South Ayrshire

Dunure Harbour
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Dunure Harbour

A picturesque little fishing village on the Carrick coast of South Ayrshire, Dunure looks out to the Firth of Clyde, 6 miles (10 km) southwest of Ayr. The 13th-century Dunure Castle was a stronghold of the Earls of Cassillis, but it was not until the improvement of the harbour for fishing and coastal trade in 1811 that the village developed to any size. Creating a harbour on a rocky coastline was challenging and its unusual lighthouse tower was crucial in recognising the entrance. Yet the harbour was not successful and has been allowed to decay, although it remains in use by local pleasure craft and a few lobster boats. A railway was also a failure; the opening of a station in 1906 brought tourists down from Ayr, but the line had closed by 1933. Limekilns date from the 19th century, but now with a modern house built above. Dunure Mill, which dates from c.1780, lies a half-mile (1 km) to the south at Dunure Mains. Further to the south at Croy lies the Electric Brae, where an optical illusion makes a downward slope appear to slope upwards.

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