Ayr (; sco, Ayr; gd, Inbhir Àir, "Mouth of the River Ayr
") is a town situated on the southwest coast of Scotland. It is the administrative centre of the
South Ayrshire ( sco, Sooth Ayrshire; gd, Siorrachd Àir a Deas, ) is one of thirty-two council areas of Scotland, covering the southern part of Ayrshire. It borders onto Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire and North Ayrshire. On 30 June 20 ... council area
and the historic county town
Ayrshire ( gd, Siorrachd Inbhir Àir, ) is a historic county and registration county in south-west Scotland, located on the shores of the Firth of Clyde. Its principal towns include Ayr, Kilmarnock and Irvine and it borders the counties of ...
. With a population of 46,982 Ayr is the 15th largest settlement in Scotland
and largest town in Ayrshire by population. The town is contiguous with the smaller town of
Prestwick ( gd, Preastabhaig) is a town in South Ayrshire on the west coast of Ayrshire in Scotland about southwest of Glasgow. It adjoins the larger town of Ayr to the south on the Firth of Clyde coast, the centre of which is about south, a ...
to the north.
Ayr was established as a Royal Burgh in 1205 and is the county town of Ayrshire. It served as Ayrshire's central marketplace and harbour throughout the Medieval Period
and was a well-known port during the Early Modern Period
On the southern bank of the River Ayr sits the ramparts of a ] citadel
A citadel is the core fortified area of a town or city. It may be a castle, fortress, or fortified center. The term is a diminutive of "city", meaning "little city", because it is a smaller part of the city of which it is the defensive core.
In ... constructed by Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English politician and military officer who is widely regarded as one of the most important statesmen in English history. He came to prominence during the 1639 to 1651 Wars of the Three K ...'s men during the mid-17th century. Towards the south of the town is the birthplace of Scottish poet Robert Burns
Robert Burns (25 January 175921 July 1796), also known familiarly as Rabbie Burns, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who hav ... in the suburb of Alloway. Ayr has been a popular tourist resort since the expansion of the railway
Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transport that transfers passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, which are incorporated in tracks. In contrast to road transport, where the vehicles run on a prep ... in 1840 owing to the town's fine beach and its links to golfing and Robert Burns.
Ayr is one of the largest retail centres in the south of Scotland and was recognised as the second healthiest town centre in the United Kingdom by the Royal Society for Public Health in 2014. Ayr has hosted the Scottish Grand National
The Scottish Grand National is a Grade 3 National Hunt steeplechase in Great Britain which is open to horses aged five years or older. It is run at Ayr, Scotland, over a distance of about 4 miles ( ... horseracing steeplechase annually since 1965 and the Scottish International Airshow annually since 2014. The town also accommodates the headquarters of the '' Ayr Advertiser'' and '' Ayrshire Post'' newspapers.
The name ''Ayr'' can be traced back to a pre-Celtic word meaning "watercourse" or "strong river".
This name was used before the establishment of the Julian calendar
The Julian calendar, proposed by Roman consul Julius Caesar in 46 BC, was a reform of the Roman calendar. It took effect on , by edict. It was designed with the aid of Greek mathematicians and astronomers such as Sosigenes of Alexandria. ... in reference to the River Ayr. The town was formerly known as 'Inverair' or 'Inverayr', meaning "mouth of the river Ayr", yet this was later abbreviated to 'Air', and then to 'Ayr'. Elements of the old name remain present within the Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig ), also known as Scots Gaelic and Gaelic, is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic branch of the Indo-European language family) native to the Gaels of Scotland. As a Goidelic language, Scottish Gaelic, as well a ... name for Ayr – ''Inbhir Air''.
The areas surrounding modern day Ayr were known to have been occupied by
The Mesolithic (Greek: μέσος, ''mesos'' 'middle' + λίθος, ''lithos'' 'stone') or Middle Stone Age is the Old World archaeological period between the Upper Paleolithic and the Neolithic. The term Epipaleolithic is often used synonymously ... hunter-gathers more than 5,000 years ago. There is also a Neolithic
The Neolithic period, or New Stone Age, is an Old World archaeological period and the final division of the Stone Age. It saw the Neolithic Revolution, a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently in several par ... standing stone at the end of Stonefield Park in Doonfoot, which is believed to have been upended as a place of sun worship by Stone Age
The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric period during which stone was widely used to make tools with an edge, a point, or a percussion surface. The period lasted for roughly 3.4 million years, and ended between 4,000 BC and 2,000 BC, with th ... people. [
Establishment and early settlement
In 1197, King William the Lion ordered that a new castle be built between the River Ayr and the
The River Doon ( gd, Abhainn Dhùin, ) is a river in Ayrshire, Scotland. Its course is generally north-westerly, passing near to the town of Dalmellington, and through the villages of Patna, Dalrymple, and Alloway, birthplace of Robert Burns. .... It is believed that the castle was a wooden structure built around Montgomerie Terrace. Ayr was later established as a royal burgh and market town on 21 May 1205 by King William the Lion. At its establishment, the burgh encompassed a single street (The Sandgate) and the Church of St John. By 1225 the town reached as far as Carrick Street and Mill Street along the south side of the River Ayr. The town grew quickly to become the main seaport, marketplace and administrative centre for Ayrshire
Ayrshire ( gd, Siorrachd Inbhir Àir, ) is a historic county and registration county in south-west Scotland, located on the shores of the Firth of Clyde. Its principal towns include Ayr, Kilmarnock and Irvine and it borders the counties of .... [
The King gifted fishing rights to the burgh for the River Ayr and the River Doon in 1236. In the following year, a timber bridge was built across the River Ayr, linking the town to the north side of the River. Since 1261, annual fairs were held in the town. At this time the town had a recorded population of 1,500 and served as a major port on the west coast. The town was unsuccessfully attacked by Norwegian forces in 1263 and invaded and occupied by ] English
English usually refers to:
* English language
* English people
English may also refer to:
Peoples, culture, and language
* ''English'', an adjective for something of, from, or related to England
** English national i ... forces from 1296 until 1312 as part of the Scottish Wars of Independence. [ In 1298 the original castle at Ayr was destroyed by Robert The Bruce's forces.] [ On 26 April 1315, a ] Parliament of Scotland
The Parliament of Scotland ( sco, Pairlament o Scotland; gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland from the 13th century until 1707. The parliament evolved during the early 13th century from the king's council of ... was held in Ayr by Robert The Bruce at St. John's Tower by the sea.
As a Royal Burgh, Ayr was afforded various privileges relating to trade, tolls and fishing rights, which allowed the town to out-compete the neighbouring free burgh of Newton-on-Ayr which was established in the 14th century and situated on the north side of the River Ayr.
Early modern period
Ayr was continuously hit by a number of plagues from 1545 to 1647,
[ resulting in the town's port being quarantined and plague victims being removed from the town on pain of death. ] Mary, Queen of Scots
Mary, Queen of Scots (8 December 1542 – 8 February 1587), also known as Mary Stuart or Mary I of Scotland, was Queen of Scotland from 14 December 1542 until her forced abdication in 1567.
The only surviving legitimate child of James V of Sco ... visited the town in 1552 and 1563. [ Ayr remained a significant port throughout the 16th century, exporting goods such as fish, hide and wool and importing salt and wine.] [
Ayr played a pivotal role in the ] Plantation of Ulster
The Plantation of Ulster ( gle, Plandáil Uladh; Ulster-Scots: ''Plantin o Ulstèr'') was the organised colonisation (''plantation'') of Ulstera province of Irelandby people from Great Britain during the reign of King James I. Most of the set ... throughout the 17th century, in which a significant number of British people settled in present-day Northern Ireland. The town provided the largest share of colonists from Great Britain, with many colonists from Ayr joining the Earl of Eglinton, Hugh Montgomery's, plant in the Ards Peninsula (particularly around Newtownards
Newtownards is a town in County Down, Northern Ireland. It lies at the most northern tip of Strangford Lough, 10 miles (16 km) east of Belfast, on the Ards Peninsula. It is in the civil parish of Newtownards and the historic baro ...), and others going on to settle around Belfast
Belfast ( , ; from ga, Béal Feirste , meaning 'mouth of the sand-bank ford') is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast. It is the 12th-largest city in the United Kingdo .... In 1652, the town was used as a base and fortress for some of Oliver Cromwell's men. They established a large fortress along the mouth of the River Ayr and erected walls around the area just south of the River's mouth – most of these walls remain present to this day. St John's Tower, which sat around the centre of the fortress, was originally part of a large church yet this was knocked down during the construction of the fort with the tower being used for military practice; it is now protected by "Friends Of Saint Johns Tower" (FROST) residents in the " Ayr Fort Area" which sits atop the former site of the citadel. [
The lands occupied by the fort were granted to the Earl of Eglinton, ] Alexander Montgomerie
Alexander Montgomerie ( Scottish Gaelic: Alasdair Mac Gumaraid) (c. 1550?–1598) was a Scottish Jacobean courtier and poet, or makar, born in Ayrshire. He was a Scottish Gaelic speaker and a Scots speaker from Ayrshire, an area which ..., in 1663, who established the separate Burgh of Regality named Montgomerieston
Montgomerieston, sometimes known as Montgomeryston (NGR NS 333 220) or Ayr Fort, was a small burgh of regality and baronyDunlop, Page 44 of only 16 acres or 6.5 hectaresAA&NHS, Page 16 located within the walls of the old Ayr Citadel, also known a ... around the fort, which was eventually absorbed into the Burgh of Ayr. The separate village of Alloway to the south-east of Ayr was also annexed by the town in 1691, despite numerous petitions against this to Edinburgh from residents of the village. [ Although the importation of French wine continued to be Ayr's most important trade during the 17th century, the port was one of the first in Scotland to establish regular trade links with the English colonies in the Americas. This commenced during the 1640s when the English Civil War disrupted established colonial trading arrangements, and during the Cromwellian occupation there was free trade between Scotland and the English colonies. Following the 1660 Restoration of the monarchy, the Navigation Acts excluded Scottish ships from this trade apart from a few exceptional cases. Several English merchants had settled in Ayr during the Cromwellian occupation, and they collaborated with local merchants in circumventing the Navigation Acts by disguising Ayr ships as English vessels. Tobacco, sugar and indigo were imported, and salted fish, meat, clothing and indentured servants were exported.
Deposits of coal were found and mined in Newton during the 17th century, resulting in the town becoming a base for the industry, with coal being exported abroad from its harbour.] [ At this time, Ayr's population is estimated to have been at around 2,000.] [
By the late 17th century and early 18th century, Ayr was widely regarded as a town in decline,] [ with Daniel Defoe remarking in ''] A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain
''A Tour Thro' the Whole Island of Great Britain'' is an account of his travels by English author Daniel Defoe, first published in three volumes between 1724 and 1727. Other than ''Robinson Crusoe'', ''Tour'' was Defoe's most popular and financial ...'' "The capital of this country is Air, a sea-port, and as they tell us, was formerly a large city, had a good harbour, and a great trade: I must acknowledge to you, that tho' I believe it never was a city, yet it has certainly been a good town, and much bigger than it is now: At present like an old beauty, it shews the ruins of a good face; but is also apparently not only decay'd and declin'd, but decaying and declining every day, and from being the fifth town in Scotland, as the townsmen say, is now like a place so saken; the reason of its decay, is, the decay of its trade, so true is it, that commerce is the life of nations, of cities towns, harbours, and of the whole prosperity of a country: What the reason of the decay of trade here was, or when it first began to decay, is hard to determine; nor are the people free to tell, and, perhaps, do not know themselves. There is a good river here, and a handsome stone bridge of four arches."
Acts of Union
The formation of the
Kingdom of Great Britain
The Kingdom of Great Britain (officially Great Britain) was a sovereign country in Western Europe from 1 May 1707 to the end of 31 December 1800. The state was created by the 1706 Treaty of Union and ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, whi ... through the Acts of Union 1707
The Acts of Union ( gd, Achd an Aonaidh) were two Acts of Parliament: the Union with Scotland Act 1706 passed by the Parliament of England, and the Union with England Act 1707 passed by the Parliament of Scotland. They put into effect the te ... was initially harmful to Ayr, due to the importance to its economy of the wine trade with France. The terms of the English Methuen Treaty of 1703, which favoured the importation of Portuguese and Spanish wines and was accompanied by punitive duties on French wines, were extended to Scotland. However, the Union provided Ayr with significant trading opportunities with Britain's colonies around the world and resulted in improvements to the town's infrastructure, with Ayr's textile, wool, linen and shoemaking industries thriving as a result. [ A small lighthouse was constructed on the River Ayr in 1712, followed by a quay in 1713. Repairs to the town's Harbour and High Tolbooth took place between 1724 and 1726, with funding provided by the Convention of Royal Burghs. Street lighting was installed around the town centre in 1747.] [ A sugar refinery at the harbour was in operation during the 1770s.
The grounds of Alloway were sold in 1754 to help pay off Ayr burgh's public debts, resulting in the establishment of the Belleisle and Rozelle estates to the south of the town, which are now public parks. Rozelle was acquired by Robert Hamilton, who named his estate after one of his plantations in ] Jamaica
Jamaica (; ) is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea. Spanning in area, it is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles and the Caribbean (after Cuba and Hispaniola). Jamaica lies about south of Cuba, and west of Hispani .... In 1760, Wallacetown was formed to the east of Newton by the Wallaces of Craigie House. Ayr Racecourse was established in 1777. The "New Brig" of Ayr was constructed in 1785–88 and rebuilt in 1877 after severe flooding. [ In 1792 and 1817, Parliament passed acts to deepen and maintain Ayr's Harbour.] [ During this period Ayr's population was estimated to be around 4,000.] [
A permanent military presence was established in the town with the completion of Ayr Barracks (later known as Churchill Barracks) on the citadel site in 1795. Ayr Town Hall was designed by Thomas Hamilton and completed in 1832.
In 1801, the parish of Ayr had a recorded population of just under 5,500, with the adjoining burgh of Newton to the north having a population of just under 1,700 people. By 1826 Ayr's streets were lit by gas and by 1842 Ayr had a water supply, with sewers being dug soon after.] [ Ayr was connected to ] Glasgow
Glasgow ( ; sco, Glesca or ; gd, Glaschu ) is the most populous city in Scotland and the fourth-most populous city in the United Kingdom, as well as being the 27th largest city by population in Europe. In 2020, it had an estimated pop ..., and thus the rest of Great Britain, by rail in 1839, with the first service operating in August 1840 to a terminus on North Harbour Street. This led to a significant expansion in Ayr's tourist industry due to its attractive, sandy beach and links to Robert Burns. In 1857 a line was built from Dalmellington to export iron from Waterside and a new station was built to replace the old station called " Ayr Townhead Station". In 1877 a line was built between Newton and Mauchline for the export of coal. [ By 1851 Ayr's population was 21,000] [ and by 1855 between 60,000 and 70,000 tonnes of coal were being exported to Ireland from Ayr's Harbour each year, with imports of hide and tallow coming into the harbour from South America and beef, butter, barley, yarn and linen being imported into the harbour from Ireland. In 1854, 84,330 tonnes of goods were exported from the town and 36,760 tonnes were imported into the town. Other prominent industries in Ayr at this time included fishing, tanning and shoemaking, with several sawmills, woollen mills and carpet weavers located in the town as well. Timber and tobacco were also traded between Ayr's Harbour and North America.]
The Burgh of Ayr Act 1873 resulted in Newton and Wallacetown being absorbed into the Burgh of Ayr. [ Newton's more industrial character has left the town today divided into two distinct areas, with areas south of the River Ayr incorporating a mixture of affluent Victorian residential suburbs and modern suburban developments, in contrast to more deprived and industrial areas to the north of the river. The Carnegie Library was opened in Ayr on 2 September 1893. By the turn of the century, Ayr's population was around 31,000 people.] [ The Burns Statue Square drill hall was completed in 1901] and the Wellington Square drill hall was probably completed shortly after that.
On 26 September 1901, a tram service was opened between Prestwick Cross in Prestwick and St Leonards in Ayr. This was expanded south the following year to Alloway, and east in 1913 to the Racecourse at Whitletts. The tram service was eventually shut due to expensive repair costs, with the last tram running on New Year's Eve
In the Gregorian calendar, New Year's Eve, also known as Old Year's Day or Saint Sylvester's Day in many countries, is the evening or the entire day of the December 31, last day of the year, on 31 December. The last day of the year is commonly ... in 1931. [
817 men from Ayr died during the
First World War
World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, the United States, and the Ottoman Empire, with fighti .... A memorial was unveiled at Wellington Square in 1924 dedicated to those who died, with other memorials being put up at Alloway Village Hall and Whitletts Cross. [
Ayr's growing population following the war resulted in significant ] slum clearance
Slum clearance, slum eviction or slum removal is an urban renewal strategy used to transform low income settlements with poor reputation into another type of development or housing. This has long been a strategy for redeveloping urban communities; ... and redevelopment around the town centre, with the development of new housing estates on the periphery of the town. The lands surrounding Woodfield House were acquired by the council in 1919 to build council housing
Public housing in the United Kingdom, also known as council estates, council housing, or social housing, provided the majority of rented accommodation until 2011 when the number of households in private rental housing surpassed the number in so ... on, with the first residents moving in 1921. In 1929 Ayr was designated as a large burgh and its boundaries were expanded to include Alloway, Castlehill, Doonfoot and Whitletts. In the 1930s, council estates were also developed at Lochside and Heathfield. The mining villages of Dalmilling and Whitletts were also cleared and developed into sizeable council estates. [
Following the ] Second World War
World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ..., more council housing was developed in Ayr at Kincaidston, with the Wallacetown and Whitletts estates being expanded. Suburban housing was also developed at Alloway, Doonfoot and Holmston, and many disused industrial buildings throughout the town were redeveloped into flats. [
In 2019, GUARD Archaeology team led by Iraia Arabaolaza uncovered a marching camp dating to the 1st century AD, used by Roman legions during the invasion of Roman General Agricola. According to Arabaolaza, the fire pits were split 30 meters apart into two parallel lines. The findings also included clay-domed ovens and 26 fire pits dated to between 77- 86 AD and 90 AD loaded with burn and
Charcoal is a lightweight black carbon residue produced by strongly heating wood (or other animal and plant materials) in minimal oxygen to remove all water and volatile constituents. In the traditional version of this pyrolysis process, cal ... contents. Archaeologists suggested that this site had been chosen as a strategic location for the Roman conquest of Ayrshire.
Ayr was represented by a Conservative MP continuously for a period of 91 years – from
* January 12 – Persian Constitutional Revolution: A nationalistic coalition of merchants, religious leaders and intellectuals in Persia forces the shah Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar to grant a constitution, ... (as part of the Ayr Burghs constituency) until 1997, followed by Labour from 1997 to 2015, and the Scottish National Party from 2015 to 2017. The town forms part of the Ayr constituency in the Scottish Parliament
The Scottish Parliament ( gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba ; sco, Scots Pairlament) is the devolved, unicameral legislature of Scotland. Located in the Holyrood area of the capital city, Edinburgh, it is frequently referred to by the metonym Holyroo ..., which was the first Conservative constituency seat in the Parliament, but has been represented by Scottish National Party (SNP) MSP Siobhian Brown since the 2021 Scottish Parliament election. In the UK Parliament, Ayr is situated within the Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock constituency which was represented by Conservative MP Bill Grant from the 2017 general election, until he was unseated in the 2019 general election by Allan Dorans
Allan Hopkins Dorans (born 30 July 1955) is a Scottish National Party (SNP) politician who has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock since the 2019 general election. He is the vice dean of Ayr Guildry. Dorans was ... of the Scottish National Party.
Ayr forms part of the UK Parliamentary constituency
An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, or (election) precinct is a subdivision of a larger state (a country, administrative region, or other polit ... of Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock. This constituency includes Carrick and Coylton
Coylton ( sco, Culton) is a village and civil parish in South Ayrshire, Scotland. It is east of Ayr and west of Drongan, on the A70. Sundrum Castle Holiday Park is to the west of the village, in the grounds of Sundrum Castle, which partly ... in South Ayrshire in addition to Doon Valley, Cumnock
Cumnock (Scottish Gaelic: ''Cumnag'') is a town and former civil parish located in East Ayrshire, Scotland. The town sits at the confluence of the Glaisnock Water and the Lugar Water. There are three neighbouring housing projects which lie just ... and New Cumnock in southern East Ayrshire
East Ayrshire ( sco, Aest Ayrshire; gd, Siorrachd Àir an Ear) is one of thirty-two council areas of Scotland. It shares borders with Dumfries and Galloway, East Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire. The headqua .... The seat was held by Conservative Bill Grant from 2017 until 2019
File:2019 collage v1.png, From top left, clockwise: Hong Kong protests turn to widespread riots and civil disobedience; House of Representatives votes to adopt articles of impeachment against Donald Trump; CRISPR gene editing first used to experim ... when Allan Dorans
Allan Hopkins Dorans (born 30 July 1955) is a Scottish National Party (SNP) politician who has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock since the 2019 general election. He is the vice dean of Ayr Guildry. Dorans was ... gained the seat for the Scottish National Party.
The Central Ayrshire constituency runs north of the Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock constituency. It takes in the towns of Irvine, Kilwinning, Prestwick, Troon and rural Kyle, running into Annbank. It also incorporates the Woodfield area of Newton-on-Ayr and is represented by SNP MP Philippa Whitford.
In previous elections Ayr was represented in Westminster as part of the Ayr Parliamentary constituency, the boundaries of which included elements of Prestwick, Troon
Troon is a town in South Ayrshire, situated on the west coast of Ayrshire in Scotland, about north of Ayr and northwest of Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
Troon has a port with freight services and a yacht marina. Up until January 2016, P&O oper ... and rural South Ayrshire. The seat was abolished in 2005
File:2005 Events Collage V2.png, From top left, clockwise: Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico; the Funeral of Pope John Paul II is held in Vatican City; " Me at the zoo", the first video ever to be uploaded to YouTube; Eris was discovered i ... to be replaced by the Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock and Central Ayrshire constituencies which were subsequently represented by MP's belonging to Labour, and later, the SNP. From the seat's creation in 1950 until the 1997 general election Ayr was continually represented by MP's from the Conservative Party. George Younger served as Member of Parliament for the constituency for most of this period – serving as MP for Ayr from 1964
* January 1 – The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland is dissolved.
* January 5 - In the first meeting between leaders of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches since the fifteenth century, Pope Paul VI and Patriarc ... to 1992
File:1992 Events Collage V1.png, From left, clockwise: Riots break out across Los Angeles, California after the police beating of Rodney King; El Al Flight 1862 crashes into a residential apartment building in Amsterdam after two of its engine .... In 1997 the boundaries of the constituency were altered in a move which saw the Conservative areas of Alloway, Doonfoot and Masonhill alongside parts of Kincaidston and Forehill being transferred to the neighbouring Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley constituency, benefiting the Labour Party.
Prior to this Ayr formed part of the Ayr Burghs constituency which combined various towns along the Ayrshire coast such as Irvine, Troon
Troon is a town in South Ayrshire, situated on the west coast of Ayrshire in Scotland, about north of Ayr and northwest of Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
Troon has a port with freight services and a yacht marina. Up until January 2016, P&O oper ..., Prestwick
Prestwick ( gd, Preastabhaig) is a town in South Ayrshire on the west coast of Ayrshire in Scotland about southwest of Glasgow. It adjoins the larger town of Ayr to the south on the Firth of Clyde coast, the centre of which is about south, a ..., Ardrossan
Ardrossan (; ) is a town on the North Ayrshire coast in southwestern Scotland. The town has a population of 10,670 and forms part of a conurbation with Saltcoats and Stevenston known as the 'Three Towns'. Ardrossan is located on the east shore ... and Saltcoats: this seat was held by the Conservatives from 1906 until the constituency's abolishment in 1950, making Ayr the longest seat to be held by the Conservatives in Scotland at over 100 years.
The Scottish Parliament ( gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba ; sco, Scots Pairlament) is the devolved, unicameral legislature of Scotland. Located in the Holyrood area of the capital city, Edinburgh, it is frequently referred to by the metonym Holyroo ..., the Ayr constituency was represented from 2000 to 2021 by Conservative MSP John Scott until he was defeated at the 2021 election by the SNP's Siobhian Brown. It was the first constituency in the Scottish Parliament to elect a Conservative MSP. The constituency also includes the towns of Prestwick and Troon.
Ayr is also represented at Holyrood by the seven MSPs for the South Scotland electoral region.
Ayr is represented by 11 elected
A councillor is an elected representative for a local government council in some countries.
Due to the control that the provinces have over their municipal governments, terms that councillors serve vary from province to province. Unl ... on South Ayrshire Council, of which five belong to the Scottish Conservatives, four belong to the Scottish National Party and two belong to Scottish Labour. Below are a list of councillors elected to serve Ayr, sorted by ward:
As a former Royal Burgh
A royal burgh () was a type of Scottish burgh which had been founded by, or subsequently granted, a royal charter. Although abolished by law in 1975, the term is still used by many former royal burghs.
Most royal burghs were either created by ..., Ayr had a Provost as chief magistrate of the burgh council and the earliest recorded Provost is Nicholas de Fynvyk. The title of provost was retained by Kyle and Carrick District Council and South Ayrshire Council for their civic heads. The role of provost is now apolitical and carries a number of duties including chairing meetings of the council, acting as civic head representing South Ayrshire Council, promotion of South Ayrshire Council and networking with various organisations such as local businesses.
A chain and robes are worn by the provost while undertaking their ceremonial duties. The Provost's chain was donated in June 1897 by James McLennan who was a Glasgow wine and spirit merchant who was born in Coylton and lived in Ayr. The official provost's robes have been provided by the council since 11 June 1923. In addition, South Ayrshire Council erects lamp posts with the Royal Burgh Coat of Arms
A coat of arms is a heraldic visual design on an escutcheon (i.e., shield), surcoat, or tabard (the latter two being outer garments). The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the full heraldic achievement, which in it ... emblazoned on the diffusers outside the official resident of the provost – this has been undertaken since 1854.
Each newly elected provost enters their name into a Bible
The Bible (from Koine Greek , , 'the books') is a collection of religious texts or scriptures that are held to be sacred in Christianity, Judaism, Samaritanism, and many other religions. The Bible is an anthologya compilation of texts of ... at the "Kirkin 'O The Council" service at Ayr Auld Kirk after each council election. The Bible in which the names are entered was acquired by the Kirk during the Provostship of Hugh Miller (1841–1855). The names of the provosts entered into the Bible are as follows:
The current provost is Labour councillor Helen Moonie.
List of Provosts of Ayr from 1560 to 1692, See Annals of Ayr in the olden time, 1560–1692, By John Pagan. Ayr: Alex Fergusson, 18 High Street, 1897.
Ayr is a coastal town which lies on the mouth of the River Ayr. The river then flows out into the larger
Firth of Clyde
The Firth of Clyde is the mouth of the River Clyde. It is located on the west coast of Scotland and constitutes the deepest coastal waters in the British Isles (it is 164 metres deep at its deepest). The firth is sheltered from the Atlanti ... estuary. From the coast, the Isle of Arran can be seen, and on a very clear day, the northern tip of Northern Ireland. It is within the region of Strathclyde. Much of the land in and around this area is very flat and low lying, used for rearing dairy cattle. Towards the south of Ayr, however, the land is higher than most areas in the county of Ayrshire, an example of this being the Brown Carrick Hill which is situated due south of Doonfoot. Ayr lies approximately southwest of Glasgow
Glasgow ( ; sco, Glesca or ; gd, Glaschu ) is the most populous city in Scotland and the fourth-most populous city in the United Kingdom, as well as being the 27th largest city by population in Europe. In 2020, it had an estimated pop ....
The urban area
An urban area, built-up area or urban agglomeration is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categorized by urban morphology as cities ... which encompasses Ayr is defined by the General Register Office for Scotland
The General Register Office for Scotland (GROS) ( gd, Oifis Choitcheann a' Chlàraidh na h-Alba) was a non-ministerial directorate of the Scottish Government that administered the registration of births, deaths, marriages, divorces and adoptio ... as the adjoining localities of Ayr and Prestwick − this is the 12th largest urban area in Scotland.
Areas of Ayr
The nearest official Met Office weather station to Ayr is Auchincruive, about to the north-east of Ayr town centre.
The area experiences very cool summers and somewhat mild winters. The air is cooler during the summer due to its proximity to the sea as water has a major cooling effect on summer temperatures. During the winter months the reverse happens and the
Sea air has traditionally been thought to offer health benefits associated with its unique odor, which Victorians attributed to ozone. More recently, it has been determined that the chemical responsible for much of the odor in air along certain sea ... has a major warming effect on the climate. The area rarely sees extremes, owing to the effects of sea air. Rainfall is generally plentiful throughout the year due to Atlantic weather systems sweeping in from the west. Compared with the rest of Scotland, the area rarely sees much mist and fog. This is because the land is relatively flat and low lying and with the wind blowing across the flatter land, this generally hinders fog from developing widely. This has made Glasgow Prestwick International Airport particularly well known as one of the less fog-prone airports in Scotland. Snowfall is rare in this part of Scotland because of the mild sea air.
The north side of Ayr Harbour still operates as a commercial port, mainly exporting coal, and extensive railway sidings still lead down from the main railway line near Newton-on-Ayr station.
Ayr developed as the central retail hub in the south-west of Scotland after the opening of the town's first department store, Hourstons, in 1896. In the 1970s the opening of stores such as Marks and Spencers and Ayr's first shopping centre, the Kyle Centre (1988), encouraged an expansion in the local economy. Heathfield Retail park, an out-of-town retail park, opened in 1993 with shops such as Halfords and Homebase. Ayr Central Shopping Centre opened in March 2006, housing shops such as
Debenhams plc was a British department store chain operating in the United Kingdom, Denmark and the Republic of Ireland. It was founded in 1778 as a single store in London and grew to 178 locations across those countries, also owning the Danish ... and H&M and under-parking for 500 cars. In December 2014 Threesixty Architecture received planning permission to refurbish the Kyle Centre by reinventing it as a centre of leisure through the creation of a new cinema complex among other new features. As of 2014 Royal Society for Public Health found Ayr's High Street to be the second healthiest in the United Kingdom behind Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury ( , also ) is a market town, civil parish, and the county town of Shropshire, England, on the River Severn, north-west of London; at the 2021 census, it had a population of 76,782. The town's name can be pronounced as either 'Shr .... In 2016 research conducted by the Local Data Company suggested that Ayr had among the highest number of shops per head in the United Kingdom at one shop for every 270 people.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, Ayr became a popular holiday resort. This was due to its fine sandy beach and the construction of the rail link to Glasgow which was completed in 1840.
To the north of Ayr is the adjoining town of Prestwick
Prestwick ( gd, Preastabhaig) is a town in South Ayrshire on the west coast of Ayrshire in Scotland about southwest of Glasgow. It adjoins the larger town of Ayr to the south on the Firth of Clyde coast, the centre of which is about south, a ..., which is known for its golf
Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various Golf club, clubs to hit Golf ball, balls into a series of holes on a golf course, course in as few strokes as possible.
Golf, unlike most ball games, cannot and does not use a standar ... and aviation industries thanks to the presence of Glasgow Prestwick Airport. Only north of Ayr is Troon
Troon is a town in South Ayrshire, situated on the west coast of Ayrshire in Scotland, about north of Ayr and northwest of Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
Troon has a port with freight services and a yacht marina. Up until January 2016, P&O oper ..., a golf and seaside resort which regularly hosts the British Open Championship. Ayr has three golf courses in Bellisle, Seafield and Dalmilling, as well as a private course called St Cuthberts. The area is synonymous as a seaside resort, with the south of the town housing the Craig Tara and Haven (formerly Butlins) holiday parks. The suburban village of Alloway to the south of the town is also well established for its associations with the poet Robert Burns
Robert Burns (25 January 175921 July 1796), also known familiarly as Rabbie Burns, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who hav .... Further south, the fishing village of Dunure takes in a ruined castle which was formerly owned by the Kennedy family.
In 1973, Ayr hosted the Royal National Mòd. [List of Mod's places] Ayr has hosted the
for each year on Sabhal Mòr Ostaig website
Scottish Grand National
The Scottish Grand National is a Grade 3 National Hunt steeplechase in Great Britain which is open to horses aged five years or older. It is run at Ayr, Scotland, over a distance of about 4 miles ( ... horse-racing steeplechase annually since 1966 and the Scottish International Airshow since 2014.
Ayr is served by several major roads:
* A77 – forming the Ayr bypass, part of the trunk route between
Glasgow ( ; sco, Glesca or ; gd, Glaschu ) is the most populous city in Scotland and the fourth-most populous city in the United Kingdom, as well as being the 27th largest city by population in Europe. In 2020, it had an estimated pop ... and Stranraer
Stranraer ( , in Scotland also ; gd, An t-Sròn Reamhar ), also known as The Toon, is a town in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. It is located in the historical parish of Inch in the historic county of Wigtownshire. It lies on the shores of .... The bypass was built in 1971.
* A79 – the former A77 before the bypass was opened, now the main road running through Ayr and linking Ayr with Prestwick and its airport.
* A70 – running east from Ayr to Cumnock
Cumnock (Scottish Gaelic: ''Cumnag'') is a town and former civil parish located in East Ayrshire, Scotland. The town sits at the confluence of the Glaisnock Water and the Lugar Water. There are three neighbouring housing projects which lie just ..., Lanark
Lanark (; gd, Lannraig ; sco, Lanrik) is a town in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, located 20 kilometres to the south-east of Hamilton. The town lies on the River Clyde, at its confluence with Mouse Water. In 2016, the town had a population of ... and Edinburgh
Edinburgh ( ; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is located in Lothian ....
* A713 – running southeast to Dalmellington and Castle Douglas
Castle Douglas ( gd, Caisteal Dhùghlais) is a town in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. It lies in the lieutenancy area of Kirkcudbrightshire, in the eastern part of Galloway, between the towns of Dalbeattie and Gatehouse of Fleet. It is in the ....
* A719 – running northeast to Galston and southwest along the coast to Turnberry.
Eight local bus services operated by Stagecoach West Scotland serve Ayr and Prestwick. Express coaches to Glasgow Buchanan Street operate every 30–60 minutes. Ulsterbus
Ulsterbus is a public transport operator in Northern Ireland and operates bus services outside Belfast. It is part of Translink, the brand name for the subsidiary operating companies of the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company, which als ... operate bus services to Belfast
Belfast ( , ; from ga, Béal Feirste , meaning 'mouth of the sand-bank ford') is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast. It is the 12th-largest city in the United Kingdo ... via Stranraer Ferry service on Stena Line.
The Ayr railway station has regular services to Glasgow Central station
, symbol_location = gb
, symbol = rail
, image = Main Concourse at Glasgow Central Station.JPG
, caption = The main concourse
, borough = Glasgow, City of Glasgow
, country ..., Edinburgh Waverley
Edinburgh Waverley railway station (also known simply as Waverley; gd, Waverley Dhùn Èideann) is the principal railway station serving Edinburgh, Scotland. It is the second busiest station in Scotland, after Glasgow Central. It is the north ..., Stranraer
Stranraer ( , in Scotland also ; gd, An t-Sròn Reamhar ), also known as The Toon, is a town in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. It is located in the historical parish of Inch in the historic county of Wigtownshire. It lies on the shores of ..., Girvan and Kilmarnock
Kilmarnock (, sco, Kilmaurnock; gd, Cill Mheàrnaig (IPA: ʰʲɪʎˈveaːɾnəkʲ, " Marnock's church") is a large town and former burgh in East Ayrshire, Scotland and is the administrative centre of East Ayrshire Council. With a populatio .... All services are operated by ScotRail.
The railway station provides rail and sea connections via Stranraer
Stranraer ( , in Scotland also ; gd, An t-Sròn Reamhar ), also known as The Toon, is a town in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. It is located in the historical parish of Inch in the historic county of Wigtownshire. It lies on the shores of ... for the connecting bus to Cairnryan
Cairnryan ( sco, The Cairn; for either the Stena Line ferry service to the Port of Belfast or the P&O Ferries service to Larne Harbour connecting with gd, Machair an Sgithich) is a vi ... Northern Ireland Railways
NI Railways, also known as Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) ( ga, Iarnród Thuaisceart Éireann); and for a brief period Ulster Transport Railways (UTR), is the railway operator in Northern Ireland. NIR is a subsidiary of Translink, whose paren ... via Carrickfergus and Jordanstown to Belfast Central and Belfast Great Victoria Street. There is also the connection via Troon
Troon is a town in South Ayrshire, situated on the west coast of Ayrshire in Scotland, about north of Ayr and northwest of Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
Troon has a port with freight services and a yacht marina. Up until January 2016, P&O oper ... on P&O Ferries on a seasonal basis to Larne Harbour.
The town is served by the Glasgow Prestwick International Airport
Glasgow Prestwick Airport () is an international airport serving the west of Scotland, situated northeast of the town of Prestwick in South Ayrshire and southwest of Glasgow. It is the less busy of the two airports serving the western part of ... just north from Ayr, which offers regional and domestic air services across Europe and the British Isles
The British Isles are a group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean off the north-western coast of continental Europe, consisting of the islands of Great Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Northern Isles .... Further destinations are available from Glasgow Airport, which is accessible by train to Paisley Gilmour Street for the connecting bus to the airport. In relation to Ayr, Glasgow Airport is away.
Although the town does not have any ferry services from its harbour, it is in close proximity to ferry services to Northern Ireland. Cairnryan, south of Ayr, has up to eight daily departures to Belfast
Belfast ( , ; from ga, Béal Feirste , meaning 'mouth of the sand-bank ford') is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast. It is the 12th-largest city in the United Kingdo ... and up to seven daily departures to Larne
Larne (, , the name of a Gaelic territory) is a town on the east coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland, with a population of 18,755 at the 2011 Census. It is a major passenger and freight roll-on roll-off port. Larne is administered by Mid ....
Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland ( sco, The Kirk o Scotland; gd, Eaglais na h-Alba) is the national church in Scotland.
The Church of Scotland was principally shaped by John Knox, in the Reformation of 1560, when it split from the Catholic Church an ... is the main denomination in Ayr with nine churches spread throughout the town. The Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide . It is among the world's oldest and largest international institutions, and has played a ... has two churches, St Paul's, Belmont and the Cathedral Church of St Margaret the successor to The Good Shepherd Cathedral which has been demolished.
There is also a Free Church of Scotland, a Baptist Church and Evangelical church in John Street, a Latter-Day Saints Church at Orchard Avenue and the Southside Christian Fellowship in Ayr Town Hall.
United Kingdom Census 2001
A nationwide census, known as Census 2001, was conducted in the United Kingdom on Sunday, 29 April 2001. This was the 20th Census in the United Kingdom, UK census and recorded a resident population of 58,789,194.
The 2001 UK census was organis ..., Ayr had a population of 46,431, a fall of −3.2% on 1991. Mid-2008 population estimates placed the total resident population at 46,070 making Ayr the 12th largest urban area in Scotland. The 2011 census found that Ayr's population had grown by around 0.9% since the 2001 census – surpassing the total population growth of Ayr and Prestwick, which only grew by 0.63%, falling short of the national population growth of Scotland of +4.61%.
In 2001, nearly 0.36% (167) people in the town could speak Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig ), also known as Scots Gaelic and Gaelic, is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic branch of the Indo-European language family) native to the Gaels of Scotland. As a Goidelic language, Scottish Gaelic, as well a ... – this fell to 0.34% (161) in 2011. South Ayrshire Council provides no educational support for the language.
Ayr has two nursery schools:
* Cherry Tree Early Years Centre
* Wallacetown Early Years Centre
There are also several partnership centres and nursery classes held within primary schools within Ayr.
Ayr is served by fifteen primary schools:
Ayr has one school which provides education for those with Additional Support Needs:
* Southcraig Campus
Ayr is served by four secondary schools:
* Ayr Academy
* Belmont Academy
* Kyle Academy
* Queen Margaret Academy ( denominational)
Prestwick Academy is located within the neighbouring town of Prestwick
Prestwick ( gd, Preastabhaig) is a town in South Ayrshire on the west coast of Ayrshire in Scotland about southwest of Glasgow. It adjoins the larger town of Ayr to the south on the Firth of Clyde coast, the centre of which is about south, a ... and provides education to pupils who are resident within Ayr but fall within its catchment area.
Mainholm Academy was a former secondary school located within Ayr and was closed due to safety concerns.
Ayr is served by one independent school that provides both primary and secondary education:
* Wellington School
Ayr has four further education establishments:
* Ayrshire College (previously known as Ayr College and prior to that, Ayr Technical College)
* University of the West of Scotland (formerly known as the University of Paisley)
* Scotland's Rural College
* Adult Learning Centre
The NHS Ayrshire and Arran Health Board serves South, East and North Ayrshire – a part of Ayrshire and Arran's departmental headquarters is located in Ayr. Ayr is also the regional headquarters of the Scottish Ambulance Service for south-west Scotland that is located in Heathfield, next to the site of the old Heathfield Hospital.
Ayr previously had four hospitals: Heathfield Hospital (originally a fever hospital, but latterly medical and ophthalmic), Seafield Children's Hospital (a pediatric hospital), Ayr County Hospital (originally a voluntary hospital, and latterly confined to surgery) and Ailsa Hospital (a psychiatric hospital). University Hospital Ayr, completed in 1991, replaced all but Ailsa Hospital which is still open.
Currently, three hospitals active hospitals lie adjacent to Ayr running along the A713 towards Hollybush in East Ayrshire, these are:
* University Hospital Ayr (general hospital with accident and emergency)
* Ailsa Hospital (mental health hospital)
* The Abbey Carrick Glen Hospital (private hospital)
Hollybush House on the outskirts of Ayr is used by a charity for the mental health welfare of ex-members of the UK Armed Forces.
Ayr has two community centres, these are:
* Heathfield Community Centre
* Lochside Community Centre
Culture and community
Ayr is home to the Gaiety Theatre. Built in 1902, reconstructed after a fire in 1904, its façade remodelled in 1935, and further reinstated after a fire in 1955. In 1995, an annexe was constructed, including a new café, box office, dressing rooms and studio space. After a faltering start, which saw several years as a cinema after WWI, the theatre was bought by Ben Popplewell, from Bradford, who already had a track record of success running the Pavilion theatre on Ayr seafront. For fifty years the Popplewell family ran the theatre – latterly as part of the Glasgow Pavilion business.
During this time the Gaiety developed a reputation as a variety theatre with a 'summer' variety show – the Gaiety Whirl – which ran for 26 weeks at its height. Many British stars appeared regularly on its stage, and several started their careers there. The programme offered more than a summer show, however, with several weeks of Shakespeare and regular transfers from Glasgow Citizens theatre, being part of a varied offer.
After seventy years of private ownership, the local council acquired the Gaiety Theatre freehold in 1974. It then operated as a municipal theatre under direct local authority management. After many years of successful operation, the theatre began to lose audiences and the council felt the revenue subsidy it provided and the requirement for capital investment required a new approach. In January 2009 the theatre closed, leaving Ayr without a theatre. The closure was met with considerable opposition and dismay among many Ayr residents, particularly since it appeared that the required capital and revenue investment to reopen the theatre would not be available. A public meeting attracted over 400 attendees, the future of the theatre was a key issue in the local press, many Scottish performers expressed their dismay and there was extensive discussion on social media.
In early 2009 South Ayrshire Council invited tenders to take on the theatre management. The Ayr Gaiety Partnership (AGP), a charity formed for the purpose in Summer 2009, secured preferred bidder status. Just over three years later, having secured financial backing from the council and Scottish Government, as well as from local fundraising, AGP took on a 99-year lease of the theatre.
Ayr is served by three libraries plus a mobile library. These are:
* Alloway Library (attached to Alloway Primary school)
* Carnegie Library (main library)
* Forehill Library
The radio station West FM was based in Ayr until mid-2017 and broadcasts on 96.7FM. West FM is the main broadcaster in the Ayrshire area. The '' Ayrshire Post'', serving all parts of Ayrshire, and '' Ayr Advertiser'', serving the towns of Ayr and Prestwick, newspapers are also based in Ayr. The Ayr Advertiser is Scotland's oldest weekly newspaper. West FM's move from Ayr marks the first time in 35 years that local radio has not been broadcast from Ayrshire.
Ayr Racecourse is a well-known racecourse in Scotland and hosts both National Hunt and flat racing. It has the largest capacity in Scotland for horse racing.
[ Notable events include the ] Scottish Grand National
The Scottish Grand National is a Grade 3 National Hunt steeplechase in Great Britain which is open to horses aged five years or older. It is run at Ayr, Scotland, over a distance of about 4 miles ( ... (April) and Ayr Gold Cup (September) as well as several night meetings. It was recently put up for sale by the owners and included the Western House Hotel as part of the potential sale.
Ayr has two senior football clubs. Ayr United play at Somerset Park in the Scottish Championship. They reached the final of the 2001–02 Scottish League Cup competition. The club was formed in 1910 with the merger of Ayr F.C. (who were formed in 1879 by the merger of Ayr Thistle and Ayr Academical football clubs) and Ayr Parkhouse F.C. Whitletts Victoria are based in the Whitletts area of Ayr and compete in the West of Scotland Football League.
The town has a strong history of ice hockey, but no longer hosts a professional ice hockey team. The most recent professional team were the Ayr Scottish Eagles who played in the British Superleague between 1996 and 2002 based at the Centrum arena. During this time they have success most famously their grand slam season in 1997–98 winning all four titles available and becoming British Champions. The following season saw them compete in the European Hockey league with famous victories home and away to Russian champions AK Bars Kazan. Eagles finished 3rd in a group also containing clubs from Germany and Czech Republic. The Centrum closed in 2003 and was demolished in 2009 to make way for a Sainsbury supermarket.
Ayr's rugby union
Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a close-contact team sport that originated at Rugby School in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its ... team, Ayr RFC, play at Millbrae and are reigning Scottish Cup Champions and Scottish Premiership Champions 2012/2013, and won the 2008/09 Scottish Hydro Premiership. Ayr RFC has twice competed in the British and Irish cup involving clubs from Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland. A rugby league
Rugby league football, commonly known as just rugby league and sometimes football, footy, rugby or league, is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field measuring 68 metres (75 yards) wide and 11 ... team, Ayr Knights ARLFC, play at Auchincruive.
Ayr Curling Club play at the curling rink in Limekiln Road and Ayr's cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of which is a pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by str ... team plays in Cambusdoon, Burns Wicket. Ayr only has one leisure centre, the Citadel, which opened in 1997, at the mouth of the River Ayr and at the seafront at the South Harbour area. Its facilities include a main hall measuring . This hall can accommodate various sports including 5-a-side football, basketball, volleyball, netball, indoor hockey, indoor cricket practice, badminton and short tennis. As well as individual sports, sporting events and competitions, the hall has hosted exhibitions, concerts, trade fairs, election counts and awards ceremonies. The Citadel is an expansion of the Ayr swimming pool, which opened in 1972. The Citadel features a Dance Studio approx . It is predominantly used for dance or exercise classes but also accommodates martial arts groups and drama workshops and two glass backed squash courts. The Citadel Leisure Centre in Ayr is home to South Ayrshire Volleyball Club as well as being the town's only public swimming pool and diving pool.
The leisure centre has squash courts, a gymnasium, dance studio, cafeteria and adjacent salons and youth club. An Ayrshire basketball team, the Troon Tornadoes, play their national league matches at the Citadel, despite not being an Ayr team. Additionally, Ayr has a Strathclyde league basketball team, Ayr Storm. Ayr is also home to Scottish Bowling. The greens at Northfield host the Bowls Scotland and SYBA finals each year as well as the Hamilton Trophy final. Both the Ladies and Gents World Championships have been held at the Northfield complex as have international series and the Atlantic Rim Championships. Ayr Indoor Bowling Green is the oldest existing indoor bowling stadium in the world. Ayr Cricket Club play at Cambusdoon, and occasionally act as host for Scotland matches.
Speedway was staged at Dam Park in 1937, when two meetings, organised by Maurice and Roland Stobbart from Cumbria took place, featuring riders who raced in the north of England, at venues such as Workington
Workington is a coastal town and civil parish at the mouth of the River Derwent on the west coast in the Allerdale borough of Cumbria, England. The town was historically in Cumberland. At the 2011 census it had a population of 25,207.
Locat ... and Hyde Road in Manchester. Ayr has a sandy beach with an esplanade
An esplanade or promenade is a long, open, level area, usually next to a river or large body of water, where people may walk. The historical definition of ''esplanade'' was a large, open, level area outside fortress or city walls to provide cle .... This is very popular with joggers and day-trippers.
Whitletts Activity Centre also serves the town of Ayr. It has an 11-a side outdoor soccer pitch and an indoor 5-a-side football pitch. Near Whitletts Activity Centre there is also a 5-a-side football complex called "Pro Soccer".
* Samuel Aitken, (1878–1930), footballer
* Stevie Brown, Muay thai European champion WKA
* Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi (1930–2021), born Ian Dallas, Shaykh of Instruction, Islamic leader, author, actor
* William D. Brackenridge, (1810–1893), botanist
* Robert Burns
Robert Burns (25 January 175921 July 1796), also known familiarly as Rabbie Burns, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who hav ..., (1759–1796), Scotland's national bard, poet and writer of songs; born in Alloway
* William Dalrymple, (1723–1814) minister and moderator
* Noam Dar (born 1993), professional wrestler
* Sydney Devine (born 1940), singer
* James Morris Gale, (1830-1903) civil engineer for Glasgow Corporation Water Works
* Gavin Gordon, (1901–1970), composer and singer
* William Schaw Lindsay, (1815–1877), British merchant, shipowner, Member of Parliament, military theorist
* John Loudon McAdam
John Loudon McAdam (23 September 1756 – 26 November 1836) was a Scottish civil engineer and road-builder. He invented a new process, "macadamisation", for building roads with a smooth hard surface, using controlled materials of m ..., (1756–1836), inventor of Tarmacadam road surface
* Sam McCrory (born 1965), former member of Ulster Defence Association, gay activist
* Drew McIntyre (born 1985), professional wrestler
* Alan McInally
Alan Bruce McInally (born 10 February 1963) is a Scottish former professional footballer, who played for Ayr United, Celtic, Aston Villa, Bayern Munich and Kilmarnock.
Ayr-born McInally variously went by the nicknames of Rambo and Big Mac a ... (born 1963), footballer, TV pundit
* Thomas McIlwraith
Sir Thomas McIlwraith (17 May 1835 – 17 July 1900) was for many years the dominant figure of colonial politics in Queensland. He was Premier of Queensland from 1879 to 1883, again in 1888, and for a third time in 1893. In common with most po ... (1835–1900), Premier of Queensland, Australia
* Ewan McVicar, DJ
* William Maclure, (1763–1840), geologist, drew 1st geological map of U.S., president of American Geological Society
* Alexander Mathie-Morton (1880–1965), cricketer
* Stuart Murdoch (born 1968), singer-songwriter, Belle & Sebastian
* Sir David Murray (1951), Rangers F.C. chairman
* Simon Alexander Neil, (born 1979), Lead vocalist, guitarist, songwriter for Biffy Clyro
* Neil Oliver (born 1967), BBC presenter of Coast
The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the ocean, or as a line that forms the boundary between the land and the coastline. The Earth has around of coastline. Coasts are important zones in n ... and A History of Scotland
* Alan Reid (born 1954), MP for Liberal Democrats
* Dominic Rigby (born 1970), cricketer
* Mike Scott (born 1958), Lead Singer/Songwriter of The Waterboys
The Waterboys are a folk rock band formed in Edinburgh in 1983 by Scottish musician Mike Scott. The band's membership, past and present, has been composed mainly of musicians from Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England. Mike Scott has remained ...
* Robert Shankland (1887–1968), awarded Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system. It is awarded for valour "in the presence of the enemy" to members of the British Armed Forces and may be awarded posthumously. It was previously ... for his actions at Battle of Passchendaele 1917
* Ronald Stevenson (1938–1999), first-class cricketer
Ayr is twinned with:
* Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France since 1984.
In popular culture
The Barns of Ayr features in ''The Scottish Chiefs''.
Freedom of the Burgh
The following people and military units have received the Freedom of the Burgh of Ayr.
* Rt Hon Sir Winston Churchill : 1947.
* The Royal Scots Fusiliers: 15 June 1946.
* Auchincruive Waggonway
* Craigie Waggonway
* Newton Loch, South Ayrshire – The Newton or Malt Mill and Newton Loch
* Wallace's Heel Well – A spring running from the imprint in rock of
Sir William Wallace ( gd, Uilleam Uallas, ; Norman French: ; 23 August 1305) was a Scottish knight who became one of the main leaders during the First War of Scottish Independence.
Along with Andrew Moray, Wallace defeated an English army ...'s heel.
* Close, R (2005) ''Ayr A History & Celebration''
* Kennedy, R&J (1992) ''Old Ayr''
* Love, D (2003) ''Ayr Past and Present''
* Love, D (2000) ''Ayr Stories''
* Love, D (1995) ''Pictorial History of Ayr''
* Reid, D & Andrew K (2001) ''Ayr Remembered''
* Strawhorn, J (1989) ''The History of Ayr: Royal Burgh and County Town''
* Carmichael, D. (2001) ''Ayr United Football Club''
* Young, A & Reid, D. T. (2011) ''Ayr as it was, and as it is now.'' Stenlake Publishing:
* Engraving of
view of Ayr
by James Fittler in the digitised copy o
Scotia Depicta, or the antiquities, castles, public buildings, noblemen and gentlemen's seats, cities, towns and picturesque scenery of Scotland
National Library of Scotland
The National Library of Scotland (NLS) ( gd, Leabharlann Nàiseanta na h-Alba, sco, Naitional Leebrar o Scotland) is the legal deposit library of Scotland and is one of the country's National Collections. As one of the largest libraries in th ...
* A collection o
historic maps of Ayr
from the 1690s onward at National Library of Scotland
Engraving of Ayr in 1693
by John Slezer at National Library of Scotland
Fishing communities in Scotland
Ports and harbours of Scotland
County towns in Scotland
Towns in South Ayrshire
Towns with cathedrals in the United Kingdom
Firth of Clyde
Populated coastal places in Scotland