Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Coylton

Coylton, a village and a parish in Kyle district, Ayrshire. The village stands 2 miles W by N of Drongan station and 6 ESE of Ayr, under which it has a post office, and consists of two parts, Coylton proper and New Coylton. It is traditionally said to have got its name from the 'Auld King Coil' of coilsfield, but figures in old records as Quiltoun and Cuiltoun. The parish, containing also the villages of Craighall, Woodside, Rankinston, and Joppa, is bounded N by Tarbolton, E by Stair and Ochiltree, S by Dalmellington, SW by Dalrymple, W by Ayr, and NW by St Quivox. Its greatest length, from NNW to SSE, is 8½ miles; its breadth varies between 7 furlongs and 35/8miles; and its area is ll,752¾ acres, of which 160¾ are water. From a little below Stair church to just above Mainholm, the river Ayr winds 7¾ miles west-south-westward along all the northern and north-western border; to it flows the Water of Coyle, latterly through the NE interior, but chiefly along the boundary with Ochiltree and Stair. Lochs Martnaham (l¼ x ¼ mile) and Snipe (l½ x 2/3furl.) lie on the Dalrymple border; and on the Ayr border is Loch Fergus (3 x 1 furl.). Where the Ayr quits the parish the surface sinks to less than 50 feet above sea-level, thence rising to 139 feet near Craighall, 356 at Raithhill, 253 near Joppa, 799 at Craigs of Coyle, 1241 at Ewe Hill, 1122 at Brown Rig, and 1426 at Benwhat, which last, however, culminates just beyond the southern border. Coal, ironstone, trap rock, sandstone, limestone, and potter's clay are worked, the recent great increase in the population being due to mining development; plumbago was mined, from 1808 till 1815, on the farm of Laigh Dalmore; fire-clay abounds in the neighbourhood of a limestone quarry; and Water-of-Ayr stone, used for hones, was raised for some years on Knockshoggle farm. The soil of the holms or flat grounds along the streams is light and loamy, on a sandy or gravelly bottom; elsewhere it is mostly a poor cohesive clay on a stiff, cold, tilly subsoil, with patches of moss or peat. About 70 per cent, of the entire land area is in tillage, 23 in pasture, and 7 under wood. Antiquities are a large stone, by tradition associated with the name of ' Auld King Coil;' the castellated portion of Sundrum House; fragments of the old parish church; and the sites of two pre-Reformation chapels. A field on Bargleuch has yielded four stone coffins; and silver coins of Elizabeth, James VI., and Charles I. have been dug up on Bargunnoch farm. Mansions are Sundrum, Gadgirth, Rankinston, Martnaham Muir, and Oakbank; and the property is divided among 14 landowners, 6 holding each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 3 of between £100 and £500, 1 of from £50 to £100, and 4 of from £20 to £50. Coylton is in the presbytery of Ayr and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the living is worth £331. The church, built in 1836, is a good Gothic edifice, with a tower upwards of 60 feet high, and contains 744 sittings. Two public schools, Coylton and Littlemill, with respective accommodation for 293 and 220 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 191 and 134, and grants of £162, 12s. 6d. and £96, 19s. Valuation (1860) £10,481, (1882) £20,454, 8s. 9d., including £911 for railway. Pop. (1801) 848, (1831) 1380, (1861) 1604, (1871) 1440, (1881) 3100.—Ord. Sur., sh. 14, 1863.

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

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

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