Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Dunure

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.

(F.H. Groome, Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4); © 2004 Gazetteer for Scotland)

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a seaport village and an ancient castle"   (ADL Feature Type: "populated places")
Administrative units: Maybole ScoP       Ayrshire ScoCnty
Place: Dunure

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