Dunure

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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Dunure, a seaport village and an ancient castle in Maybole parish, Ayrshire. The village stands on a small bay, 6 miles SW of Ayr, and 5¼ NW of Maybole; and has an artificial harbour, which, lying on the SW side of the bay, within a small headland called Dunure Point, was formed in 1811 at a cost of £50,000, but proving of small value, was allowed to go into decay. The water round the headland has a depth of from 4 to 20 fathoms, with a level, clean, sandy bottom, and good anchorage; and a passage, 150 feet wide at bottom, was cut thence, through solid rock, to a square basin, with from 700 to 1000 feet of quay, all sheltered by high ground, and lined with buildings forming a quadrangle. The access is easy and safe in almost any wind; and the egress is so facile that a vessel, immediately on leaving the harbour, can at any time and at once put out to sea. The depth of water in the harbour is 12 feet at ordinary spring tides, but could be artificially increased to nearly 30 feet. Yet in spite of all these advantages, on a coast devoid of natural shelter, inhospitable to shipping, and overlooked by a productive country, the only craft frequenting this place has been an occasional sloop in the agricultural interests and a few fishing boats. Crowning a cliff that overhangs the harbour, the castle bears marks of great antiquity and strength, and had formerly defences of rampart and fosse. From the fourteenth century onwards it was long a seat of the Marquis of Ailsa's ancestors, and figured prominently in such wild scenes in the history of the Kennedys as the roasting of the commendator of Crossraguel; but is now a fragmentary ruin, belonging to Kennedy of Dalquharran Castle.—Ord. Sur., sh. 14, 1863.

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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