Parish of New Cumnock

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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1791-99: New Cumnock
1834-45: New Cumnock

Cumnock, New, a village and a parish of Kyle district, E Ayrshire. Nearly adjoining Afton-Bridgend, Pathhead, and Mansfield, the village stands, 600 feet above sea-level, on the right bank of the Nith, at the influx of Afton Water, and has a station on the Glasgow and South-Western railway, 5½ miles SE of Cumnock, and 21½ SE of Kilmarnock. At it are a post office, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments, branches of the Bank of Scotland and the Royal Bank, 9 insurance agencies,I 3 chief inns, and a parish library (1828); a fair is held here on 18 May. The parish, containing also the villages or hamlets of Afton-Bridgend, Pathhead, Mansfield, Castle, Connell Park, Craigbank, and Dalleagles, formed till 1650 part of Old Cumnock. It is bounded N by Old Cumnock and Auchinleck; E by Kirkconnel and Sanquhar, in Dumfriesshire; SE and S by Dalry and Carsphairn, in Kirkcudbrightshire; SW by Dalmellington; and NW by Ochiltree. Its greatest length is 15 miles from ENE to WSW, viz., from the Dumfriesshire border near Glengaber Hill, to the Dalmellington boundary near Benbain; its breadth varies between 3½ furlongs and 103/8 miles; and its area is 48,357½ acres, of which 261¼ are water. The Nith, rising in the SW corner, winds 15¾ miles northward, north-eastward, and eastward through the interior, its left bank being closely followed, from the village downwards, by the Glasgow and South-Western railway; of its numerous feeders here, the principal is Afton Water, flowing 9 miles northward from the southern extremity of the parish. The drainage goes thus mainly to the Solway, but partly also to the Firth of Clyde, as Black and Guelt Waters, sub-affluents of the river Ayr, trace most of the Ochiltree and Auchinleck boundaries. North-westward of the village are three little lakes in a row, Meikle Creoch Loch (3 x 2¾ furl.), Little Creoch Loch (3 x 1¼ furl.), and Black Loch (2 x 1 furl.). The surface sinking along the shallow and sluggish Nith to less than 600 feet above sea-level, is everywhere hilly, mountainous in the S. Chief elevations to the left of the Nith from its source are Prickeny Hill (1676 feet), Black Hill (1076), Carsgailoch Hill (1176), Carnivan Hill (1061), High Polquheys (1027), *Craigdully Hill (1352), Corsancone Hill (1547), Clocklowie Hill (1441), and *Niviston Hill (1507), where asterisks mark those summits that culminate on the confines of the parish; to the right rise Enoch Hill (1865), Benty Cowan (1560), Milray Hill (1724), Ashmark Hill (1218), Auchincally Hill (1662), Struthers Brae (1778), Wedder Hill (1961) Dalhanna Hill (1177), Blackwood Hill (898), Hare Hill or the Knipe (1950), Blackcraig Hill (2229), *Blacklarg Hill (2231), *Alwhat (2063), and *Albang (2100). The rocks in the S are chiefly Silurian, in the N carboniferous. Limestone and sandstone, the latter coarse-grained and yellowish white in hue, have both been worked in several quarries; and coal, partly cannel, partly splint, is mined at Afton, Bank, Knockshinnock, Lanemark, Pathhead, and South Boig. Galena has been got in considerable quantities on the Afton estate; and ironstone occurs plentifully in bands and balls. The soil of the Silurian tracts is chiefly of a gravelly nature, and that of the Carboniferous tracts is generally argillaceous. Fully 6000 acres have been reclaimed from a waste or almost unprofitable condition since 1818; and now about 9300 acres are either regularly or occasionally in tillage, whilst some 270 are under wood. An ancient tumulus on Polquhaise farm was found, on removal, to contain a sarcophagus and fragments of human bones. One baronial fortalice stood near the village, another at Blackcraig, and a third near the source of the Nith; but all have disappeared and left no vestige. In March 1882, at Craigs, near the foot of Blackcraig, in lonely Glen Afton, a shepherd found 40 gold and over 140 silver coins of James V. Mansfield House, Lochside House, Craigdarroch, and Bank House are the principal mansions; and 10 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 5 of between £100 and £500,3 of from £50 to £100, and 20 of from £20 to £50. New Cumnock is in the presbytery of Ayr and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the living is worth £250. The parish church, between Afton-Bridgend and New Cumnock villages, was built in 1832, and is a handsome edifice, containing 1000 sittings. There are also three Free churches-New Cumnock, Afton, and Bank; and three public schools-Bank, Dalleagles, and New Cumnock-with respective accommodation for 160,85, and 450 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 182, 75, and 295, and grants of £127,11s., £30,18s. 4d., and £249,18s. Valuation (1860) £17,496, (1882) £34,592,13s. 6d., including £2934 for railway. Pop. (1801) 1381, (1831) 2184, (1861) 2891, (1871) 3434, (1881) 3781.—Ord. Sur., shs. 15,14,1864-63.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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