East Ayrshire

A village of East Ayrshire, Dalmellington is situated near Bigton Loch in the valley of the River Doon, 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Ayr. Chartered as a burgh of barony in 1607, it developed in association with coal mining and the manufacture of textiles. In 1856 a railway from Ayr to Dalmellington was built to serve an ironworks opened in 1847 by the Dalmellington Iron Company at Waterside, 3 miles (5 km) to the south. The village expanded in the 20th century with the opening of more collieries, but in 1968 and 1978 first the railway then the last coal mine closed. A collection of industrial steam and diesel locomotives and rolling stock can be seen at the Scottish Industrial Railway Centre created on the site of the former Minnivey steep drift mine by the Ayrshire Railway Preservation Society. Dalmellington lay on the course of a Roman road, while there is a well-defined ancient hill-fort or motte lies at its centre and Dame Helen's Castle once lay to the southeast. The economy of the village is now more closely linked to open cast mining and afforestation in the surrounding area.

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