of Ardstinchar & Bargany, sold Finnarts House to Lord Inchcape and emigrated to Tasmania. The house was immediately demolished.

Toilet installed in Ballantrae Church Vestry

Coal boat 'XL' from Isle of Man sank two miles north of Ballantrae on its way from Ayr to Kilkeel.  The crew rowed in a small boat to Ballantrae Coastguard Station where their needs were supplied by local agent for Shipwrecked Mariners' Society.

Free Church Manse sold for £625 to Inspector of the Poor

1930 Aerial View


Free Church noted as lying empty, and would later be demolished

Ardstinchar Church demolished after 1931

1931 Scything bracken at Downanhill Farm

1931 Ballantrae Public Hall


Poacher from Girvan sentenced to £5 fine or 30 days in prison for stealing three salmon and 14 sea trout from River Stinchar at Ballantrae


1932 Richard ran aground

1932 School children


A Glasgow traveller heading for Ballantrae stopped his car to watch two weasels and two adders fighting.  He tried to separate them by throwing stones and the weasels turned on him instead.  One weasel entered his car and settled on the back seat, where the driver dispatched it with a spanner.

Ballantrae Free Church, known since 1929 as Ardstinchar Church, sold for £65 to a Cumnock building firm

Balkissock House built by James Miller for Hughes-Onslow

Earl of Stair offered to give a five-year lease of a field adjacent to the village free of charge as a Recreation Ground.  The council agreed to equip the field for £60.

1933 Ardstinchar Castle used as book cover art


James Smith sentenced to two years in jail for stabbing Robert Drysdale, lodging house superintendent

River Stinchar flooded the road for 100 yards.  Glasgow to Stranraer bus eventually got through, with passengers standing on the seats as the bus partially filled with water.


Royal Mail letterbox installed at Auchencrosh Lodge, with two collections daily

Severe drought causes wells to dry up.  Cattle brought down to River Stinchar and water carried up to the hill animals.

Tragic death of Mr Walter Paul, Balnowlart's gamekeeper, in bicycle collision with Glenapp North Lodge gate

Ballantrae Free Church demolished – last minister was Rev. Robert Steen

Remains of ship Richard burned on shore at Redburn

"Necessitous Children" and blind pupils from Glasgow to stay at Ballantrae School for summer break


Girvan Education Authority recommend that electricity be installed in Ballantrae and Colmonell schools

200 full-grown salmon seen lying in the deep pool below Ballantrae bridge.

Clam-fishing at Ballantrae commenced by five boats

Fishermen sold the engine bought in 1906 for hauling boats out the sea.  Proceeds of £30 given to charity, of which £20 given to Ayr County Hospital.

1936 Fishermen with lobster pots


1936 Main Street Ballantrae


Basking shark netted in Lendal Bay by salmon fishermen Robert & Tom McQuiston

Penwhapple Water Scheme connected, supplying the Stinchar Valley

Mr Alexander Watson retired as Headmaster of Ballantrae Primary School after 10 years of service, replaced by Mr John McGarvie of Barrhill Public School

24 homes on Foreland green, consisting of six four-in-a-block buildings, were handed over to tenants 

Ayr County Council agreed to buy the Toll House with view to demolishing it to make way for a new bridge

Labourer from Stirlingshire taken to court for poaching at Ballantrae bridge.  Fined £5 plus expenses, with option of 20 days in prison.  His catch and nets were confiscated. 

Flint implement discovered by Mr John McNally in his garden was identified as a Neolithic arrowhead by National Museum in Edinburgh


108 Ballantrae ratepayers signed petition against Colmonell refuse being dumped at Ballantrae Coup ('coup' = Scots word for a rubbish dump)



Ballantrae village now had seven Air Raid Precaution Wardens and five Special Constables trained to deal with gas in air raids.  Colmonell village had begun training of 12 ARP Wardens and nine Special Constables.

Post Office announced that a public telephone box will be erected as soon as possible

Electricity installed in Church Manse

Public Inquiry held into the proposed new bridge and road alterations.  First part of the scheme to be the section from Ballantrae to Lagganholm, and the new bridge was to cost £35,000


1920s Elsie Mackay

1920 Roadmen


Three Ballantrae men added to the list of Justices of the Peace – John McCulloch of Laggan, John Stevenson of Balig, and schoolmaster Robert McWhirter


Four ladies trapped in their overturned charabanc at Glenapp after a private touring motor struck their front wheel, causing the driver to lose control and the charabanc to be ditched into a hedge

Farmers William Kennedy of Low Kilphin and George Shankland of Bennane were returning home from Colmonell Show in a horse-and-trap when they collided with a charabanc at Corby Stairs.  Mr Kennedy sustained a head injury when the trap overturned, and died the next morning.

Fire in a bedroom at Bellvue Cottage, occupied by a Miss Thomson, resulted in £60 worth of damage to furniture


Addition to Glenapp Castle by architect David Bryce

Unveiling of the Ballantrae War Memorial by Mrs Hughes-Onslow CBE of Laggan.  The Dedication Service was performed by the Rev J H Baxter, Minister of Ballantrae Parish Church, Rev Robert Steen, Minister of United Free Church, and the Rev Ewen MacGregor of Glenapp Church.

Girvan man Giuseppe Coli was out shooting near Ballantrae and accidently shot himself in the leg while crossing a fence.  Died the next day in Ayr County Hospital from blood loss.

Street lamp erected in front of church, but removed in 1948 as not repairable

Andrew McGarva of Woodland Farm, Girvan, was driving a horse-and-cart with four occupants near Lendalfoot when his horse shied and run up a banking, throwing the occupants out.  A child in the cart was flung onto the horse's back, but the animal lay down and the child escaped uninjured.

1922 People at unveiling of War memorial

1922 Ballochdowan School Mr Conley headmaster


Mr R L Richmond of Newcastle swam 100 yards out to sea and rescued a lady visitor in danger of drowning


Death of farmer James Milroy, the last of his family who'd tenanted Dupin for nearly a century.  He remembered a little building beside the farm garden called 'Strappers Hoose' where the horses were changed and watered in the days of the double coach service between Dumfries and Ayr.

1925 "The Bean" on the road near Kennedy's pass


Extension built to Ballantrae Schoolhouse

Four-masted schooner Richard, only four years old, was wrecked in October on its way home to Denmark after droppings its cargo of timber in Northern Ireland.

Dr Anderson of Stranraer and two lady friends narrowly escaped injury when their Daimler skidded down an incline near Finnarts road end.  They'd just got out the car when it burst into flames and was reduced to scrap. 


Ballantrae Public Hall built in Main Street

Glenapp Church restored

Over £100 raised by Women's Guild at their Garden Fete at Laggan


Aviator Elsie Mackay,  daughter of Lord Inchcape, tragically lost at sea off Ireland when attempting a transatlantic flight in a Stinson Detroiter monoplane.  Commemorated at Glenapp by a stained glass window in the church, and in the glen by rhododendrons which spelled out her name ELSIE to be seen from the sky..


Electricity installed in Ballantrae Parish Church

United Free Church merged with Church of Scotland, and the Free Church on the eastern Main Street was named 'Ardstinchar Church'



Auchenflower School advert for a female teacher offers salary of £70 per annum with free house and garden.  Average of 13 pupils attending.

A highly successful lacemaking industry established at Ballantrae by Mrs Stock of Glenapp Castle.  This was an offshoot of the old Irish home Industry founded in 1847 by Mrs Stock's grandmother Lady Hariet Kavanagh.

Ballantrae lacemakers


Serious fire in the byre of Downan Farm, tenanted by William Todd.  Of the 55 Ayrshire cattle in the byre, 31 perished and four others were put down.

Death of Rev Fergus John Williamson, minister of Ballantrae since 1867

1913 Main St lady with a bike


Death of Mr Robert Temple, aged 96, headmaster at Ballantrae Public School for 45 years

Crews of two fishing boats rescued a sole mariner on his way to the Isle of Man in an old boat he'd just bought in Girvan.  The boat had sprung a leak, and he'd set fire to the vessel's gear as a Mayday call.  The crews managed to reach him and got the leaking boat beached at Ballantrae.

New paraffin lamps installed in Parish Church

Three young ladies got into difficulties during an early morning swim at the mouth of the River Stinchar.  Two drowned in spite of rescue attempts by the local coastguard, policeman, postman and a villager.

James Tudhope Hutchinson of Cambuslang was awarded a pair of inscribed binoculars from the Carnegie Hero Fund Trust for rescuing a man from drowning at Ballantrae.  He was also awarded a testimonial from the Royal Humane Society.

Advert for a gardener at Glenapp Castle offers wages of 24 shillings per week with free house and coal


John McGregor, overseer at Auchencrosh, was fined £5 by Ayr Sheriff Court for failing to obscure an indoor light in his house during WW1.  The accused was reported not to have received the police very courteously on being told that his light was visible from various hills and over a long stretch of moor.

James Gallacher of Pinwherry was fined £10 by Ayr Sheriff Court with the option of 30 days in prison for using two powerful lights on his car between Ballantrae and Girvan, and for failing to stop when challenged by two patrols of the Royal Scots.  Only the presence of two girls had prevented the patrol from firing their rifles.

Samuel McKee, 9 year old son of Hugh McKee of Garleffin, tragically drowned when he fell in a pool in the burn at Colling Mill


Ballantrae Parish Council required a Medical Practitioner, male or female, to fill in while the present Medical Officer was ill.  Pay of £3 per week was offered.

1916 Parkend

1916 Cart outside house Leffin Donald


Ballantrae lifeboat crew finally disbanded

Death of Dr W W Fullarton, medical officer in Ballantrae for 34 years.  His successor was Dr Baird.

Parish Church's local work party raised over £93 at Sale of Work in Public Hall

Lord Inchcape bought Glenapp Estate from Mrs J H Stock for £90,000


1918 charabanc


Old Smyrton cottages built at Glenapp

Thatched cottages demolished at foot of Ardstinchar Castle

 Committee of Ladies formed at a meeting in the Kings Arms to develop the Lace Industry, with Countess of Stair and Countess of Cassillis as patronesses.  The Ballantrae Lace was a copy of the old Point de Milan, and its production employed a considerable number of people in the area.



Cottages at Ardstinchar


Advert for a certified female teacher for Ballochdowan School offered salary of £35 with house and garden. Average attendance at school was under 25 pupils.

Additions to Auchenflower House made by James Miller for Hughes-Onslow

Ballantrae Free Church became a United Free charge through the 1900 union of the Free Church of Scotland and the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland

1900 Ardstinchar Castle

1900 boats at Ballantrae Harbour, showing Stranraer registration 'SR'

1900 coastguard

1900 lifeboat


School introduced Secondary Education

Death of James Paterson Wason, aged 61. James had been an Inspector of the Poor, a postmaster and a baker.  He and his wife Jane had nine children, and in 1881 employed on man, two boys as apprentice bakers, and one woman.  He was later also the local Registrar, Clerk to the School Board and Clerk to the Parish Council.  So highly respected was he by the local community that they erected gates in his honour at Ballantrae Cemetery.  Built across the top of the gates, in wrought iron, are the words 'WASON MEMORIAL GATES'.


Ballantrae fishermen apply to the Board of Trade for permission to alter the course of the River Stinchar 1570 yards to the south of its present position

Death of architect and historian David MacGibbon who had owned Laggan Estate and built Laggan House, and was the architect for the addition of the clock tower on Ballantrae Parish Church. A plaque to his memory was erected inside the church.


Schoolmaster at Auchenflower was John Fergusson


Davaar House built with sandstone from Arran

1904 Cart in Main Street


Balnowlart House built by Architect J Jerdan & son

1905 Coach at the Royal Hotel

1905 Old Bridge Ardstinchar


1906 Shellknowe


Collision at Knockdolian between a lady cyclist and one of three gentlemen cyclists coming in opposite direction, rendering both unconscious for a time. Treatment given to the lady at Ballantrae and in Girvan to the gentleman.


Renowned artist Joseph Henderson died in July at Kintyre House on Foreland. His work was shown in the Royal Scottish Academy Exhibition of 1891.

Postman Robert Cunningham tragically died in the snow on Kilantringan Moor on 28 December

Steamer 'Deloraine' stranded a mile north of Ballantrae on 29 December. Moonlight rescue of salvage gang by Ballantrae lifeboat under coxswain McWhirter when the salvage steamer 'Douglas' was unable to take the men off due to the surf, and had to seek refuge in Loch Ryan.


Carlock House built, either on site of former castle or nearby

Hugh Gallagher, a harvester from Donegal, found dead on rocks at Bennane after falling over the cliff

After two months stranded at Ballantrae, steamer 'Deloriane' refloated in February and towed to the Clyde




Glenapp Estate up for sale

Discussions regarding proposal that North British Railway would acquire a Ballantrae rail line and make a pier to run steamers to Larne, benefitting businessmen


Addition to Ballantrae Parish Church of a clock turret with gables, finials and a tiny fleche.  Architect was David MacGibbon who'd owned Laggan Estate until 1881.  The bell was cast by John Taylor & Co. of Loughborough.

Owners of houses around this time were:

Finnarts – Hew Fergussone Kennedy

Glenapp House – James Hunter

Glenapp Lodge – G. Oliver

Balkissock – Arthur Hughes-Onslow

Auchairne – J. N. Donaldson


Robert McWhirter was schoolmaster until 1926

Golf Course alterations and improvements made by Thomas Ramsay of Troon, under the direction of William Fernie who'd won the Open Championship ten years previously

President of Ballantrae Bowling Club 1893-4 was G. McCaig

A Business Directory published this year noted that Ballantrae was "rapidly rising as a favourite resort for visitors", and featured an advert for "THE FAMED BALLANTRAE TOUR"


Tenders invited for the supply of materials and construction of over a mile of sewers and sea outfall in the village, and for enlarging the reservoir at Smyrton

Golf subscription priced at five shillings for gentlemen and half that price for ladies.  Golf Club had 123 gentlemen members and 25 ladies.

1894 ladies on Main Street


J. Leckie served as Bowling Club President until 1900


Ballantrae lifeboat was despatched on its carriage to Lendalfoot to go to the assistance of a small steamer which was flying distress signals in Lendal Bay.  The lifeboat was launched a mile windward of the steamer, which was about 1000 yards from the shore.  All on board the steamer were rescued.


During a telegraph breakdown on a rainy night, Mr McKenna and Mr C. Lawson cycled 13 miles from Girvan on a tandem to deliver a message about a stricken vessel

1898 boat at harbour

1898 Main Street

 People in and around Ballantrae listed in 'Ayrshire, Dumfriesshire, Wigtownshire and Kircudbrightshire business directory'  1893 

Baker: James Wason

Blacksmiths: David Clark

Charles Lindie, Ballochdowan

James Tait

Boot and Shoe Maker:

William Eglesham

Grocers and Drapers:

Thomas Barns

Andrew W. Dick

Elizabeth Johnston

Thomas Lamb (also ironmonger & coal merchant)

 Janet McDonald

William McTyer

Jane Peebles

John Phillips

Elizabeth Thomson (also fancy goods & china merchant)

Hotels and Posting Establishments:

John Walker – King's Arms 

Innkeepers and Vintners:

David McTyer

John Turnbull – Anchor Tavern


Andrew Blane, Heronsford

David McKenna

T. Walker


William Stewart


William Fullarton


Andrew McKissock

Josiah McKissock

Hugh Campbell, Lendalfoot


Robert Powell 


J. Brisbane, Polcardoch

Hugh Brown, High Kilphin

Hugh Campbell, Leffindonald

A. Ferguson, Altimeg

Andrew Loudon, Arnomoil [?Ardnemoil, Glenapp]

Alexander & John McCaw, South Garphar

John McCulloch, Laggan

O. & J. McIlwrick, Arecleoch

John Mackie, Smirton

William McNeil, Big Park

W. & R. McNiven, Kilwhannel

James Milroy, Dupin

William Murray, Garphar

Joseph Semple, Balkissock

John Stevenson, Balig

William Stewart, Colling Mill

Robert Thomson, Auchencrosh

James P. Willison, Shennas



Ballantrae Bowling Green started

Diseased salmon found in River Stinchar


Herd of 28 cattle at Garphar broke down a fence and entered Laggan House Wood where they ate yew trees which poisoned them.  With medication, all except one were saved.

One of the eight standing stones known as the Grey Stanes of Garleffin, visible on the 1839 Ordnance Survey map, was blown up by a farmer

Coach service, afterwards a horse bus, running twice daily between Stranraer and Girvan.  Possibly driven by a Mr McIntyre.  Girvan to Ballantrae journey time was two to three hours.

The schooner 'Circassian', sailing from Dundalk to Troon during a fearful gale, was wrecked near Glendrishaig with loss of one crew member.  Two crew members were saved by Peter Murdoch and his men using ropes, "at considerable risk to life".

Laggan Estate sold by David MacGibbon


The Scotsman Newspaper reported an unusual bird seen in Ballantrae, being a cross between a cock pheasant and a grey hen.  The bird allows one to approach it quite closely, and walks slowly with a peculiar strutting gait.

Silver Medal of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution awarded to Peter Murdoch of Glendrishaig, plus £3 to three of his men, for saving two crew members from the stricken schooner 'Circassian'.

There were four schools outside the village: Auchenflower, Ballochdowan, Glenapp, and Shennas


Carrick Directory gave population of Ballantrae parish as 736 males and 704 females, of which 742 resided in the village.  Herring harvest value was £40,000-£50,000.  Village had three Public Houses, a Post Office & Telegraph Office, a Public Reading Room & Library, a Lodge of Good Templars, and a Golf and Tennis Club with 60 members.

John Coulter and John Hannah were drowned when their boat overturned as they were preparing to go fishing for salmon at Lady Bay

Four lives lost when the Irish schooner 'Aimwell' wrecked at Redburn on its way from Arklow to Troon

Ballantrae School advertised in The Scotsman newspaper for a male teacher at salary of £50 per annum


Mr James Wason pressed for a larger harbour to be built.  About 400 boats were engaged in the Ballantrae fishing at this time.


Massive storm washed away part of the Ballantrae to Girvan road, and the high tide flooded village houses.  The harbour was greatly damaged with some foundation stones removed.


Lighthouse built on Ailsa Craig


1887 River Stinchar


School Board resolved to abolish fees for the infant class and Standards I to V from 1st October.  Fees also reduced to a farthing a month for Standard VI and EX VI.  This was designed to eventually establish free education.

Ardstinchar Castle and the Kennedy Mausoleum (Bargany Aisle) were described and illustrated in Volume 3 of 'The Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland'.  Its co-author David MacGibbon had owned Laggan Estate until 1881. 



Auction held to sell the hull and materials of the brig 'Iris', stranded on the shore near Ballantrae.  Hull was sold for £130 to Mr Boyd, shipbuilder of Ardrossan.  Other materials such as sails, ropes and spars, were sold in 262 lots for £400.

Building of Glenapp Castle mostly completed for James Hunter, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire.  The ruins of Ardstinchar would afterwards become known locally as the 'Old Castle'.


Population of village was 515.  Population of Glenapp hamlet was 1442.  Ballantrae Parish had 12 Public Houses.


A steam crane, brought in to work on the new mansion house being erected for Mr Hunter of Glenapp, was being fired up when the boiler exploded, blowing off the upper part of a workman's head.  The other workmen were fortunately far enough away to be unharmed.

The Inn of Ballantrae (later the Royal Hotel) was advertised to let, due to the retirement of Mrs Haddow.  Along with the inn was the let of 60 acres of arable land and six acres of rough land.

A new Lifeboat (rowing boat) came to Ballantrae

Advert for unfurnished let of the "desirable residence commonly known as the Castle in Glenapp, Parish of Ballantrae".  This may have referred to either Carlock or Glenapp.

A blacksmith by name of Clark was killed by his wife who struck him with a poker while defending herself from a drunken attack.  The post-mortem revealed that the blow was not sufficient to have killed him.

A salmon weighing 50 pounds, approx. four feet long and 32 inches in circumference, was caught in Mr McCreadie's fishings

William McConnell of Knockdolian was appointed a Road Trustee

The Commercial Bank of Scotland announced that a sub-branch will be opened under the charge of Mr Peter Bowie


The School Board sought estimates for new schools and schoolmasters at Ballochdowan and Auchenflower.  Advert for male teacher for Auchenflower gave salary of £55 per annum plus school fees and government grants amounting to approx. £50, plus an allowance of £10 per annum until a schoolhouse was built.

Glenapp had Post Office listed under Ballantrae, and later under Girvan

A memorial stone for the new Free Church of Scotland was laid by Mrs Hunter of Glenapp.  The church was built from a design by Mr Barclay, Glasgow architect, at a cost of around £1400.  Dinner was served in the Free Church School for the new Minister's Ordination.

Counterfeit coins resembling shilling pieces and sixpence pieces were found in the possession of James Carleton, residing in or near Garphar Cottage.  He was sentenced to seven years penal servitude, this being his fourth offence of this nature.

Number of communicants at Glenapp Church (also known as Butter's/Butters Church or Chapel) was 68, made up of 33 male and 35 female

Advert in The Scotsman newspaper for certificated female teacher at salary of £40 per annum with house and garden, plus school fees and government grant


Advert for a certificated female teacher for the Public School in Ballantrae at salary of £60 per annum.  Required to be competent to teach sewing, drawing, pianoforte and vocal music.

Advert for a married male teacher for Ballochdowan School (about 30 pupils) at salary of £70 per annum with free house.  Instruction in needlework to be given by his wife.

September floods made the coach road impassable with three bridges or culverts over streams washed away.  Finnarts House was flooded and the staff forced to flee.  The River Stinchar at Ballantrae rose by five feet.

Auchenflower Estate put up for sale.  The proprietor Mr McIlwraith will show the lands.


A larger Free Church built at the eastern end of Main Street.  The old Free Church in Church Street became the village Hall and was used as a reading room, library, snooker room and ballroom, with a two-roomed apartment for the caretaker and his wife.

Hugh McQuiston and James Allison, both of Ballantrae, sent to prison for assaulting a man named McCreath by throwing him over the bridge to his severe injury


Ballantrae Golf Club founded.  The 9-hole course was designed by William Fernie of Troon, who would later design the Ailsa Course at Turnberry which opened in 1901.

John Wornham Penfold, Ballantrae Links, "The Last Hole"

1877 Site of old Kirkcudbright Inner Tig Church

The Ardrossan brig 'Aurora' wrecked on Ballantrae shore on its way from Belfast to Troon.  Crew were landed by lifeboat.

500 men engaged in the herring industry, which had to be abandoned in February due to bad weather

Thomas FitzMaurice, 5th Earl of Orkney, died at Glenapp in May.  His great-uncle was William Petty, British Prime Minister.

Six guns shot 470 brace of grouse at Glenapp during a four-day shoot


The four outlying schools were attended by 93 children out of a possible 179 available places

Eight skeletons, possibly Norsemen or earlier, found below Burnbank near River Stinchar

Places and people in and around Ballantrae listed in The County Directory of Scotland 1872

Manse – Rev S. Little MA

Free Church – Rev James Porteous

Registrar – Robert Temple

Sub-Postmaster – J. Wason

Ardnemoil, Glenapp – W. Shaw, farmer

Aucharnie House [?Auchairne] – J. J. Fowke, T. W. Hurrop

Auchencross Farm – Robert Thomson

Auchenflower – James McIlraith

Balcreuchan – William Harvey, farmer

Balig – John Brackenridge

Ballochdon – John Wilson

 Balminnoch – John Carnochan

Balnowlart – F. Young

Balrazie – F. Young

Bellymore – Robert Cunningham (non-resident)

Bennane – James McCreath

Big Park – P. Gibb, farmer

Bougang – William Boyd

Bulkissock House [Balkissock] – Rev P. Graham

Colling Mill – A. Davie

Corseclays – P. Ferguson

Craigance – James Mitchell

Crailoch – R. Murray, farmer

Currarie – M. Richmond, farmer

Finnart House – Mrs Kennedy

Garphar – W. Murray, farmer

Glenapp Lodge – George Oliver

Glendrishaig Farm – Thomas Clark

Gurphur House [original name of Laggan House] – D. McGibbon of Laggan

High Kilphin – Hugh Brown

Laigh Kilphin – Hugh McClymont

Kilwhannel – John Stewart

Kirkhill Castle – John B. F. Gray of Glentig and Ballaird

Kirlock Castle [Carlock] – Joseph Livesy

Knockdolian House – A. Cathcart of Knockdolian

Lagafater Lodge – J. Oldham

Laggan – John McCulloch, farmer

Leffindonald – R. Cunningham

Mulbain – T. Milroy, farmer

Polcardoch – J. Donald

Sallochan – J. McMillan

Shallochwreck – J. Fergusson

South Garphar – R. McCaa



A shepherd in Ballantrae Parish who lay down for a rest fell asleep and awoke to find an adder wrapping itself around his throat.  He managed to throw it off without being bitten.

The Ayrshire Express newspaper reported an alarming increase in pugilism in the Ballantrae area

Auchenflower built by James Miller for James McIlwraith, the Road Supervisor responsible for two thirds of the parish's roads, the Galloway to Girvan mail road, and Ballantrae Harbour.  He was also Captain of the 'Stinchar Volunteers', 8th Company Ayrshire Rifles.


Auchairne mansion house put up to let for one or more years.  John McEwen, forester at Auchairne, will show the premises.


Lime was imported from Larne in Ireland at a cost of one shilling per barrel.  Coarser lime available from Colmonell at about ninepence per barrel.

Glenapp Estate sold by Public Roup for £42,800

Around this time the Earl of Orkney created the artificial lake Kilantringan Loch on Auchencrosh moor which flooded and caused £700 of damage to Currarie Glen

Ballantrae has about six or seven Public Houses to a population of under 600


Laggan Estate made over to David MacGibbon by his father


Crew of Ballantrae Lifeboat received £400 reward from Royal National Lifeboat Institution for rescuing four men from the fishing boat 'JWR' which was overtaken and disabled by a sudden gale  


Ship 'Ithuriel' became disabled in a storm off Balig, drifted towards Ballantrae Harbour and eventually went down.  Lifeboat was not launched as none of the crew had been visible from the shore at any time.  Large quantities of the wreck came ashore three hours after the ship sank.  This was recorded as the third total shipwreck close to Ballantrae within the last three weeks.

Greek brig 'Thia Elpis' struck a reef at Downan Point.  A sailor jumped overboard with a rope tied around his waist and swam towards shore, where he was pulled out of the water by local farm workers.  The remaining eleven crew then pulled themselves ashore on the rope and were saved.  The ship later broke up and sank.

An albino skylark found at Ballantrae was exhibited by James Coutts to the Natural History Society in Glasgow 



Ship 'Water Nymph' wrecked on Downan Point on 7th March.  Body of Captain McLinty later washed up on the rocks.

A 50-ton smack sank off Downan Shore on 7th October.  Wreckage which washed up included a ladder branded with the name 'Hope of Douglas'.


Auchairne mansion house offered to let for one or more years, along with shootings, stabling for seven horses, byre and pig houses

Miller at Colling Mill was Allan Davie who also had a farm

A sloop laden with limestone sailing from the port of Wick in Ireland sank off Ballantrae

Edinburgh High Court sentenced six women to seven years' transportation to the colonies for the crime of robbery against William Drynan junior of Ballantrae


Commissioners for the proposed new railway were named as Alexander Cathcart of Knockdolian, James McIlwraith of Auchenflower, and Henry Hughes Onslow of Balkissock


The smack 'Rose', lying in Ballantrae Harbour with a cargo of potatoes, was in danger due to inclement weather.  Local man John Kennedy went aboard with the Master to see that all was well.  When both fell into the water, the Master managed to save himself by catching a rope and pulling himself on board, but John Kennedy was drowned.

A schooner was reported to sink with all hands off Currarie Port


Minister of Glenapp was Henry Gibson who remained in office until 1894

All eleven crew saved when a large foreign vessel wrecked on shore near Ballantrae and broke up

Ballantrae salmon fishing reported as being the poorest for many seasons, with one week showing not a single fish caught in the six bag nets regularly fished


William Crawford, driver of the Portpatrick Mail gig, was fatally injured on his way from Ballantrae to Daljarrock when the horse bolted and the gig overturned.  His brother, driver of the Newton Stewart gig, set off to search for him when the Portpatrick gig did not arrive on time, and found the unfortunate man.

Steamer 'Briton' on its way from Ayr to Stranraer got stuck on sunken rocks off Ballantrae.  All 30 passengers were safely brought ashore by Ballantrae boats.  The hull, machinery and boilers of the 'Briton' were later auctioned.

Public Meeting held to promote a railway from Girvan via Pinmore, Colmonell and Auchencrosh to Lochryan, where it was proposed to make the terminus at Finnarts Bay to link up with the Packet ships to Belfast


A meeting agreed to support the railway from Ballantrae to Cairnryan and Stranraer as recommended by Mr Bruce, a civil engineer from Edinburgh.  This proposal was supported by Sir James Fergusson MP, and Provost Caird of Stranraer.

Board of Fisheries reported that expenditure on Ballantrae Harbour was £5,585

Report on the harvest stated that the wheat crop was inferior and only two-fifths of the potato crop was sound

1857 Map of Ballantrae


Mr Hugh Kerr of Colmonell and his ten-year-old son were drawing the salmon net at Bennane Head when Mr Kerr overbalanced, fell in the water and was drowned


Vessel 'Jessie Paterson' of Irvine with a load of lime was driven onto the rocks at entrance to Ballantrae Harbour, caught fire, and burned to the water level.  The crew were all saved, along with a considerable quantity of rigging, spars and sails.

People in Ballantrae Parish listed in 'The Ayrshire Directory'  1851 

William Agnew, farmer, Bigpark

Mrs Agnes Ayrley, housekeeper, Finnart House, Glenapp

Mary Aitken, grocer

John Algie, farmer, Glendrisaig

David Allan, fisher

Hugh Allan, farmer, Mains

Thomas Allan, farmer, Foreland

Hugh Anderson, coastguard

William Anderson, farmer, Garpher

James Anderson, farmer, North and South Laggan

Samuel Baird, labourer

Alexander Barclay, farmer, Bigpark

Robert Barron, weaver

James Barrons, weaver

Robert Baxter, labourer, Crosshouse [Glenapp]

Rev. Duncan Blair, minister, Butters' Chapel

Duncan Blakely, labourer

John & William Brackinridge, farmers, Balig

Crawford Brown, tailor

John Brown, farmer, High Kilphin

David Burns, farmer, Crailoch

James Caird, Baldoon

Thomas Campbell, farmer and wright, Crosshouse, Glenapp

Alexander Carnochan, farmer, Craigends or Currarie Port, Glenapp

David Clarke, blacksmith

Hugh Clarke, carrier

David Coulter, farmer and wright, Herronsford

James Coulter, fisher

John Coulter, surfaceman

William Coulter, fisher

Bryce Crawford, labourer, Garleffin

Helen Cumming, grocer

James Cumming, skipper

Robert Cumming, fisher

Robert Cumming, farmer, Milburn

William Cumming, fisher

John Cunningham, farmer, Leffindonald

William Currie, Chelsea out-pensioner and shoemaker

John Dalrymple, yr. of Fordel, Main Street

Allan Davie, miller and farmer, Coling Mill

William Dick, farmer, Airycleoch and Strawarren

Andrew Dongan, farmer, Low Kilphin

Thomas Drynan, farrier

James Drynan, farmer and surfaceman, Mathew's Croft

Thomas Drynan, farmer, Mark, Glenapp

William Drynan, innkeeper

Nathan Dunlop, labourer, Garleffin

James Eaglesham senior, weaver

James Eaglesham junior, fisher

John Eaglesham, shoemaker, Garleffin

Robert Eaglesham, fisher

Thomas Eaglesham, fisher

William Eaglesham, shoemaker, Garleffin

David Fergusson, fisher

Hugh & John Fergusson, farmers, Balminnoch

James Fergusson, farmer, Shallochwreck

John Fergusson, Mains of Ballantrae and Park Kelly

Mrs Fergusson, spirit-dealer, Garleffin

David Gardner, weaver

John Gardner, fisher

Thomas Gardner, fisher

Peter Gibb, farmer, Bigpark

Roger Gordon, farmer, Upper Kilwhannell

Hugh Gowan, Bellymore

David Graham, farmer, Polcardoch

Mathew Graham, farmer, Balnowlart

Fergus Hawthorn, labourer

James Hepburn, lodging house keeper

Robert Hewison, retired tide-waiter

Robert Hunter, farmer, Kilwhannel

James Hutcheson, farmer, Glenover

Andrew Johnston, teacher

David and Hugh Kennedy, farmers and carters

John Kennedy, farmer, Balkissock (part of)

Captain Hew Ferguson Kennedy of Finnart, Glenapp

Archibald Kerr, farmer and wright, Ballochdowan, Glenapp

Hugh Kerr, farmer and feuar, Ballochdowan, Glenapp

James Leckie, weaver

John Leckie, weaver

William Leckie, labourer

Hugh Linton, labourer

Samuel Linton, fisher

Rev. John Milroy, parish minister, Manse

Hugh Milroy, farmer, Fordhouse

Thomas Milroy, farmer, Mulbain & Dupin, Glenapp

Miss Janet Milroy

John Milroy, Mulbain

James Milroy, Mulbain

Donaldson Miller, spirit-dealer

John Miller senior, postmaster

John Miller junior, letter-carrier

James Moore, grocer

John C. Moore of Corsewall

Samuel Moore, farmer, Bigpark

Robert Muir, farmer, Ballymore

Peter Murchie, blacksmith, Lagganholm

Andrew Murdoch, labourer

David & William Murduch, farmers, Kinning-park

Bernard Murphy, farmer, Ballochdowan, Glenapp

Robert McCaw, farmer, South Garphar

Anthony McClelland, miller, Ballochdowan Mill

Alexander McClure, farmer and cattle dealer, Strabracken and Laggafatter

John McClure, farmer and blacksmith, Herensford

Thomas McCord, agent for Girvan saving's bank

David McCracken, flesher

James McCracken, farmer, Altimeg, Glenapp

Mrs McCracken & Son, farmer, Craig, Glenapp

Peter McCracken, inspector of poor

James McCrae, farmer, Craigance, Glenapp

James McCreath, farmer, Smirton

G. McCreath, farmer, Smirton

James McCreath, farmer, Gleglae

Andrew McCredie, forester to Lord Orkney, Glenapp

Hugh McCredie, wright

Hugh McCredie, weaver

James McCredie, labourer

John McCredie, thatcher

Gilbert McDowall, farmer, Auchincross

John McDowall, farmer, Bigpark

Andrew McFarlane, coastguard service

Hugh McGregor, labourer

James McGregor, baron officer

Robert McGregor, tailor

Anthony McHarg, farmer, Tummock, Glenapp

James McIlwraith of Auchenflower

Ivy McIlwraith, farmer, Mains of Tig

David McIntosh, coastguard service

John McKie, dyker, Garleffar [?Garleffin]

David McKenna, farmer, part of Mains

Gilbert McKenna, farmer, Garleffin

Douglas McKissock, farmer, Duchra

John McKissock, farmer

William McKissock, farmer, Knockdow

William, James & Andrew McKissock, masons

Peter McKissock, tailor

William McLean, overseer, Mains of Tig

John McLeod, spirit-dealer

John McMillan, farmer, Sallochan

Peter McMeeken, mason, Garleffin

Andrew McQuaker, farmer, Muttonhall

Mrs McQuistin

Peter McQuistin, farmer, Ballochdowan, Glenapp

David McTeir, surfaceman, Glenapp

Alexander McWhirter, fisher

David McWhirter, labourer

Hugh McWhirter, fisher

James McWhirter, tailor

John McWhirter of Dornal

John & William McWhirter, farmers, Barnvannoch

John & William McWhirter, farmers, Shennas

William McWhirter, fisher

John McWhirter, residenter

Thomas McWilliam, weaver

John McWilliam, fisher

Claud Niel, innkeeper

George Nisbet, fisher

James Orr, labourer

William Orr, labourer

Daniel Owens, spirit-dealer and flesher, Garleffin

Hugh Peebles, grocer

Thomas Peebles, labourer, Garleffin

Rev. James Porteous, Free Church minister

James Rae, shoemaker

Matthew Richmond, farmer, Currarie, Glenapp

Thomas Robertson, road-contractor, Auchairne

John Ross, farmer, Big Park

Thomas Ross, farmer

John Ross, grocer

James Scott, shoemaker

John Scott, shoemaker

William Scott, mason

Alexander Shaw, toll-keeper and grocer, Kilantringan

William shaw, farmer, Ardnamoil

John Shearer, blacksmith,Garleffin

John Sinclair, Garleffin

Mrs Margaret Sloss, draper and grocer

William Small, cooper

Aaron Stewart, labourer, Auchairne

James Stewart, postmaster and teacher of "Butters's School", Glenapp

John Tait, blacksmith

John Taylor, surgeon

Robert Temple, parochial teacher

Hugh Thompson, gardener

Hugh Thompson, fisher

John Thompson, fisher

John Thompson, fisher

William Thompson, fisher

Edward Wallace, farmer, Balkissock

Mrs Wilson

Robert Wright, Donnan [Downan]

Francis Young, farmer, Balrazie

Also noted in the Ballantrae entry were 

'County Voters Not Resident in Ayrshire':

Alexander McNeel Caird – procurator fiscal, Stranraer

John Donaldson of Auchairne – with his regiment in India

Andrew Farquhar Gray of Glentig &c. – comptroller of customs, Glasgow

George Guthrie – factor to Lord Stair, Rephad, by Stranraer

George Main – innkeeper, Innerkip, Renfrewshire

James Moore, lands of Dounan, Bigpark – Corsewall House, Kirkcolm, Stranraer

Henry Hughes Onslow of Balkissock & co. – Mount Charles, near Ayr



All Ballantrae houses had thatched roofs up to this date

The farm of Shallochwreck offered for sale, consisting of 400 acres of which 200 acres were fit for turnip husbandry

1841 Plan of Knockdolian Estate


The Estate of Ballantrae, including village, harbour, and river salmon fishing, was advertised for sale in The Scotsman newspaper on 12th January

Population of Ballantrae Parish was 1506, with 456 living in the village


Formation of the Free Church of Scotland after a schism with the established Church of Scotland.  Many communion tokens show this date, including Ballantrae's.

1843 Free Church Token 01 Minister James Porteous

1843 Free Church Token 02 Minister James Porteous


Construction of Free Church began with foundation stone laid on 18th April by James McIlwraith of Auchenflower, and the church opened on 20th December.   The Minister was James Porteous whose initials J.P. are seen on the communion token.  This building in Church Street would be superseded in 1876 by a larger Free Church built at the eastern end of Main Street.  

Laggan House bought by the father of David MacGibbon, the famed architect and historian (1831-1902) who later co-wrote 'The Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland' and other iconic books 

The cod season at Ballantrae was reported as less successful than in former years.  Eighteen boats were engaged, with the average daily take per boat being one barrel selling at 15 shillings.  Many fishermen sustained great losses to their lines caused by English fishing smacks using trawl nets on the cod fishing grounds.

Joseph Lowe's 'Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs' included the reel 'Bonnie Lass of Ballantrae' which he attributed to Captain Fraser.  The composer is thought to have been Captain Simon Fraser of Knockie, although the reel does not appear amongst his own collections.


Proposal for rail link to Ballantrae


A new two-horse mail coach service between Ayr and Portpatrick calling at Ballantrae daily began on 2nd April

The Earl of Orkney moved the last of his birds and animals from Windsor to Glenapp.  This collection included a fine East Indian stag, a male and a female emu and three young emus, six Mexican deer, six Berkshire pigs (two of which he gifted to Mr Whyte at Garphar), and 45 brace of pheasants.  A number of eggs were gathered from His Lordship's capercailzies at Glenapp. 


Harbour built with Arran free stone, paid by £2,000 from fishermen and £4,000 from Board of Fisheries

James White of Garphar broke his spine in a fall from a haystack, and subsequently died

Schoolhouse built at Glenapp

Road completely blocked by the biggest snowfall recorded for many years.  The whole road from Auchairne road-end to the head of Glenapp was impassable, with snow being 8-10 feet deep in places.  A hearse and funeral party were blocked near Auchencrosh, and the hearse had to be left in the snow.  The driver of the Irish Mail Coach got stuck in a drift near Kilantringan Toll and was forced to stay at the Toll House overnight.  The Road Surveyor, Mr McCall, sent thirty men to clear the road which they managed to do in a day. 

The Royal Yacht 'Victoria and Albert', containing the Royal Family and part of the Royal Squadron, sailed closely past Ballantrae on its way up the Firth of Clyde after a visit to Lochryan


Mr Andrew Miller, the Postman between Ballantrae and Daljarrock, was recorded as having walked 19 miles per day (Sunday excepted) for 14 years, calculated at 83,258 miles


Advert for a resident Medical Practitioner for Ballantrae, offering a salary for three years of £36 per annum supplemented by employment with the Poor Law Board of at least £14 per annum.  Applications were to be submitted to the Rev Mr Milroy, Minister of Ballantrae.


Glenapp Church built with an endowment from Mrs Caddell.  Her maiden surname of Butter led to this church often being referred to as Butter's Chapel or Butter's Church.



An Irish fishing smack was wrecked off Bennane Point with the loss of five lives


Village population 456 in about 108 families. Parish population 1506 in about 290 families.


Ballantrae got its first resident surgeon, after having no surgeon or physician within a dozen miles

Carleton Fishery built at Lendalfoot

Pleasure boat 'Harriet', owned by the Duke of Portland, lost off Ballantrae with all crew


Windows inserted either side of pulpit in Ballantrae Parish Church

Subscription Library began with over 100 books plus newspapers and magazines


Passenger steam ship 'Northern Yacht' began regular sailings, calling at Ballantrae every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

Earl of Orkney laid down extensive plantations in Glenapp and on the ridge to the north of the glen


Rev. John Milroy supplied the Parish of Ballantrae entry, dated April 1836, for the 'New Statistical Account of Scotland' which would be published some years later.   He reported "The air appears to be salubrious, for there is a number of very old people in the parish, and the inhabitants in general are of a robust make and hale florid complexion, quite free of any peculiar disease, and generally not much visited with the ordinary diseases that assail our nature".

The village had 84 houses.  Most families in the parish were employed in agriculture, and a few in weaving cottons for Glasgow manufacturers.  A good many were tradesmen in one season and fishermen in another.  Labourer wages averaged about one shilling and sixpence per day.  Women's wages for field labour were eightpence per day.  Joiners charged two shilling per day, and masons two shillings and sixpence.    About 5000 stones of sweet milk cheese was made every year in Ballantrae, and an experienced dairymaid earned about £5 per year compared with the £2 to £4 of a female servant.

An annual ploughing match was held with upwards of 30 ploughs competing.

An iron plough cost about £4, a cart about £8, and the shoeing of a horse about £1 per year.

Total acreage of the parish was between 24,000 and 25,000, of which 7,000 were arable and the rest moorland pasture.   The gross annual produce of the parish was £16,275, made up of oats, wheat, bere barley, potatoes, turnips, pease and beans, rye-grass hay, bog hay, cheese, the salmon fishery and white fishery, and the grazing of 863 black cattle, 8,360 sheep and 120 goats.

An annual livestock show begun in Ballantrae in 1832 had by this time extended to include Barr and Colmonell parishes under the name of 'The Stinchar Association', and the show was held by each parish in turn.

143 pupils (96 males, 47 females) attended the four parish schools.  Tuition was available in Latin, Greek, book-keeping, mensuration and geography in some of the schools.

Peat was still being cut for fuel by folks living in the hills, but coal was now the main fuel used by the other parishioners.  It was brought from Girvan in farmers' carts and sometimes by boat.    

The total population of the parish was now 1506, nearly double the number noted in the Old Statistical Account of Scotland of about 40 years previously.

One good inn and five public-houses were in Ballantrae village whose population was 456, and the minister noted yet a further public-house within the parish.

There was no constable or sheriff's officer, but there were two Justices of the Peace and a Court was held every two months in the village.   

1836 Roup at Corseclays


Pigot's Directory, published in August 1837, gave a useful list of local names:

Post Master: John Millar

Gentry and Clergy:

Rev Robert Anderson DD of Glendrissaig

John Donaldson, Esq, of Auchairne

Captain Hew Ferguson Kennedy of Bennan

James McIlraith junior, Esq, (magistrate) of Auchenflower

Rev John Melroy, Manse

Innkeepers &  Vintners:

William Dickie

Peter Donnan

James Eglesham

John Ferguson

James McCredie

Shopkeepers & Traders:

Mary Aitkin, shopkeeper

Crawford Brown, tailor

William Clark, blacksmith

William Cumming, boatbuilder

Peter Donnan, shoemaker

James Eglesham, shoemaker

William Ferguson, tailor

Ann Hunter, shopkeeper

James McCredie, shopkeeper

Andrew McKissock, mason

James McKissock, mason

William McKissock, mason

John McLeod, shopkeeper

James McWhirter, tailor

Robert McWhirter, joiner & cartwright

John Millar, master of parochial school

John Millar junior, shoemaker

Janet Milroy, dressmaker

James Scott, shoemaker

Jane Scott, dressmaker

John Scott, shoemaker

William Scott, mason

John Sherar, blacksmith, South Luggan

William Small, cooper,

John Stavart, surgeon

John Tait, blacksmith

Andrew Wright, shopkeeper


The Irish Mail Coach overturned two miles north of Ballantrae, severely injuring the driver James Johnston.  The guard was badly bruised, but two inside passengers, Mrs Oliver and Mr Main, were unhurt.  All involved were transported to Ballantrae.


Birth of James Paterson Wason in Girvan parish, who died in Ballantrae at age 61 in 1901 having contributed greatly to the community

The sloop 'Plough' of Stranraer, heading to Glasgow with a cargo of barley, was wrecked off Ballantrae on 6th January



A mill and kiln were burnt to the ground and a quantity of grain lost.  Several Irish people who were turned away from the mill a few days prior were suspected of causing the fire.

Auchairne House built, being an extension to a farm house

The horseback mail delivery was superseded by a Mail Coach


Balkissock Farmhouse built as a shooting lodge

The sloop 'Aim' of Kindcardine, sailing from Malaga to the Clyde under Master W. Mason, was driven onto shore at Ballantrae.  The cargo of wine and fruit was discharged under the superintendence of the officers from Stranraer.   As Malaga was infected with fever, precautions were taken to prevent the crew communicating with the people on shore.  Ballantrae men who had communication with the crew when the ship first beached were allowed to help with the unloading of the cargo.  They were kept apart from their families for some time.  The ship was later refloated and sailed back to Malaga with her crew. 


Mr Andrew McCredie, tenant in Craig of Glenapp, was returning home from Colmonell Fair and fell over the Scar precipice near Colmonell Manse.  He was found dead next morning by some anglers in the River Stinchar.


'Pigot & Co.'s New Commercial Directory of Scotland for 1825-6' gave a list of local names and occupations:

Post Master, and Clerk to the Kirk

John Miller

Shopkeepers, Traders etc

James Aird, weaver, Foreland

David Aitken, corn miller, Curling Mill [Colling Mill]

Crawford Brown, tailor

Hugh Brown, weaver, Foreland

Hugh Carr, farmer, Big Park

William Cumming, weaver

Peter Donnan, boot & shoemaker

John Eglesom, weaver, Foreland

John Ferguson, grocer, draper & spirit dealer

Peter Ferguson, carpenter, South Lagin [Laggan]

Thomas Gray, weaver, Foreland

William Gray, weaver, Foreland

Thomas Haswell, vintner

Rev. Thomas Hill, minister

Miss Ann Hunter, gentlewoman, Shallknow House [Shellknowe]

J. McCleland, weaver, Park end [Parkend]

David McKennan, farmer & toll gate keeper

Peter McKissock, grocer, spirit dealer and tailor

James McMeekin, grocer and cartwright, near Toll Bar

Thomas McWilliam, weaver, Foreland

John Miller, academy, Post Office

Thomas Murry, surgeon

James & John Scott, boot & shoemakers

John Shearer, blacksmith

John Tate, blacksmith

Samuel Walsh, tailor


A trooper of the 9th Light Dragoons was killed in Ballantrae by a kick from a vicious charger

Rev. Thomas Burns, nephew of poet Robert Burns, was ordained as minister of Ballantrae Parish on 13th April while still a bachelor.  He stayed for four years before moving to Monkton Parish where he married Clementina Grant, the niece of the previous minister.   In 1843 Thomas joined the Free Church of Scotland, and later moved to New Zealand where he enjoyed an illustrious career.

Rev. Thomas Burns, nephew of poet Robert Burns


Isabella Caddell, nee Butter, died 25th March and bequeathed £4,500 and 15 acres of land to endow a chapel and a school at Glenapp



A chaise belonging to an innkeeper in Stranraer overturned at Glenapp, severely injuring the driver and a passenger


The lands and estate of Ballantrae offered for sale.  The advert described it as an estate comprising 20,000 Scots acres which stretched along the sea coast for about seven miles.  It contained a fine river and valuable salmon fishing, and the property abounded in game.

Rev William Donaldson, minister of Ballantrae for 44 years, died aged 75 on 28th July


Allan Archibald, carrier of Girvan, was on his way from Stranraer to Girvan with a horse and cart loaded with whisky and herring.  Due to the water being exceptionally high at Glenapp bridge, he was unable to see the edge of the road.  Both horse and cart tumbled into the river and were washed more than 100 yards downstream.  The horse drowned, but Mr Archibald was rescued by a passing traveller.  Only part of the load of whisky and herring was recovered.  As this was the man's only way of supporting his wife and five small children, a subscription fund was opened in Girvan for their relief.   


John Donaldson purchased the lands of Auchairne and others adjoining to Kilphin, Lot 5 of the Ballantrae Estate.  He laid down several considerable belts and clumps of plantation around Auchairne House and estate.

Attempts were still being made to sell the remainder of Ballantrae Estate in 15 individual lots

Two brothers named Coulter from Ballantrae were sent to jail for smuggling gin.  They had been able to elude the officers for some years past, so this time the Sheriff dispatched the officers by sea aboard a revenue cutter.  The officers caught the smugglers in bed in the dead of night, and carried them off to the cutter.


The lands of Corseclays and Drumore consisting of 320 Scotch acres offered for sale at auction at Edinburgh's Exchange Coffee House

The lands of Smirton containing 541 acres offered for sale by private bargain


Hugh Ross, awaiting trial for robbing a carrier's cart, attempted suicide by cutting his throat but did not succeed

The poet John Keats and his friend (and later biographer) Charles Armitage Brown visited Ballantrae in July while touring Scotland.  Keats began a letter to his brother Thomas which he dated at 'Belantree', enclosing a sonnet he'd written about Ailsa Craig.


New parish church built in Ballantrae

Glenapp Church and school started by bequest from Mrs Butter, widow of James Caddell

Advert for auction in Edinburgh of lands around Ballantrae to be sold in five Lots.  Shennas & Barnvannock had an estimated rent of £420.  Balkissock, Leffindonald, Barchallan & Gleglay's estimated rent was £320. 



By April 1801, there was supposedly no further need for a military barracks at Ballantrae because the smuggling trade was ‘entirely given up’. Not quite!



The ship 'Peggy' from Greenock on its way to Liverpool loaded with salt, tar, stoneware, cheese, etc. was wrecked 3 miles north of Ballantrae. Four crewmen were saved but the cargo was almost totally lost.  Lieutenant Hugh Ross of the Ballantrae Volunteers along with a detachment of his men prevented any of the wreck being taken away.  Despite the exertions of the officers stopping the inhabitants stripping the ship, several instances were detected and locals detained. The sitting Magistrate imposed the full penalty of £5 upon two of the transgressors.


The 9th Troop of the 1st Royal Dragoons on their way from Hamilton to Ireland attempted to cross the severely flooded River Stinchar at Ballantrae.  Five horses with their riders were washed away in the current and only with the help of the local people were they saved, four of them by people wading into the river and the fifth by a boat crewed by four Ballantrae lads further downstream.

A diligence (carriage) commenced running on 11th March from Blair’s Arms in Portpatrick to the King's Arms in Ayr on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, stopping at Ballantrae.  The total journey time was 12 hours.


The sloop 'Friends' under Captain Bain, sailing from Greenock to Westport, came ashore at Ballantrae.

In October 1807, the comptroller of customs at Stranraer and the crew of the Cumbraes revenue cutter were busy seizing the smuggling boats at Ballantrae when they were attacked by Robert Coulter’swife, Janet Wilson. She wounded one of the mariners, Robert Cuninghame: the Board of Customs was responsible for his medical bills.

In the same month, the customs officers Robert Williamson and David Ferguson seized the Tartar, John Scott master. Scott appeared in the Exchequer Court at Edinburgh, where he was fined £100. He sent a petition to the Board of Customs, explaining that he was indigent. This was ‘no apology for hisbeing concerned in defrauding the revenue nor any good reason why he should not be punished’. However, ‘out of clemency to his family’, the prosecution against him was suspended ‘unless and until’ the Board was told that he had been smuggling again, in which case, ‘he will then have himself to blame, if he meet with no further clemency’.


In 1808, John McWhirter was still attempting to receive recompense from the widows of Hugh Aitken and William Brackenridge for the missing four hogsheads of tobacco.


On Wednesday, 31 May 1809, both James Coulter and Sarah Rowan, Thomas Coulter’s wife, were charged 40s per lb. for landing salt in bulk from Ireland.

Two of the Coulters were delivered to the Navy in December 1807, because they had been found on board a smuggling boat with contraband salt and because they were seafaring men. They both deserted from the Navy, William in January 1809.


William Coulter was still a free man, when his case was re-considered in February 1812, in thecontext of King George III’s pardon granted to deserters from the Navy. This pardon did not cover Coulter and he could be ‘again lawfully taken and delivered over to any officer of the Navy’ so that he would serve the remaining time of his ‘sentence’. As a warning to others who might think aboutdeserting from the Navy, ‘it is very desirable that he should be again taken and compelled so to serve’.




First attempt at softwood tree forestation was made by Robert Fergusson at Glenapp

In February 1790, a smuggling cutter arrived at Ballantrae with tobacco and spirits from Ostend in the Netherlands. The local fishermen Robert Allan, John Coulter and Hugh Galloway used their boats to land the goods on the beach, where they were unloaded by John Cumming, William Galloway, William McKissock and Hugh Thomson, all living in Ballantrae.

Also in 1790, one of the five hogsheads of tobacco owed to John McWhirter by Hugh Aitken finally arrived at Guernsey. It was repackaged and put on board the Peggy, Robert Kneal master to be landed at Redbay in Ireland and then shipped by small boast to Ballantrae. The Peggy was seized before she reached Ireland. McWhirter started a court case against Aitken et al.


Statistical Account of Scotland reported that Ailsa Craig (spelled Elsay) was uninhabited but that the Earl of Cassillis received £25 Sterling a year in tenant rents, paid for from the feathers of the different sea fowls and the solan geese that breed on it, and the rabbit skins.  Population of Ballantrae Parish was 770, of which about 300 lived in the village – all were contented, generally cheerful, and uncommonly healthy.  Several mineral springs were found helpful in cases of scurvy, skin conditions and stomach complaints.  The annual number of births was 18, averaging six to each marriage.  About 12,000 sheep, 3,000 black cattle, a few scores of goats and about 200 horses were kept in the parish.  The school had over 50 pupils in winter, dwindling to near half that number in summer.  The old castle of Ardstinchar was now the minister's grass glebe.  Migrating sailfish appeared in June, measuring 20-30 feet long, which the villagers harpooned for the liver-oil.  This oil was sold to tanners and also used for burning instead of candles.

In September 1791, the Hawkins lugger with tobacco on board was being unloaded by six small boats from Ballantrae when she was chased off by a revenue cutter. The local customs officers must identify these boats so that they could be seized by the revenue cutter and taken to Ayr


Robert Ferguson of Finnart was the only parishioner owning a carriage, a luxury for which he had to pay tax

Hugh Kennedy of Bennan was the only parishioner who employed a female servant (likely a housekeeper/cook) not necessary for his livelihood or as a children's nanny over the taxation years 1785-1792


David Rodger, innkeeper, paid tax for two four-wheeled carriages


Innkeepers John McKissock and John Rodger each paid tax for their four-wheeled carriages

For this year only, tax had to be paid for owning clocks and watches.  Ballantrae parishioners who were wealthy enough to own these were:

- Hugh Kennedy of Bennan (1 clock, 1 watch)

- David F Kennedy of Finnart (1 watch)

- Mr Donaldson, the minister (1 watch)

- Mrs Allan (1 clock)

- John McKissock, innkeeper (1 clock)


By 1799 the type of smuggling was changing. In July 1799, when Robert Williamson, the Ballantrae riding officer, seized a boat with her cargo of salt, it was rescued by Robert Coulter, his wife, Janet Wilson and their sons, James, Thomas, Robert and John. Williamson was maltreated ‘in a most daring way’.



A smuggling vessel just arrived from Gottenburgh (Gothenburg, Sweden) sent a small boat with six hands towards the shore to appraise the country of their arrival but did not appreciate the violence of the water.  Two were drowned while the other four reached shore.  Next day the vessel landed her cargo of tea and brandy, which was immediately carried off by the smugglers in spite of several officers of the Revenue being present but who were afraid to intervene as they did not have any military support.  Two troops of Scots Greys were ordered to Ayrshire to prevent smuggling in this part of Ayrshire.


In February 1784, the collector and comptroller of customs at Ayr were informed ‘from good authority’ that a smuggling cutter was expected, very soon at Ballantrae, to run her cargo of brandy from France. She was taken at sea.

Thirty horses laden with tea and spirits paused at John McKissock’s house in Ballantrae in December 1784, on their way north from Galloway to Ayr and beyond


The Mail Coach from Stranraer to Ballantrae was robbed and a considerable sum of money taken out of a letter. The robber turned out to be the Post Boy,  who was committed to Stranraer Jail.


In March 1786, the customs riding officer, Robert Cheshire, complained about the difficulties of living in Ballantrae because it was impossible for him to keep a horse: neither stabling nor hay was available to him.

John McWhirter was described as a merchant in Ballantrae. With his brother Hugh, he was deeplyinvolved in ‘the trade’, dealing in contraband tobacco and tea from Guernsey. In 1786, McWhirter went to Virginia with carpets and other Ayrshire manufactures hoping to convert these into tobacco. Disappointed by the market there, he contacted Hugh Airken & Co. of Petersburgh. Aitken was in partnership with William Brackenridge of Dowhill and McWhirter’s friend, Valentine Ferguson from Ballantrae, was one of his clerks. McWhirter sold some of his goods to Aitken & Co and left vouchers of his debts owed with Ferguson. It was agreed that Aitken would send the money he owed to McWhirter to Guernsey in the form of five hogsheads of tobacco.


In June 1788, a party of military was due to arrive at Ballantrae in a few days, ‘in order to prevent smuggling upon this coast’`. The riding officer, Robert Cheshire reported on the state of the barracks: there was no coal left and most of the equipment was in urgent need of repair. The following March, Cheshire wrote that the bed sheets and other utensils at Ballantrae barracks were ‘almost wore out and entirely useless’. Although the present military party would be leaving soon, they were to be replaced immediately by another party of soldiers.




Bridge built over the River Stinchar in Ballantrae village, commenced 1773 and completed after 1777.  Believed for many years to have been built using stones quarried from Ardstinchar Castle, however more recent research in the papers of the Ayrshire Commissioners of Supply shows that the bridge's stones were brought by boat from a quarry at Culzean and hewn on site.  The castle's stones may therefore have already been substantially quarried for other local buildings such as the King's Arms Inn and several cottages.


In March 1771, the Joseph, John Kneen master, landed contraband from Dunkirk at Ballantrae. Charles Earl helped to unship 50 casks containing 500 gallons of brandy and two boxes filled with 150 lb. of tea that had been brought on shore by local boats. According to one of the boatmasters, JohnWilson, these goods were then carried to Earl’s house.


The Providence and the Morning Early were headed from Dunkirk to Ballantrae in mid April 1775. Martin Campbell, mate of the Prince of Wales revenue sloop, seized the Providence off the Mull of Kintyre. Her cargo included: 406 ankers containing 3,192 gallons rum, 37 ankers containing 280 gallons brandy, 6 ankers containing 40 gallons geneva [gin], 71 boxes containing 5,502 lb. tea, 10 barrels containing 658 lb. tea, part of a box containing 32 lb. tea, assorted materials and a small basket containing 12 tea cups & saucers. When the Providence was seized, the Morning Early changed her course and escaped. She was captured shortly afterwards, however, by James Crawford of the Cumbraes revenue cutter.



Now that his customers stretched from Ardnamurchan to Stranraer, George Moore used agents on the Scottish coast to help him collect his debts for smuggled goods. The Ballantrae merchant, John Allan, acted as one of these agents. He was also one of Moore’s customers: in November 1757, the boatmaster William Cumming delivered an order of brandy, rum, white wine and claret to him.


Ballantrae Schoolhouse built




George Moore and other Manx merchants based in Peel supplied their customers in the Ballantrae area with contraband.


William Kennedy of Carlock was heir to his own three deceased sons in the lands of Carlock 'with pendicle called Glenhead and lands of Auchincrosh, Ballimunter Casindow'


Record of births, marriages and deaths began


Bridge built at Colmonell

Disease had killed cattle all over Europe for the past five years.  A 90-year old man, native to Ballantrae, later recalled the local effects for the years 1740-45:  "There could be no rent given for land, because the Lord sent a plague in in the kingdom.  The cattle died of disease.  The wet seasons threw up a bad weed in the crop, called the doite.  It sickened the people, and made them as if they were drunk.  At that time the farm of Garfar [Garphar] lay five years waste, without a tenant."


Archibald Crawford of Ardmillan now had lands of Carlock after centuries of Kennedys 


A British Army post of six to twelve soldiers were stationed in Ballantrae during the Occupation following the Jacobite Uprising of 1745.  The Cantonment Register shows their presence in the years 1748, 1749, 1750 and 1754.



The smuggling trade from the Isle of Man was becoming more organised. George Moore, a merchant based in Peel, supplied several customers in the Ballantrae area with contraband goods.


Earliest known date for school being on present site


William McNellie purchased brandy from George Moore. This was delivered to Ballantrae by the boatmaster, John McNish. The following year, Moore sent McNellie ten dozen bottles of claret and four casks of brandy. When he did not pay his debts, McNellie was sued by Moore in the Chancery Court on the Isle of Man.


Ballantrae Manse built



Gilbert Kennedy, the Laird of Bargany & Ardstinchar aged 25, was slain at Pennyglen by the Kennedy Earl of Cassillis. Gilbert was described as 'the brawest manne that was to be gotten in ony land; of hiche statour, end weill maid; his hair blak, but of ane comlie feace, the brawest horsmanne, and the ae best of mony at all pastymis, for he wes feirce and feirry, and wonder nimbill.' He left one son, the last Kennedy Laird of Bargany & Ardstinchar, aged four.
Gilbert's brother Thomas Kennedy of Drummurchie took revenge by killing the Earl of Cassillis's uncle, firing the house of Auchinsoul and taking prisoner the Countess of Cassillis. He was forced to leave the country as a traitor, and died abroad.
Building of church in Ballantrae village begun by Lady Bargany with a splendid tomb for her husband.

Kennedy Mausoleum (outside)

Kennedy Mausoleum (inside)


Death of Janet Stewart, Lady Bargany. Her brother Josias then managed the estates on behalf of her young son.
This year or later, Gilbert and Janet's bodies were brought from their burial place at St John's Church in Ayr in a grand funeral procession of one thousand gentlemen on horseback. A banner was carried depicting the wounded Gilbert with his wee son sitting at his knees, and the words 'Judge and Rewendge my caus, O Lord'.


Auchairne and Kilphin belonged to the Grahams of Knockdolian


John Kennedy owned Carlock House


Church moved from Kirkcudbright-Innertig (at Kirkholm Farm) to village of Ballantrae. Patronage was retained by the Kennedy family of Bargany & Ardstinchar.


First mention of a golf course at Ballantrae. Thomas Kennedy of Bargany was in trouble for intercommuning with proclaimed rebel, John Kennedy, younger of Blairquhan. Thomas openly 'keipit company, conferrence, and societie with the said rebell in the toun of Ballintra, playit with him on the linkis callit the grene of Ardstinchell'.
Auchairne and Kilphin belonged to the Kennedys of Blairquhan


Ballantrae minister was James Hall


Miller of Colling Mill was Mathew Cumyng


Bargany & Ardstinchar estates acquired by Sir John Hamilton of Lettrick (son of 1st Marquis of Hamilton) whose name had already featured in local land transactions for many years. His wife was Jane Campbell, daughter of the Bishop of Brechin. Sir John Hamilton of Lettrick's name changed to Sir John Hamilton of Bargany between November 1629 and April 1630.


Sir John Hamilton's son John was created a hereditary peer of Scotland with the title of Lord Bargany. He married Lady Jean Douglas, daughter of the 1st Marquis of Douglas.


A Royal Postal Service was introduced on several routes including that from Edinburgh to Portpatrick via Hamilton, Ayr, Girvan and Ballantrae, supplemented in 1662 by another to Ireland via Glasgow and Kilmarnock
Ballantrae Parish had a school


Death of 1st Lord Bargany


Alexander Peden the Covenanter, formerly a teacher at Tarbolton and later Minister at New Luce, was declared an outlaw. He was caught by government militia near Ballantrae, taken to the Bass Rock and imprisoned until 1678 when he was to be deported. He persuaded the ship's Captain to let him go free, and he remained an outlaw until his death in 1686.


Windmill built on plateau above village


Schoolmaster of Ballantrae was James Muirhead


Ballantrae Parish disjoined from Ayr Presbytery and annexed to Stranraer


Circa 15th 

Parts of Colling Mill built - worked by water wheel


The £10 lands of Ardstinchar included the 'mains commonly called Drumnarde' (the plateau north of the castle), 'the Orchert with mill' (probably Balnowlart, which translates as apple-yard farm), Bennane, Adrynanstoun and Kirkconwell 


Ballantrae (spelled Ballintray, Ballentray and Ballintra within the same document) was created a Free Burgh of Barony by King James V, incorporated into the Barony of Bargany.  This allowed the village a weekly market and an annual fair on the Feast of St Ninian.


Transaction by the Kennedys of Bennane signed 'At Ballintraye, at the roik thereof'.  This was the Black Rock of Ardstinchar, the local witness stone, usually a standing stone used as a market cross.  


A legal document referred twice to 'Thomas Kennedy of Bargany callit Thom the Penny'.  This was the great-nephew of Ardstinchar's builder Hugh Kennedy, Archdeacon of St Andrews, the 'Friar Hew' who was mistakenly given the nickname 'Com with the penny' for centuries afterwards due to a scribe's error.   It was actually this Thomas, the 3rd Laird of Bargany, who did much to build up the Ardstinchar estate.  


Mary, Queen of Scots stayed at Ardstinchar Castle as guest of Thomas Kennedy


Thomas Kennedy, Laird of Bargany, sent men to rescue his brother-in-law, the Commendator of Crossraguel Abbey, from Dunure Castle where the Commendator was being tortured in the Black Vault to sign abbey lands over to the Kennedy Earl of Cassillis.  Bargany held Dunure Castle for some months afterwards. 


First minister of Ballantrae to be mentioned in church records


Garfar belonged to Thomas Davidson of Grenan 


'The blak roik of Ardstinchear' was mentioned twice in the Bailie Court Book of Carrick as the location for a proclamation aimed at the 'masters of boats and fishing between the Water of Doon Mouth and the Isle of Whithorn'.  This proclamation had to reach around a coastline of 100 miles, of which Ardstinchar was the central point.  

late 1500s

Earl of Cassillis plotted to blow up Ardstinchar Castle using powder he'd brought home from Italy.  A further plot to kidnap the Laird of Bargany's two sons was also abandoned when Bargany heard about it.

Laird of Bargany's son Gilbert forced by King James VI to marry one of the queen's ladies, Janet Stewart, sister of Lord Ochiltree

Thomas Kennedy, the old Laird of Bargany & Ardstinchar, died in the late 1500s and was remembered as noblest man that ever was in Carrick in his time.  'He was wise and courteous, and therewith stout and passing kind, and sic ane noble spender in outings with the best-halden house at hame that ever was in the land. ...He had ever in his household twenty-four gallant gentlemen, double-horsit, and gallantly clad'.   This Thomas also had his nose broken by a golf-ball whacked recklessly by the Laird of Culzean on the hills of Ayr, and incident which led to a cantankerous exchange of threatening letters.



King Robert III granted the church of St Cuthbert at Kircudbright-Innertig to Crossraguel Abbey

around 1408

Gilbert Kennedy of Carlock fled to France and died there after killing his younger half-brother James in mortal combat for the chieftainship of Clan Kennedy.  Carlock Hill would have been a prime coastal lookout for the Kennedys.  A castle once stood at or near the site of the current Carlock House. 


Alexander Kennedy of Ardstinchar and John Kennedy of Dalfask appeared as witnesses to a charter.  Alexander was smothered under featherbeds by his kinsmen, and his brother Hugh Kennedy had inherited Ardstinchar by 1429.

around 1420

Hugh Kennedy, known as 'Friar Hew', abandoned the Blackfriars Monastery in Ayr and went with the Earl of Buchan to France to fight in the Hundred Years War as captain of about 100 men.  


Barony of Ardstinchar created by King James I in August, comprised of Hugh Kennedy's 'lands of Ardstynchel, Ballowmtircastel and Dalfask' and his brother Thomas's 'lands of Kyrcoswalde and Bridgend'.  Hugh used proctors for the transaction as he was still in France, now fighting alongside Joan of Arc.


Joan of Arc went to Lagny-sur-Marne where Hugh Kennedy was Captain of the Scots garrison.  His name appears in her trial record, and in many French accounts of the war 1421-32 including at the Siege of Orleans.  A marble plaque in Orleans commemorates the Scots Captains who fought under the Auld Alliance.  The name of Hugh Kennedy features alongside Girvan man Thomas Houston.

Memorial plaque in Orleans


Hugh Kennedy visited Scotland as a French Ambassador to fetch the young Princess Margaret to France for marriage to the Dauphin Louis.  After landing at Lochryan and going on pilgrimage to Whithorn, he brought the embassy to Ardstinchar Castle for feasting and to meet his kinsmen and friends.  His brother Thomas Kennedy was Bailie of Carrick at that time.


Hugh Kennedy captained an army ship for the dangerous voyage from Dumbarton to France with the princess.  The Admiral of the Fleet was his kinsman William Sinclair, 3rd Earl of Orkney, who would begin building Rosslyn Chapel a few years later.

Hugh Kennedy returned to the church after fifteen years as a mercenary in France, and King James I rewarded him with the provostship of the Chapel Royal at St Andrews.  The kings of both France and Scotland also supplicated the Pope to allow Hugh to earn up to £500 from his various church livings – a vast salary in the 15th century.


The assassins of King James I were hung, drawn and quartered, and their body segments sent around the country for display.  Thomas Kennedy, 1st Laird of Bargany & Ardstinchar and Bailie of Carrick, signed off payment of eleven shillings for 'the carriage of a quarter of Robert Stewart, traitor, from Edinburgh to Ayr'.


Hugh Kennedy became Treasurer of the See of Glasgow, covering 255 parishes including his own


John Kennedy held the lands of Bennane and Dalwegene with the Manor Place and Cave, together with the office of Sergeant of Carrick.  Both lands and office were hereditary.  The whole front of the double-compartment Bennane Cave was once completely walled over and used as a prison.

 Bennane Cave, once used as a prison

around 1450

Ardstinchar Castle built by Hugh Kennedy


Death of Hugh Kennedy, aged about 61, by then Archdeacon of St Andrews.  Ardstinchar was inherited by his brother Thomas, 1st Laird of Bargany.  Ardstinchar Castle was to be the principle seat of this branch of Kennedys until the 1600s.


An attempt to quell the Kennedy feud between the houses of Bargany and Cassillis was made through marriage.  It didn't work.


A Chapel of St Ninian near Ardstinchar Castle was in need of funds for the 'conservation of its buildings and the better supply of its books, chalices and other ecclesiastical ornaments'

Ancient Times

The Grey Stanes of Garleffin were eight standing stones in the form of a half ellipse about 233 yards long, with two of the stones being only one yard apart.  Local tradition said that a battle was fought here, and the stones marked the sites where chieftains fell.  Only two of the stones remain in the 21st century, the others having been destroyed by farmers.

Within the same big field stretching from the standing stones north to the bridges, there are cropmarks of a four poster stone-circle, a round barrow, possible ring-ditches, and several pits 

Findings of flints and other stone instruments show the presence of mesolithic and neolithic settlements south of the River Stinchar

Finnarts Hill has a circular earthwork, possibly a ritual enclosure from the Bronze Age.  A farmer found a supulchral urn there which contained some human bones.  In this area there was also a prehistoric burnt mound. 

 Human bones 'of enormous size' were discovered in a cairn on top of Carlock Hill, and other ancient cairns are to be found dotted around the hills.

Old and new place-names can be a fair indication of historical significance.  Auchencrosh, for example, translates as 'the field of the cross', and Kilantringan as 'the church of St Ninian' – that area of Glenapp did have a chapel on the pilrimage route to the shrine of St Ninian in Whithorn.  20th century bungalows next to the Garleffin standing stones were named Druidslea and Glendruid. 

Carrick separated from Galloway in the late 12th century.  Three standing stones marked the southern boundary.  The one at Little Laight at the end of a dyke is called the 'Taxing Stane', probably from its later use as a toll, and local tradition has it as the burial place of King Alpin or his father in the 8th century.   Another stone has the name of  'Long Tom' or 'Long Tom Sloan' after a more recent shepherd, because it looked like him from a distance.








  • Ballantrae Community Fund
  • Carrick-Futures-Logo
  • Kilgallioch-Community-Fund
  • Aria Logo