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Stumpy Tower


(Auld Stumpy, McMaster Hall)

Stumpy Tower, Girvan
©2017 Gazetteer for Scotland

Stumpy Tower, Girvan

The Stumpy Tower (also known as 'Auld Stumpy') represents the remains of Girvan's tollbooth (courthouse and jail), built 1825-27, and now forms the town's most notable landmark. It is situated on Knockcushan Street in the town centre, on a site where justice has been dispensed since ancient times. Now B-listed, the building comprises five levels, together with an octagonal spire and belfry. It once had cells on the first, second and third floors, all with barrel-vaulted ceilings. The tower is 29m (95 feet) in height and incorporates a clock. The buildings around the tower were demolished in 1908 and it was incorporated into the new McMaster Hall, which opened in 1911. This was the gift of John McMaster (1841 - 1931), a native of Kirkoswald who was educated in Girvan and had made his money in banking in England. The hall provided a meeting place for the Town Council, but also a venue for civic events and a dance hall. It was destroyed by fire in 1939, leaving only the Stumpy Tower, now marooned in a small plaza, with seating and flower planters. In 2014, information boards relating to the local area were mounted within the tower, which is now open to the public in the summer months.


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