South Ayrshire

Sundial, Prestwick
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Sundial, Prestwick

Situated on Ayr Bay in South Ayrshire, the burgh of Prestwick was created in 1600. Today it merges into Ayr to the south and is best known for its international airport, which grew to become an international hub and a centre for aerospace services and aircraft manufacturing. The town has long been a popular holiday resort and a golf centre: in 1860 Prestwick held the first Open Championship. Robert the Bruce allegedly took the waters at Prestwick (Bruce's Well) for a skin disease. Prestwick once had an enormous lido, which opened in 1931, hosted swimming galas, diving exhibitions, moonlight swimming and fireworks displays but closed in 1972.

Important monuments include the Mercat Cross (13th Century), and the Church of St Nicholas (12th Century, ruined). The town has five schools; Prestwick Academy and four primary schools. There are railway stations at Prestwick Airport, Prestwick Town and Newton-on-Ayr.

Notable residents include the architect John Keppie (1862 - 1945), who regularly entertained his friend the noted designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868 - 1928) at his home here. Born in Prestwick were the novelist Jenny Colgan (b. 1972), wrestler Drew McIntyre (b. 1985) and ice dancer Lewis Gibson (b. 1994).

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