North Ayrshire

©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland


A residential and resort village with a pier on the coast of North Ayrshire, Fairlie lies 3 miles (5 km) south of Largs. Created a burgh of barony in 1601, Fairlie developed in the 19th century in association with boat building and tourism. Kelburn Castle lies just over a mile (2 km) to the north and the ruined 16th-century Fairlie Castle, former seat of the Fairlies of that Ilk, lies on the Fairlie Burn which rises to the east on Fairlie Moor and flows westwards to the coast. To the south of the Fairlie Burn the settlement comprises interwar bungalows and modern housing and beyond is the Hunterston Development Complex developed since the 1960s as the site of the Hunterston Nuclear Power Stations, an iron-ore terminal and later an oil-rig construction yard. A NATO facility was constructed by the Ministry of Defence at the northern end of the village in the 1960s. This was the base for an immense net which was to be drawn across the Firth of Clyde to prevent the entry of Soviet submarines had the Cold War escalated.

Fairlie is now marketed as Scotland's first Fair Trade village.

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