Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Monkton

Monkton, a village and a coast parish of Kyle district, Ayrshire. The village stands 1 mile inland, and ½ mile E by N of Monkton station on the Glasgow and South-Western railway, this being 4½ miles N of Ayr, under which there is a post office. Pop. (1861) 403, (1871) 467, (1881) 354. The parish, containing also the watering-place of Prestwick and half of the village of New Prestwick, since the close of the 16th or the beginning of the 17th century has comprehended the ancient parish of Prestwic Monachorum or Monkton, part of the ancient parish of Prestwic de Burgo, and the ancient chapelry of Crosby. Monkton proper lies in the middle, Prestwick in the S, and Crosby in the N; and the first got its name from its belonging to the monks of Paisley Abbey, the second from its being the 'habitation of a priest,' and the third from its having 'a dwelling at a cross.' The united parish of Monkton and Prestwick is bounded NW by Dundonald, NE by Symington, E by Craigie, SE by Tarbolton and St Quivox, SW by Newton-upon-Ayr, and W by the Firth of Clyde. Its utmost length, from N by E to S by W, is 41/8 miles; its utmost breadth is 3 miles; and its area is 39711/3 acres, of which 182 are foreshore and 20½ water. Rumbling Burn flows south-south-westward to the sea along all the Dundonald boundary, and a little above its mouth is joined by Pow Burn, which, after tracing part of the St Quivox boundary, strikes north-westward across the interior. The coast, 21/8 miles in extent, consists of low flat sands, diversified only with sandy bent-covered knolls. The interior rises gently from the shore to 200 feet at the eastern boundary, but looks to the eye to be almost a dead level. Coal has not been worked for forty or fifty years; and sandstone is no longer quarried. The soil on the coast and over a considerable part of the southern district is light sand incapable of tillage; of the central district is deep rich loam; and of the N and NE is strong earthy clay. Nearly one-fourth of the entire area is pastoral or waste; some 65 acres are under wood; and the rest of the lands is in tillage. The roofless old church of Monkton, St Cuthbert's, is a structure of high antiquity, with walls nearly 4 feet thick, and is said to have been the building near which Sir William Wallace had the singular dream recorded by Blind Harry; the old church of Prestwick, St Nicholas, as ancient probably as that of Monkton, has stone buttresses at the E end, and serves as a landmark to sailors. St Ninian's leper hospital, at Kingcase, between Prestwick and New Prestwick, was founded by King Robert Bruce; but only a well remains to mark its site. Mansions are Adamton, Fairfield, Ladykirk, and Orangefield; and 4 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 7 of between £100 and £500, 6 of from £50 to £100, and 26 of from £20 to £50. Monkton and Prestwick is in the presbytery of Ayr and the synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the living is worth £441. The parish church, midway between Monkton and Prestwick villages, was built in 1837, and then superseded the two old churches. One of the earliest efforts of the late David Bryce, R.S.A., it is a very handsome and conspicuous edifice, containing 825 sittings. Other places of worship are Monkton and Prestwick Free churches and Prestwick U.P. church (l884). Two public schools, Monkton and Prestwick, with respective accommodation for 160 and 320 children, had (1883) an average attendance of 86 and 159, and grants of £64, 11s. and £120, 9s. Valuation (1860) £6985, 3s. 3d., (1884) £14,267, 8s. 4d., plus £2157 for railway. Pop. (1801) 986, (1831) 1818, (1861) 1973, (1871) 1744, (1881) 2121.—Ord. Sur., shs. 14, 22, 1863-65.

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

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a village and a coast parish"   (ADL Feature Type: "populated places")
Administrative units: Ayrshire ScoCnty
Place: Monkton

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