and Tracks of Ayrshire
AND ARMSTRONG'S MAPS OF AYRSHIRE
alternative navigation see map
1. Maybole - Girvan 2. Girvan - Maybole (hill
road) 3. Girvan - Crosshill 4. Girvan - Ballantrae
- Stranraer 5. Kilantringan - Colmonell 6. Colmonell
- Pinwherry 7. Pinwherry - Girvan 8. Pinwherry
- Barrhill - Newton Stewart 9. Pinwherry - Barr
10. Barr - Newton Stewart Hill Road (Cairnfore)
11. Barr - Old Dailly 12. Barr - Old/New Dailly
13. Barr - Balloch 14. Maybole - Crosshill - Balloch
- Newton Stewart 15. Crosshill - Straiton 16.
Straiton - Balloch 17. Balloch - Dalmellington
18. Straiton - Knockdon - Loch Doon 19. Straiton
- Kirkmichael - Dalrymple 20. Alloway - Cassilis
Maybole - Cassilis - Dalrymple 22. Maybole - Kirkmichael
23. Maybole - Ayr 24. Turnberry - Ayr 25. Maybole
- Culzean 26. Cumnock - New Cumnock - Sanquhar
27. Drove Road 28. New Cumnock - Glen Afton 29.
Cumnock - Kilmarnock 30. Cumnock - Muirkirk, Muirkirk
31. Mauchline - Sorn 32. Muirkirk - Sorn - Mauchline
33. Sorn area 34. Cumnock - Ochiltree - Ayr 35.
Ochiltree - Mauchline 36. Ochiltree/Auchinleck/Mauchline
area 37. Dalmellington towards New Cumnock 38.
New Cumnock - Littlemill 39. Littlemill - Ochiltree
40. Dalmellington - Carsphairn; Dalmellington
41. Mauchline - Ayr 42. Mauchline - Irvine 43.
Crosshands - Galston 44. Ayr- Galston 45. Kilmarnock
- Galston - Darvel 46. Galston to Glasgow 47.
Kilmarnock - Irvine 48. Kilmarnock - Kilmaurs;
Kilmarnock - Stewarton 49. Ayr - Monkton - Symington
- Kilmarnock 50. Ayr - Irvine
51. Dalmellington - Rankinston - Stair - Tarbolton
- Irvine 52. Cumnock - Dalblair - Crawfordjohn
53. Tarbolton - Irvine continued 54. Dundonald
area 55. Irvine - Glasgow 56. Irvine - Glasgow
via Stewarton and Pollockshaws 57. Irvine - Stevenston
58. Irvine - Kilwinning 59. Kilmarnock - Glasgow
60. Fenwick area
Stewarton - Dunlop - Beith 62. Beith - Neilston
- Darnley 63. Beith - Paisley 64. Beith - Lochwinnoch
65. Beith - Crawfield 66. Kilwinning - Dalry -
Kilbirnie 67. Kilwinning - Beith 68. Saltcoats
- Kilwinning 69. Saltcoats - Dalry 70. Kilwinning
- Largs; Dalry to the Kilbirnie to Largs road
Dalry - West Kilbride 72. Kilwinning - West Kilbride
Road 73. Saltcoats - Largs 74. Stevenston - Largs
75. Largs - Greenock 76. Largs - Brisbane Glen
showing the routes depicted on Roy's maps are included
in this section. These are based on the 1" OS sheets
for Glasgow and for Ayr & Kilmarnock dating from
1925 and 1945 respectively as well as the half-inch
OS maps for Ayr and Moffat & Dumfries dating from
1914. With thanks to the Ordnance Survey. Complete 1"
sheets from this period can be seen at the National
Library of Scotland site.
Survey maps can also be found on the NLS site along
with information about the survey.
this chapter we will look at the road system in the
mid 1700s as depicted on the maps of Roy and Armstrong,
just prior to the turnpikes.
the 1745 rebellion, the authorities decided that a military
survey of Scotland was necessary in case of further
trouble. This task was given to General Roy who provided
detailed maps at a scale of 1 inch to 1000 yards (1:36000)
in his Military Survey of Scotland. The maps are very
accurate for the time and generally to be trusted. The
survey of Ayrshire was completed in the early 1750's.
1775, Captain Armstrong and his son surveyed and published
map of Ayrshire at
a scale of 1 inch to a mile. There is also another map
at 3 1/8 miles to the inch published about the same
time which can be useful in resolving ambiguities in
the large scale map. Full details of the Armstrongs
and their maps are given by Strawhorn.
(1) Reproduction copies of the
6 sheets of the one-inch map have been published by
the Ayrshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
and are reasonably priced. In what follows, it is very
much essential that the reader refers to these maps
along with a modern map otherwise the text will be difficult
to follow. The detailed examination of the maps is worthwhile
as there is so much to be found on the maps.
on Armstrong's maps are often vaguely marked or in the
wrong place but it is still a valuable resource and
routes can still be identified by a "topological" if
not a topographical fit. It is also worth remembering
that a quick perusal of the maps can be misleading.
Routes are often shown between towns that look just
like the modern routes yet closer inspection reveals
major deviations from present day roads or even that
they are a "lost road." An example of the first type
would be the Dalry to West Kilbride road shown on his
map that for half its length runs along farm tracks.
Of the second, there is a road from Dalry up to the
Kilbirnie to Largs road. This looks like the present
day road but is just a track running a mile to the west
of the present road.
diagram shows the sheets of both the Roy and Armstrong
surveys. The Roy sheet references are in black and the
Armstrong in red. The various roads are listed and an
attempt made to identify the routes Roy and Armstrong
show on their maps for each road. Each road is given
a reference to the Roy and Armstrong sheets it appears
on, e.g.,Maybole - Girvan (R 3-4, A 3,5).
We start at Maybole on Armstrong's sheet 3, moving
into sheet 5 and working south to Ballantrae and then
work east to the vicinity of Barr. This is followed
by sheet 3 looking at roads from Maybole as far as Ayr
and then over to Dalrymple, Dalmellington and Straiton.
This leads to a couple of roads near Loch Doon on sheet
6 and then to sheet 4 with the roads around Cumnock,
Muirkirk and Mauchline. From there we head west to sheet
3 again to look at roads north of Ayr leading to sheets
1 and 2 for north Ayrshire. In some cases roads cover
two or three sheets. Occasional references are made
to maps by Arrowsmith
(1807) (2) andThomson
(1828) (3) for clarification
of certain points.
Reproduced from the 1946 Ordnance Survey
© Crown copyright
shown on the Military Survey maps of around 1750
from the 1935 Ordnance Survey map. © Crown copyright
Maybole-Girvan (R 3-4; A 3,5)
road left Maybole on a more westerly line than today,
probably to Whitefaulds, then ran down above Baltersan
Mains to come close to the present road at Crossraguel.
There is a suspicious line of one mile of continuous
field boundaries and stretches of associated track on
this course. From there it followed the present minor
road past Authenblane and Blanefield to Kirkoswald.
It is likely from the streams shown here that it crossed
at the ford shown on current maps. From here to Turnberry
it is clearly shown 200 metres or so north of the river
(and present road) and running on the south facing slope
of Knockglass Hill.
from Turnberry it looks as if it ran closer to the coast.
It skirted Gallow Hill on the west side and then swung
over to Knockvalley to cross near the present footbridge
at the west end of the caravan park.
is nothing to suggest that his road is very different
from Roy's at least as far as Turnberry. One variation
is at Knockglass Hill where he has a definite southerly
sweep nearer to the river which it crosses at Milton
near to the present day junction at the coast. South
of Turnberry he shows the road actually on the shore
at Balkenna which Roy does not. Another difference is
that past Gallow Hill his road cut over past Mains (present
Girvan Mains) to join the Trochrague Road and cross
the river near to the present bridge. There is a track
along this stretch which, as it appears on Thomson (1828),
may be what he is showing.
2. Girvan - Maybole (hill road) (R 3-4;
stretch between Girvan and Wallacetown must have been
on or very close to the modern B741, crossing close
to the modern bridge at Girvan and then possibly just
south of the present road as far as Macrindlestone.
From there to present Low Craighead it must be the modern
line as his road lies south of the stream running on
the south side of Craighead Hill. There is however a
possibility that beyond Low Craighead it ran further
to the north, perhaps as the track running past Kilgrammie,
and near the railway line beyond that. The reason for
saying this is that his road is shown north of the 'Old
Pile of Drumman', i.e. Lochmobie Castle.
beyond Wallacetown there is a link from the road south
of the Stinchar at Moorston running just east of Drummochreen
and continuing up to Maybole. This link is not shown
on Armstrong just 25 years later.
the Wallacetown to Maybole stretch, the road first ran
to Newlands. The map is imprecise enough to make it
unclear whether it followed the present road and cut
across the stream up to Newlands or if it went past
Drummochreen to Newlands. Either could fit. Beyond Newlands
the best fit seems to be up to Drummochreen Cairn, then
the present track to the ford at Ghaist Glen, where
it is then lost, as far as the ford between High and
Low Burncrooks. From here it could be the track running
over Kildoon Hill and joining the minor road near Auchwynd
to go past Fordhouse into Maybole.
less precise than Roy there seems no great reason to
doubt that the line is the same as far as present Low
Craighead. From there to Lochmobie Castle, which Roy
shows south of his road and Armstrong shows north of
his, the line may have been different but only by 200
or 300 metres. He then routes the road past Mains (present
Dalquharran Mains) and turns north towards Kirkhill;
Wallacetown is shown east of the road. Whilst this could
indicate a different line from Roy, it is tempting to
think that it is actually the same - there is only 400
metres between Dalquharran Mains and Wallacetown, there
is a distinctive northwards turn, and Armstrong is generally
the case, his road ends near Kirkhill but with a road
starting just north of it at Corral Hill (present Quarrel
Hill) and running up to Maybole. Again it is tempting
to think that he is showing the Roy road - why should
there be two dead end roads when 25 years earlier there
was a through route. In fact, the smaller scale Armstrong
map shows it as a continuous road so it is very probably
a mistake. Additionally, the Quarrel Hill to Maybole
stretch fits Roy's line - the farms of Craigdow, Burncrooks
and Drummilan are significant. The only difference is
his positioning of the road relative to the streams
near Burncrook but it's possible that a different track
had developed by this time and in any case they can
only have been 200 or 300 metres apart, and coalesced
again at Kildoon Hill.
summary then, the road is probably the same on both
maps with some minor differences. It is shown by the
present day road to Wallacetown where it then cut north
across the hills by still existing tracks to Maybole.
3. Girvan - Crosshill (R 3-4; A 5,3)
road ran south of the Water of Girvan through Old Dailly
and Dailly as far as Crosshill. It is identical with
or very close to the modern B734 as far as Old Dailly.
From there it looped north past Hawkhill and then ran
close to Bargeny (presumably past Gateside) and Lady
Farm to just south of the bridge at Dailly. This is
almost certainly the present day track running through
Bargany on this alignment.
Dailly it followed the line of the B734 as far as Woodend
bridge but then carried straight on past Maitland, skirted
Kilkerran and came out at Ladyburn. It continues as
the present day main road leading to Knockroon where
it rejoins the B734 to Crosshill.
is little doubt that Armstrong also shows this route.
The only difference is that he may be showing a slightly
different line through Kilkerran Estate. He also shows
links to the road north of the river. One was from Hawkhill
over to Killochan Bridge, using a ford. Both he and
Thomson (1828) show it as running from Hawkhill itself
but modern maps show it nearer to Old Dailly and running
directly to the ford. Another ran from Bargany over
to Bargany Mains. There is no indication on modern maps
of this short (1km) road although Thomson's map suggests
it crossed very near to the bridge at Bargany. The last
road ran from Dailly up to just east of Mains (Dalquharran
Mains). Its course north of the river is slightly problematic.
Thomson shows the present day road but also a track
leading more directly to Mains past Dalquharran Castle
which may be what Armstrong is showing especially if
the ruin he shows is Lochmobie Castle as its location
doesn't fit the modern road.
Girvan - Ballantrae - Stranraer (R 3-4, 2-1, 2-2; A5)
of Girvan the road forked very close to the modern roundabout
with one road making past Shallochpark Farm (shown by
both as Ballochbreach) to Pinwherry and the other down
to Ballantrae. The Ballantrae road is shown hugging
the coast (like today's road) as far as present Kilranny
Bridge. It then took a more inland course which is shown
by a track running past Kilranny. The road then forked
just west of Pinbain Hill at approx. NX143918, one branch
still shown by the track to near Pinbain Bridge that
continued down to Lendalfoot a little to the east of
today's road; the other took a much more inland course.
Interestingly, the road shown by the track became the
coastal road continued on the modern line near to Sawney
Bean's Cave (just below the viewpoint north of Bennane
Head) where it ran inland past Meikle Bennane Farm and
then down to the coast on the far side of Bennane Head
south to Ballantrae. It must have been close to the
modern line and older O.S. maps show a track next to
the beach which may be the road.
other road ran down to near present Straid Bridge (where
he shows a 'Fordhouse'), then past Carleton Mains to
run past Knockormal Hill on its west side. Somewhere
near South Ballaird it split into two to rejoin a mile
or two further on, probably near Corseclays. Older O.S.
maps show two tracks just beyond this farm which look
promising until we note that they don't fit with his
positioning of the Bennane Burn. Having said that, the
more easterly of these two tracks might fit his road
prior to it dividing, which would have been near Duhorn.
Beyond this point it is a bit easier as he shows the
roads going north and south of the Red Burn (he shows
the distinctive northward turn near its mouth). They
then joined a couple of hundred yards south of present
Corseclays and ran over to join the coast road and thence
at the route south of Ballantrae there seems no particular
problem at first glance- a straighter line to the head
of Glenapp with a road running back up to Colmonell
from near Auchencroish and another from Altimeg to New
Luce. Further down Glenapp the road took a more inland
course with two other hill roads providing alternative
routes to the coast at Cairnryan.
bridge at Ballantrae built about this time. Image
from the Detroit Publishing Company's Views of
Landscape and Architecture in Scotland - see thumbnails
on Library of Congress site here.
closer inspection throws up some difficulties however
and we will have to work our way through these before
we can positively identify the routes Roy is showing.
The first part of the road from Ballantrae is clear
enough - the minor road to Garleffin that leaves the
main road at Lagganholm just over the river, then crossing
the Kilphin Burn just below the Water Works. It must
then have closely followed the line of trees west of
Glenapp Castle to join the road to Colmonell.
problem, however, is that his junction is just above
Carlock House, about ¾ mile south of the present junction,
a positioning confirmed by Carlock Hill and the Downan
Burn. As his mapping is generally accurate it leaves
a genuine doubt that is not easy to resolve and as we
shall see the Colmonell road itself is not necessarily
the old road (now farm tracks) running up to Crailoch
and Auchenflower from this point.
Carloch he shows a road running down to New Luce, undoubtedly
the track shown on recent 1" O.S. maps (often better
at showing old tracks than the 1:25000 and 1:50000 series)
which ran to Shennas (Gaelic for stopping/resting point).
It then crossed the county boundary running past Dalnigap
but with a switch to the east side of the river just
east of Penwhin Reservoir. At New Luce
he shows the present minor road that runs to Barrhill.
Although much of it is outwith our area it is worth
noting that his road had the same line as the present
road up to near Pultadie, four miles north of New Luce
but then crossed the river east of the present bridge
and ran about 300 metres east of the present road as
far as Miltonise. Just above here it crossed the present
road and ran 500-600 metres west of this before taking
up its approximate line about 500 metres beyond Chirmorie
as far as Barrhill.
road down Glenapp is reasonably clear. The river just
past Carlock Cottage was more meandering in Roy's time
and the road crossed and recrossed a couple of times
before running south of the river beyond Altimeg (his
Albany). This would make it almost on the line of the
present road, or at least not more than 50 metres or
so south of it. In fact the point where the A77 crosses
the river below Altimeg (there are signs on the maps
of an earlier alignment and bridge here) could well
be Roy's crossing point.
then ran past Dupin and Mark, and must have been on
or very close to the modern road. At Mark, however,
it crossed and recrossed the river (possibly on the
line of the track on the north side of the A77) before
heading fairly directly over Haggstone Moor. It crossed
the Galloway Burn (on the county boundary) and made
for the Taxing Stane and the present Little Laight (his
Meikle Laicht). It then ran down to Cairnryan, very
probably on the farm track which has this alignment.
McDowell talks of an old road from Altimeg Bridge over
the Haggstone Moor to Whidna Wood and the Taxing Stane
at Laigh Alpin. Roy's road had a straighter line to
the Taxing Stane. If this is the toll point mentioned
in the Ayr Charter it is an indication that the route
may go back to the 1300's.
of Girvan he shows the road as a turnpike and using
Thomson it is fairly straightforward to determine the
course he is showing. Like Roy he has a road branching
off just south of Girvan which heads inland. The coast
road is the same as Roy, i.e. following the coast to
Kilranny Bridge then by the old track 300 metres inland
for 1½ miles to come out near Pinbain Bridge. Likewise
the stretch south to Bennane and Ballantrae.
Bennane Head it is intriguing to see that he and Roy
both show the road as running past Meikle Bennane Farm
to Bennane Lea where it flattens out. Later the main
road was routed around the Head but the most recent
improvements take it back to its original line.
Ballantrae it should be noted straightaway that he shows
it as a turnpike so it will be useful to compare it
with Thomson. Oddly enough there is an immediate problem
- the turnpike was approved in 1774 one year before
the map was published yet he shows it as a turnpike.
Could the work have been done in such a short time,
is he showing a projected line, or indeed the older
line of Roy's road? From the map one is disposed to
say that he is showing the older line, the main proof
of this being his road crossing Haggstone Moor whereas
the turnpike (shown on Thomson) crossed to the north
side of the river near High Mark and didn't cross again
until nearly at the coast - the course can be easily
seen on modern maps, including the old bridge at Finnart
He also shows the Colmonell road which was part of the
Girvan - Stranraer turnpike, being named as a branch
along with the one from Ballantrae, althogh he doesn't
show it as a turnpike. In comparing his map with Roy
it is of note that he does not show the Glen Luce road
or the other tracks to the Taxing Stane at Little Laicht,
only the one over Haggstone Moor.
Kilantringan - Colmonell (R2-2; A5)
said, there is a possibility that the Colmonell road
may have started ¾ mile or so south of the obvious candidate
for this road, viz. the old turnpike from the Killantringan
crossroads up to Crailoch and Heronsford and Colmonell.
In fact this possibility of a more southerly line has
a logic to it as turnpikes often changed the original
line and Roy's route would have been more direct, always
important for travellers on foot or with packhorses.
than this there is a chance that his road, although
on the line of the turnpike, was different from it.
One reason for saying this is that his placenames do
not fit the present track, viz. his High Smirtoun which
is probably High Kilpin, his routing of it through Cosses,
¾ mile west of the present track, the positioning of
Auchenflower and Mains of Tig and a more westerly crossing
at Heronsford. In addition, his bends do not match those
of the track very well. There is some support for the
different line from Armstrong whose road (pre-turnpike)
runs west of High Smirtoun and Kilwhannel although he
runs it past Auchenflower.
The old road south of
this is correct then we are looking at a line 300 or
so metres west of the present track as far as Cosses
where the road split and rejoined again near Heronsford.
It should be emphasised, however, that it is only suggested
by inconsistencies between the two maps and the present
day track; in the absence of confirming evidence one
could point to change of placenames or even the positioning
of farms as well as inaccurate mapping - there is after
all an old road approximately where they show it, so
it may be that which they are showing. Aerial photos
show only the one track, that clearly seen on modern
point of interest here is that McDowell in his Carrick
Gallovidian refers to a couple of old milestones on
this track. One is still there at NX123824.
milestone was completely hidden by vegetation - the second
is on the coast road
hard to read, the 6" OS map shows it was 17 miles to
Stranraer and 4 to Colmonell. It is fairly similar to
milestones on the coast road (there is one at Ballantrae
just north of the river) and quite unlike the normal
turnpike milestones in Ayrshire. This may just mean
that it, and the coastal milestones, were put in by
a different turnpike trust. However, the writing is
greatly worn and this may indicate that they are much
older. As noted at the end of the chapter on mediaeval
roads, they may be those referred to in Blaeu's Atlas
of Scotland, published in 1654.
over the Tig at Heronsford, Roy's road passed west of
the old church and very close to the farm of Sallochan,
suggesting a line west and north of the present road.
There are fords, a track and double field walls near
the farm which may indicate the road. Once past Sallochan
Hill it sems to have had the same line as the modern
of Colmonell he shows a track running beside the Pyet
Burn as far as Shalloch.
of what was said about Roy's road would apply also to
Armstrong, viz., that although running in the same direction
as the turnpike it was a few hundred yards west of it.
Heronsford his mapping is difficult to interpret. Once
past Auchenflower his road went directly to Knockdhu
and towards Sallochan then past Craigneil Castle (his
"ruin") to Colmonell. As the Knockdhu and Sallochan
placings could (with a little stretching) be consistent
with a north -south line or Roy's more east - west line
here it comes down to the stretch just past Auxchenflower
to help us decide.
couple of factors favour a north - south road here,
i.e. cutting over Cairnhill to meet Roy's road near
Knockdhu Bridge. One is that the road is shown to be
too far from the Stinchar and the old church at Kirkcudbright
- Inner - Tig. The other is that although Mains (if
it is Mains of Tigg) looks wildly displaced, it is in
fact topologically consistent with its real position
in relation to Sallochan and a road to the east of it
- this would make it different from Roy's which would
be to its west, and so favour a more north - south route.
this, the 20 or so years between the maps make it unlikely
any new roads had been built in that short time and
it has to be asked where had Roy's road gone especially
if the turnpike (as shown on Thomson) was built very
close to it. It is easier to think that Armstrong's
mapping is inaccurate and that he is in fact showing
the more easterly of Roy's roads and then the single
road past Sallochan to Colmonell.
6. Colmonell - Pinwherry (R 2-2, 3-5;
This is very close to the line of today's road - a straighter
line after Clachanton for ¾ mile or so is the main difference.
Near Pinwherry the road left the present road after
Almont and ran across the fields to ford the river where
the Duisk runs into the Stinchar.
it is safe to assume that the route is that of Roy and
indeed it can be interpreted as the same although Almont
is displaced and the river crossing at Pinwherry is
slightly different. This might be the case as he has
a road running down to Newton Stewart which is not shown
shows a mile or so of road heading west from Colmonell.
Pinwherry - Girvan (R 2-1, 2-2, 3-4, 3-5)
This is interesting as it is a "lost road" with a quite
different course from the A714 up through Letterpin.
From just past Almont and after the Pinwherry branch
the road ran close to the river up to Daljarrock. Just
before the stream at NX191875 a branch went up the east
side of Bargain Hill to join up with a branch from Daljarrock
which ran on the west side of the hill (he calls it
the Daljarrock to Girvan Road). Down in the valley the
Pinwherry to Daljarrock road continued on to Barr. The
two roads skirting Bargain Hill joined near Breaker
Hill and then ran north passing a few hundred metres
east of Millerndale, then east of Knocklaugh and keeping
a couple of hundred metres east of Bynehill Burn. From
Pinminnoch past Glendrissaig to the roundabout it must
have been very close to the present A714.
his road ran from near Almont to Daljarroch it doesn't
cross the river like Roy, nor does it go up past Bargain
Hill. Using Thomson, and Armstrong's placing of Letterpin
and the distinctive Motte which he marks as a camp it
is clear that the route had changed from Roy's time
and ran much along the line of the A714, although it
is not marked as a turnpike.
8. Pinwherry - Barrhill - Newton Stewart
(R 3-5; A5)
is no sign on his maps of this route, although he has
a short stretch of road at Pinwherry itself.
over the river at Pinwherry, Thomson shows the road
running past the castle along the line of the railway
and then the modern line of the A714 as far as Barrhill.
His road then had the same line as the B7027 to Newton
Stewart, as the A714 from Barrhill south hadn't been
built yet. Armstrong has the same line to Barrhill but
his road then crossed the river and followed a similar
line to the later A714 to about ¾ mile past Killantringan.
From here it headed southwesterly more or less equidistant
from the two modern roads past Corwan and Barwinnock
to the border with Galloway. Kilantringan with its reference
to St Ninian could indicate an old route for pilgrims
Pinwherry - Barr (R 3-5; A5)
course of the road is quite easy to plot on modern maps
although most traces of it have gone. After crossing
the river at Daljarrock it ran past present Laggansarroch
then just south of Pinmore Mains. It continued to present
Minuntion, crossing and recrossing the river a couple
of times (the meanders have changed but are still recognizable)
before keeping to the north side of the river just below
the hill slopes which are very steep hereabouts. Once
past Benan it crossed to the south side of the river
just above Cairnwhin Farm and ran directly to Barr usually
within 100 metres of the river, and possibly on the
line of the modern road from Doularg onwards. It is
worth noting that the stretch of track skirting present
Benan Farm is clearly shown on Roy so that there is
at least one remnant of the road.
depiction of the roads in this area is somewhat problematic
as we shall see. In general terms he shows a road running
from the Newton Stewart road south of Pinwherry up to
Barr. Off this at Ballimore he has a road running up
past Pinmore House to Letterpin where it joins the road
running from Pinwherry past Daljarrock and Letterpin
first two of these roads seem to have left the Newton
Stewart road just above Drumgrier as a single track
initially and ran over towards present Liglartie and
then up the valley towards Ballimore, though the fit
with the present day minor road is not good so it may
not be the same, albeit close to it. From near to Ballimore
and Docherneil, one road headed over towards Pinclanty
and the other to Pinmore Mains.
interpretations of his map suggest themselves. One is
that past Ballimore the road was the same as the track
shown on Thomson and OS maps running from the end of
the present public road at NX240878 to Pinmore Mains
with the other road leaving this near the Docherneil
Burn and running over towards Pinclanty and present
Cairnwhin. The other is that the Pinmore branch ran
more directly towards Pinmore House (now ruined) after
Ballimore, and the Barr road took much the same course
as mentioned above.
favour of the first option is a good fit with the position
of Ballimore and with a track shown on older O.S.maps
running from just above the Docherneil Burn over to
Cairnwhin. Three things count against this: one is that
he shows the Barr road south of the burn whereas the
O.S. track is north of it. This might not be too serious
as it could be explained as a slight route deviation.
Another is that the O.S. track does not fit the position
of Pinclanty where his road passes to the west of it.
Again this might not be too serious as he shows it too
far from the Stinchar and too near the Drumneillie Burn
to fit the present day farm; and the O.S. track does
run reasonably close to the burn to fit his map. The
other factor is the identity of a hill he shows and
names as Doughraneil. This is important as the two roads
pass on either side of it. If we can identify it as
the hill shown on modern maps at NX230895 this fits
the first course nicely. However, if it is a hill further
west we have to discount the track shown on Thomson
and go for the second hypothesis. Another factor is
that his Pinmore House road displays a definite leftward
curve on it (shown also on the smaller scale Armstrong
map) whereas the Thomson track has a rightward curve.
This would favour the second hypothesis.
Whichever of these two options should prove correct
at least the course after Cairnwhin is south of the
river and so probably identical to Roy's road.
is interesting to note that their small scale map shows
the road going from Ballimore to present Alton Albany
Farm at Barr - its course was north of the Muck Water.
Nothing is shown on Thomson but there are tracks on
the 1905 1" O.S. map which fit part of its course. It
may have been a short lived route which had a kind of
sense as it made its way up the Muck Valley.
north from Pinmore House to Letterpin one would assume
it was close to the present day road running up beside
the Water of Assel almost as far as Letterpin. Yet the
immediate difficulty is that he shows the road veering
away from the river until it is a significant distance
from it. If this is not simply a mistake in mapping
(it is also shown on the small scale map) it might indicate
it was running over to the Pinwherry - Girvan road,
itself on a higher line from today. This is supported
by the distance shown between this road north of Daljarrock
and both the Girvan and the Assel and his depiction
of it going through boggy ground which would be found
in the upland area. It is difficult to say if his Letterpin
is Laigh or Meikle Letterpin although it probably isn't
Roy's Letterpin which is present Pinmore Farm near the
it is disappointing not to be able to identify the course
of these roads more closely it is worth remembering
that the distances involved are quite small e.g. Daljarrock
to Pinmore House is 1½ miles and to Laigh Letterpin
is 3 miles so that the alternative routes sketched above
will be within a mile or less of each other.
Barr - Newton Stewart Hill Road (Cairnfore) (R 3-5;
shows the road running from Barr past Dinmurchie Loch,
then between Cairn Hill and Pinbreck Hill over to the
Balloch - Newton Stewart hill road. There is a suggestion
here and there of a slightly different line but it is
undoubtedly the track shown on the 1925 and earlier
1" maps (later maps are not so good for old tracks).
It came out at Cairnfore on the Balloch Road near the
road runs just below the summit on the right of the picture
Armstrong and Thomson also show this road. Armstrong
has the quote:" At the Nick of Darlae and half a Mile
West the Road leads on the Side of a very steep Hill,
its not above two feet broad and if you stumble you
must fall almost Perpendicular six or seven Hundred
- Old Dailly (R 3-4, 3-5; A5)
road had essentially the same line as the modern road.
Working south from Old Dailly it ran up behind Penkill
and crossed the Penwhapple Burn near the reservoir and
ran down the valley of the Pingarroch Burn (on its east
side, unlike the modern road which is on its west).
Once it reached the Stinchar it ran down to a marked
bridge and crossed into Barr.
one or two things on the map are confusing. These are
the positions of Balcletchy, Brockloch, Tormitchell
and Barbae. Following them strictly would route the
road past the first two farms which would take it a
mile off course. However, he clearly shows the road
running between the Mull of Miljoan and Auchensoul Hill
and then cutting across two streams which fits The Lanes
much better than his Balcletchy. It is also clear that
his crossing of the Penwhapple Burn is very near a distinctive
stretch of the burn, shown also on Thomson, which is
now covered by the reservoir. Finally, the road has
a generally straight course which would be significantly
different if it went through Balcletchie and Brockloch.
Barr - Old/New Dailly (A5)
North of Barr, there are two roads shown, leading to
Lovestone near Old Dailly and to New Dailly. The first
had the same line as the modern road except at Penkill
where it takes the present day right hand road to near
Lovestone. Unlike Roy, his road and the modern road
are on the west of the Pengarroch Burn. The other is
also the same as the modern road that leaves the Balloch
road at Milton However, his road crossed the river about
200 metres short of Milton Bridge and took a straight
line to Milton (shown clearly on Thomson). Further on
there is a stretch of half a mile or so south of Delamford
where it took a straighter line and just crossed the
Lindsayton Burn where it then made directly for Dailly,
passing north of Balcairnie. This may be the track at
Balcairnie shown on modern maps. Thomson has the later
line to Muirston on the main road.
Barr - Balloch (R 3-4, 3-5; A5)
shows a road running the four miles to the junction
with the Nick O'the Balloch road. He routes it south
of the river but it may have run on the higher ground
100/200 metres south of today's road. Due south of Dalwyne
it came nearer to the river to run between it and the
modern road. It crossed the river at present day North
said immediately above, he has the line of the modern
road between Barr and near Milton but doesn't continue
to the Balloch.
Maybole - Crosshill - Balloch - Newton Stewart (R 3-4,
is marked as the road from Wigton to Maybole and Ayr
and is much the same as the present road. From Maybole
to Crosshill it is clearly the modern line as all the
features match up. South of Crosshill is less definite.
He has a road heading east towards Straiton which looks
like the present day track that starts at Dalhowan so
his road has the line of the modern road. It probably
continued on this course just south of the crossroads
at Cloyntie but then took a more direct route to near
Drumyork Hill. He shows the road as passing Blair which
would take it ½ mile west of the modern line but Thomson
shows the present Blair as Upper Blair with a Blair
beside his road so we can assume that Roy was on the
present day line at this point.
South of Blair, Roy shows a straight course and this
suggests it was the track shown on the 1925 1" O.S.
map running between Drumyork Hill and Knockinculloch
(also shown on Thomson).
South of here he shows it as relatively straight and
we would be fairly safe in assuming it has the modern
line. However, there may have been a straighter line
from the vicinity of Sally Pollock's Bridge to North
Balloch. There also seems to have been a present straighter
line near Pinvalley cutting out the sharp bend here.
over the Nick O'the Balloch it may have run a bit closer
to the river as it is shown almost touching it at one
point but it seems to have realigned itself with the
modern road by Cairnfore and the county boundary.
is an interesting "lost road" which left the main road
at Drumyork and headed towards "Whiteford" which was
Blairquhan. It is also shown on Arrowsmith (1807) running
very directly to Blairquhan.
road south of Maybole seems the same as Roy except that
he has a definite bend near Barclay before realigning
with Roy down to Crosshill.
of Crosshill he calls it the Foggy Road. He is much
less accurate than Roy but there are enough clues to
suggest it had the same line as Roy's road, as would
be expected anyway with only 25 years between them.
O'the Balloch looking north with the Brandy Well in foreground
Crosshill - Straiton (R 3-4; A3)
said he shows a road leading off the Balloch/Newton
Stewart Road that fits the track opposite Dalhowan,
just south of Crosshill. This ran over to a place called
Whiteford, now Blairquhan. Just west of Blairquhan near
the distinctive "island" formed by the meanders of Girvan
Water, the road from the "Nick of the Balloch" road
joined it. From here to Straiton it looks as if it headed
for Milton and then went close to the river to cross
near the present bridge.
usual he is imprecise enough to cause problems. One
is that his Straiton road left the Kirkmichael road
rather than the Balloch road as shown on Roy. Another
is that his road ran south of Blairquhan. This would
entail that his route ran near to present Parkfairn
and High Garphar then south of Blairquhan to cross near
to the present bridge. It has to be said, however, that
even if they are different roads they would only have
been 300-400 metres apart and often less along much
of their course.
Straiton - Balloch (R3-4, 3-5; A3,5)
road ran south to Craig on the line of the modern road.
Beyond Craig it crossed the river near Balbeg and then
cut across the hills to Balloch on the line shown on
the 1925 1" O.S. map. However, once past Knockoner (possibly
a reference to Gaelic conaire, a path, showing the age
of the route) it veered south past Lennie and ran between
Dalwine and the Tappins to Balloch passing White Row
on its way.
line is almost certainly that of Roy. The route is also
shown on Thomson in 1828.
Balloch - Dalmellington (R 3-4, 3-5, 4-5; A5,3,4)
stretch from Balloch to Craig was dealt with above.
East of Craig he has a road marked as from Wigton to
Dalmellington with a loop to the north off this road.
It climbed the valley above Craig and at the top the
branch swung north past Darsalloch Hill with the other
route passing Trostan Hill. They seem to have rejoined
south of the Dalcairnie Burn near Nether Barbeth then
continuing to near Home Farm to continue up to Bellsbank.
On the 1925 OS map there is a track from Auldcraigoch
to Meikle Shalloch. His southernmost track probably
lay 200 metres or less to the south of this for a good
mile or so from Meikle Shalloch before cutting across
to Nether Barbeth.
White Row, a road left the Knockoner - Straiton Road
and continued up the Stinchar valley past Black Row
on the north side of the river. Just before Cairnannock
it started to climb, skirted Eldrick Hill and crossed
the Pulreoch Burn near to Tairlaw. It then kept to the
eastern shoulder of Genoch Inner Hill above the burn.
It crossed the Water of Girvan near White Genoch and
made its way up the valley opposite past Baing and the
Chapel Burn to join the Wigton - Dalmellington road
mentioned above, close to Baing Loch.
As already mentioned he has the same line as Roy between
Balloch and Craig. From Craig it is fairly clear that
he continues with the Roy line. His road cut the Baing
Burn near Trostan Hill and passed north of Baing Loch.
He shows it clearly as running between two main streams
that must be the Shalloch Burn and the Gessel Burn.
This could well link it with the track (still a right
of way) from Knockdon to Dalmellington. If so, the link
would be from the vicinity of the Black Loch to Dalmellington.
His road certainly went past what looks like Black Loch
and Shalloch to Barbeth, which this track does. He has
a crossing near Barbeth where the Commissioners of Supply
mention a bridge in a ruinous condition as early as
1720, and a distinct upward turn through Bellsbank where
like Roy's road it joined the Carsphairn road just below
An examination of aerial photographs revealed nothing
conclusive about the course of old tracks across these
shows the new turnpike between Straiton and Dalmellington
and although it looks out of alignment in places there
is hardly any doubt that he is showing the correct line
that the modern road still follows.
shows quite a few tracks in this area. Apart from the
Bellsbank road to Barbeth he has another to the same
place from Doon Bridge on the Straiton road. A branch
ran in a long loop up the Shalloch Burn and back up
to the main road near Gass. From there he had another
route heading to Knockdon.
Straiton - Knockdon - Loch Doon (A3,4,6)
shows the Knockdon road (which still exists as a public
road) although he misses out a part of it on one of
his sheets. He routes it just to the east of Derclach
Loch and then presumably through Nick of the Loup to
join the Loch Doon road below Craigmalloch. The Loch
Doon road runs completely to the end of the Loch and
then another mile or so to Macwhirter that he says was
a hunting lodge lately built by the Earl of Cassillis.
To the north the road terminated at the Ness.
Straiton - Kirkmichael - Dalrymple (R 3-4; A3)
left the Maybole road just beyond Blairquhan and took
a very direct route past King's Hill and Barneil and
then on to Dalrymple. Near to Stepends Bridge, a significant
name, there is a track at grid reference NS364093. The
1925 1" O.S. map shows part of it and Thomson shows
the complete stretch to Guiltreehill.
the straight line of the modern road leading up to Dalrymple
looks tempting, in fact the Roy road ran past Cassington.
It crossed the stream north of here, keeping east of
it to near present Burnbank where it divided. It is
quite difficult to make out where the two tracks then
crossed the river. Keeping strictly to the streams the
western branch would have crossed downstream from the
confluence which would make it near present day Lindsayton.
There is in fact a distinctive meander that suggests
the crossing point was near to NS350135. The other track
would have crossed near to Barnford and Holms where
the Purclewan Burn joins the Doon. At this point Roy
has Dalrymple marked on the map but this may just refer
to a farm prior to the formation of the village, which
today is 300/400 metres away from this confluence.
over the Doon the western branch ran northwards to pass
on the west side of Carcluie Loch where it joined a
road running from Hollybush on the Dalmellington road.
The eastern road went up perhaps near Carcluie where
it joined this road. From here it took a direct line
to Alloway so is very likely to have passed through
Barrhill and Doonholm. Near to Alloway it split, with
one branch following the river to meet the road to the
south, the other continuing to Alloway.
map is imprecise enough to leave the first mile or so
of the road north of Straiton in doubt. As he shows
it running past Milton, Kenmore and Bishopland it could
be the present day track between Milton and Bishopland
Lodge, although it could just as well be the modern
of Bishopland one is more confident it is the modern
line running past Cloncaird and showing the distinctive
junction at Aitkenhead. The present road has quite a
few bends north of Cloncaird and both he and Thomson
show a straighter line so these bends may be later improvements.
is no indication of Roy's route to Dalrymple; however,
he does show similar roads near Dalrymple. One went
over to Hollybush and as it shows the distinctive junction
at Rodinbain is probably the modern line.
Rodinbain he shows an interesting road that ran over
to Patna. On modern maps and on Thomson it is very straight,
although oddly enough the 1925 1" map has a more sinuous
course like Armstrong. It skirted Patna Hill and crossed
the river to Downieston (his Downie) a couple of hundred
metres north of the village. It joined the Ayr - Dalmellington
road here. He shows the Straiton hill track joining
the road just at the river and there would seem to be
no need to doubt that its present course is what he
In the other direction he shows this road with a different
alignment on leaving Dalrymple but this may just be
the mapping. Farther on, however, it is easier to interpret,
passing near Carcluie and forming the track past present
Barrhill, skirting the Doon and then passing Doonholm
Farm to end in Alloway.
said, this appears to be Roy's road. Armstrong also
has a road running from Carcluie up past Mount Oliphant,
Glengall and Whin Muir to meet the Alloway-Ayr road.
This fits the line of the minor public road running
up to High Corton. The stretch from here to Glengall
and the Ayr road is now lost but it ran north of Rozelle
Park and the Slaphouse Burn to come out near the old
racecourse, now playing fields.
South of Dalrymple he has a short stretch of road running
past Barnford to meet the road that ran past Cassilis
and terminated on the present day Dalrymple - Kirkmichael
Road. This may indicate that the main road, as shown
on Thomson, originally ran on to join the Dalrymple
- Kirkmichael road but that it has been realigned at
Chapel Knowe to run north, close to Barnford. The terminus
for Armstrong then is the Kirkmichael road and his spur
to Barnford is now on the line of the realigned main
road and the track to the farm from where it ran up
to Dalrymple. The cut off portion of the Thomson road
(300 metres) lies in the belt of trees near Chapel Knowe
20. Alloway - Cassilis - Dalrymple (A3)
a mile south of Alloway he shows a road leading off
the turnpike and heading down the west side of the Doon
terminating just past Cassilis near Dalrymple. It is
difficult to tell its exact course from the map, even
though it can only be 200 or 300 metres from the river
at any time. Taking the farms and the streams into account
(presumably Long Glen, Brae Glen and Sauchrie Burn)
the best option would be the main road on the bend and
heading between Nether Auchendrane and Blairston and
heading past Whiteleys within 100 metres of the Doon.
It would then have continued near the river to Monkwood
(this is where the A77 crosses just before Minishant)
and it is just possible that the farm track shows its
line. South of this point Thomson has a road passing
Monkwood Mains and Low Midton, now a farm track, and
swinging over to the mill (Newmills of Monkwood) where
Armstrong has a junction with a road to Maybole. The
problem is that Armstrong shows a Midtoun well away
from his road and as Midtoun is on the Thomson road
his road must have been nearer the river. This is not
impossible as there is some 500 metres between the Thomson
road and the river where his road could have run up
to near Monkwood.
the vicinity of the mill, its line may be that of the
tracks near Casillis shown on the 1:25000 OS map running
through Lindsayston Farm to the main road. His road
terminated just past this point although there was a
spur north to Dalrymple, passing Barnford.
Maybole - Cassilis - Dalrymple (A3)
The road Armstrong shows from Maybole to the mill near
Cassilis must be on or close to the turnpike shown on
Thomson as far as High Smithston bridge. From here he
had a road going past Smithston and Corriehill to the
mill (still farm tracks). From the general alignment
there can be little doubt this is the Armstrong road.
The only variation is that Thomson in 1828 shows the
A77 line, introduced by the 1805 Turnpike Act, whereas
Armstrong has his road leading off the Kirkmichael Road
near the present St John's Cottage.
22. Maybole - Kirkmichael (R 3-4; A3)
is initially the Crosshill road as far as Attiquin (see
above). At this point, probably near present Littleton,
it ran along the ridge on which Attiquin farm stands,
passed south of the farm and made directly for present
Auchencairney and Hillhead. From here to the junction
with the north-south road at Dryrock Hill it is identical
with, or at least on the same line, as the modern road.
shows another road near Maybole that ran between Heart
Loch and the Ayr Road.
Kirkmichael road itself is clearly not the Thomson road
which is the modern line. The best fit seems to be from
the area of St John's Cottage, skirting the top of the
loch just above Heart Loch which was much smaller then.
It would then have headed for the area of Harkieston
bridge to skirt the top of larger Chapelton Loch. He
shows it skirting Barlaugh (Barloch) and then Chaple
(Chapleton) which to an extent seems quite a diversion.
There is however an interesting feature just north of
Auchenairney that runs towards Chapelton and looks very
like an abandoned road. From this point the map suggests
a similar line to the modern road to Kirkmichael.
Maybole - Ayr (R 3-4, 3-3; A3)
route is the same as the B7024 running up through Culroy.
This became the turnpike road. Armstrong and Thomson
show it as well.
has the same line as Roy. Once past Alloway it ran past
Rozelle Park. Some realignment work has been done at
some time on the sharp bend near Maryland, south of
north of Maybole he shows a road leading off the Ayr
road into the Carrick Hills. He has it leaving this
road far too soon as it is the minor road about a mile
and a half north of Maybole that leads up to Sauchrie.
Going by the rivers and farm positions it would appear
to be on the line of the present road as far as the
Sauchrie Burn and Culroy Burn bridges. From there, as
Thomson shows, it would have headed uphill to the right
hand side of Sauchrie Burn to terminate a little farther
on, perhaps at the summit.
24. Turnberry - Ayr (R 3-4, 3-3; A3)
road ran from Milton at Turnberry, through the present
Lands of Turnberry to the shore at Maidens. Once over
the Hogston Burn it ran almost directly past Culzean
Castle to skirt the beach near present Goatsgreen Cottage.
From here it ran up to Dunure Mains, Kilbride and Largs
farm. It may, using clues from Armstrong (showing the
same road) have run a bit higher up the hill, perhaps
shown by the track at Dunduff Farm.
it passed slightly below Largs, it was probably near
here that it started to descend towards the shore. It
is interesting to see that unlike Armstrong he routes
it through the holiday camp to come out at the Deil's
Dike at Greenan Castle and then on into Ayr. Armstrong
has it hitting the shore just after the Heads of Ayr
and running along the beach to Greenan. After crossing
the Doon, it ran into Ayr.
has the same line as Roy to Goatsburn Cottage except
at Maidens where his road ran on the beach.
Northwards from Goatgreen Cottage (or wherever the road
hit the coast) there was a clear run of at least a mile
over the sands to Croy Bay caravan park from where it
climbed to the high ground. It passed Dunure Mains but
then climbed higher to Kirkbride. From there it may
be the path running from here to Fisherton, and then
on the line of the modern road past Gateside ("roadside")
and Genoch. It then seems to have run downhill in a
fairly straight course to the beach at the former Butlins
holiday camp. From there it turned inland below Greenan
Castle and farm to cross the Doon at Doonfoot and so
run into Ayr.
Maybole - Culzean (A3)
shows a road from Maybole to Culzean. This is the same
as the Kirkoswald road as far as Whitefaulds. It headed
past West Enoch and followed a similar line to the modern
road to the north of Mochrum Hill. It then made for
the coast north of Culzean but its course is hard to
tell. One possibility is that is has the line of the
minor road from Balchriston Lodge down to Goatsgreen
Cottage. The other is that it headed towards Whiteston
and then followed the present track past Bowmanhill
Cottage to Goatsgreen Cottage and the sands.
26. Cumnock - New Cumnock - Sanquhar
(R 4-5; A4)
this avoided an unnecessary crossing of the river so
headed out past the football ground. It then swung south
keeping quite close to the river before cutting through
Netherthird near the school and lining up with the present
road near the Skerrington estate. Borland is shown.
In fact a road ran from the town centre to Barshare
Farm before the Barshare estate was built and this appears
on Thomson's map so is likely to have been Roy's road.
From Braehead to New Cumnock its line was very close
to the present day road that, apart from some modern
realignments, is built on the turnpike. Interestingly
if one compares the bends on his road with the modern
road they are identical although there is a straighter
line near the bridge as it nears New Cumnnock. Another
indication of a deviation is his having the road east
of Lowes (presumably Lochhill).
the present day bridge, one could get to the Kirk and
the Mill on the west side of the Afton. Strangely enough
the present day ford is not marked. At the Mill, as
today, the road headed for Dumfries. There must be a
reason for this distinctive deviation from the bridge
over the Nith down to the mill. One can only speculate
about the effect the castle and the mill might have
had on the road, or indeed the higher ground on the
way out of the town.
the bends fit the modern road very well as far as the
county border at Marchburn. The only exceptions are
the suggestion that on leaving the town it went slightly
north and then south of the present road before Polquhirter
and that there was a straighter line at Polshill.
One interesting change is that the new turnpike, which
he is showing, took a straighter line south of Cumnock,
effectively up the present Glaisnock Road. Apart from
that the road looks very like Roy's. The implication
is that the line of the earlier road and perhaps its
construction was sound enough to incorporate into the
Drove Road (R4-5, 5-4)
New Cumnock this had the course of what is now the road
north of the Nith. At Glen it ran to the north of
Hill to head down by still existing tracks to Kirkland
a mile or two north of Kirkconnel. From here it ran
to Fingland and made its way over towards the Crawfordjohn
area. Older O.S. maps show much of its course.
28. New Cumnock - Glen Afton (A4)
he shows a road running up Glen Afton. Apart from an
odd misalignment at the start this is the same as the
present day road that finishes at Craig. From here it
is only about 5 miles to another public road in Dumfriesshire
that runs south to join the Carsphairn - Moniave road.
The course was past Montraw then over the county boundary
just east of Alwhat to run down between Ewe Hill and
Lairg Hill to near Lairg.
Cumnock - Kilmarnock (R 4-5, 4-6; A2,4)
stretch to Auchinleck is clearly the modern road although
there is a hint of straightening here and there. North
of Auchinleck there have been considerable improvements
in recent years. However, the road prior to these improvements,
effectively on the turnpike line, shows little deviation
from Roy. Exceptions are a bend to the left on crossing
the Dippol Burn, then a suggestion of a slightly different
line beyond here. The line at the old Howford Bridge
over the River Ayr seems the same as the turnpike. A
bridge is marked on the map.
Once past Mauchline the road is very similar to the
modern line. Beyond the present Crosshands where a road
heads for Galston, it ran to the west of Rodingford
House and crossed the river at Bridgehouse. From there
it curved to the right to reach Woodhead, near Crossroads.
then aligned directly with Hurlford so is presumably
a couple of hundred yards east of the present road.
From Hurlford it continued into Kilmarnock by the present
London Road. It may be significant that the road makes
for Hurlford and Kilmarnock rather than Riccarton as
happened with the roads shown on Moll in 1718 and Bowles
in 1735 that ran west of this line. This may reflect
the growing importance of Kilmarnock in relation to
Riccarton that would make part at least of this road
line is similar to Roy, although he does not show the
bend above the Dippol Burn and has a straighter line
at Old Howford Bridge. This was still the main road
until recent years when the Howford Bridge and associated
approaches were opened. It has now been removed from
the list of public highways.
Mauchline he shows the Crosshands junction, with a still
existing Loch Brown, and that of Crossroads. The major
change of alignment was at Bargower where the road ran
directly to Bargower and can still be seen in the fields.
Interestingly there was a later change prior to the
present course and it can be easily seen on the other
side of the road. Thomson has a Gateside a little off
the turnpike and this may indicate an earlier road.
There is also a Craigenconner (possibly from Gaelic
conaire, a path) nearby.
of Bargower the road ran directly to Hurlford (Whiteford
in Armstrong and Whirlford in Thomson) on what is now
the B7073 north of the roundabout at the prison. From
there it went straight along London Road into Kilmarnock.
30. Cumnock - Muirkirk; Muirkirk towards
Sorn (R 4-5, 5-4; A4)
crossing near to the old bridge at Logan, the distinctive
bend that used to be here is not shown. Beyond this
point it had the same course as the later turnpike except
at Stonebriggs and Boghead where it passed to the south
of the farms. It probably crossed the Ayr at or near
to Wellwood Bridge although the river has changed hereabouts.
The stretch into Muirkirk and then to the county boundary
had much the same line as the modern road but is less
straight than this. At Airdsgreen it crossed to the
south side of the river and ran up past Darnhunch to
Parish Holm on the Lanarkshire border where it continued
on the south side of the stream unlike the modern road.
he shows what is now the Sorn road that leaves the A70
at Wellwood, it terminates at Greenockmains on the Greenock
Water. This left a gap of about five miles to Sorn from
where there was a road to Mauchline.
Cumnock to Muirkirk Road also had the modern line except
for the bridge below Logan and some small realignments.
However, he shows the road passing just south of Boghead
whereas Thomson and the modern road pass to the north
of it. South of the farm there is a double field boundary
that may be significant. It is likely that it is the
same as Roy's road.
There is however a degree of confusion at the Sorn Road
where he has a road running up to Woods (Netherwood)
and then continuing north to Plewlands in Avondale parish.
From his positioning of March (near to present Entryhead)
and Wellwood, shown on Roy as just east of the Sorn
Road and the fact that his Dalfram is not on the present
road between Netherwellwood and Netherwood it is likely
that he is showing Roy's Cumnock and Sorn roads.
road to Netherwood and Plewlands is confirmed by the
same track being shown on Arrowsmith in 1807. Using
both maps for clues it must have headed north from the
junction of the Sorn Road (not the present day minor
road nearby) to pass west of Burnfoot and Middlefield
Law. It would have crossed the headwaters of the Polkebock
Burn and then have gone over Bibblon Hill to High and
Laigh Plewland. These are just north of the present
day Glengavel reservoir.
modern maps show stepping stones at Netherwellwood but
they do not link to Roy so may be of local use.
through Muirkirk he has the modern line near to Airds
Green but like Roy his road then went up to Darnhinch
and over to Parisholm. There are still stretches of
track between these points. There was a branch up to
Glenbuck House but this may now be under the loch. Thomson
shows the modern line of the road.
Mauchline - Sorn (R 4-6; A4)
the gap on the Muirkirk side, there was a road from
Sorn to Mauchline. It left Sorn castle and ran up to
Burnside on the Burn O'Need. Once over the river it
ran about 200 metres south of the present road heading
for East and West Walton and may be the present day
track here. It then ran up to the eastern edge of the
32. Muirkirk - Sorn - Mauchline (A4)
Unlike Roy, he shows a continuous link between Muirkirk
and Mauchline, apparently on the modern line. The start
of the Sorn - Galston road is shown as far as the Wealth
of Waters (he displaces Meadowhead).
Sorn Area (A4)
of Sorn he shows the old bridge near the church, and
the road leading up to Gilminscroft. At this point there
is a straight stretch to the right that must be the
road leading past Laigh Logan. Above Gilminscroft he
shows what became known as the Heilar Road, although
his road was straighter than the modern map shows. It
seems to have crossed the river near Mid Heilar and
made its way up to the Muirkirk Road near Burntshields.
Cumnock - Ochiltree - Ayr (R 4-5, 3-3; A4,3)
road crossed the Glaisnock near the present bridge on
the Tanyard. It then went on the south side of the river
(the course has changed near the Academy) to line up
near the present roundabout with the avenue in the grounds
of Dumfries House. This track may well be the old turnpike
perhaps built on Roy's road since the Earl of Dumfries
asked for it to be moved away from the house in 1827.
Dumfries House Mains Farm there is a distinctive bend
southwards where it looks to have taken up the line
of today's road as far as Ochiltree.
Ochiltree it has the general line of the later turnpike
but it is difficult to say how exact a match it is.
On the one hand it is tempting to say the turnpike (effectively
the A70) is based on it as is the case with other roads.
A made road would make their work easier. In addition,
one or two of his place names are on the turnpike line.
Against this is his depiction of a fairly winding road
(unlike the turnpike) with a very distinctive bend near
to Coalhall, which given his surprising accuracy has
to be taken seriously. In addition, place names have
changed and one or two farms that have implications
for the course of the road such as his Tarelgin are
nowhere near the road.
his mapping is accurate there would have been a slightly
winding road out as far as Killoch (which fits his Torbeghill
better than the present High Tarbeg). However, there
may have been a deviation from the turnpike line where
his road would have run north of this to above West
Tarelgin (his Elgdon?) then swung down and along to
here he goes just south of Macoshton, crosses the Coyle
near the present bridge and passes just north of Duchray.
His placing of the road in relation to Barngore, Gallowhill
and Corbieston Byres serves to confirm it was on or
very near the later turnpike. From Corbieston Byres
there was a straighter line than the modern road suggests
(there has been a major realignment here which can be
seen on modern maps); so it was even more pronounced.
There is in fact a track north of the present road that
meets the alignment. Again, the road has been straightened
just before the Old Toll, which fits the bend he shows.
From here it ran past Holmston into Ayr although it
followed the river up to the old town, unlike the modern
At Coylton a road ran down to Raithhill from near Hillhead
and part of it may have been on the line of the Dalrymple
Road (B742). Beyond Gallowhill he shows another road
to Barquhey and the river with a bridge that fits the
present road perfectly. Once over the river it continued
in the direction of Raithhill.
above Gateside near to NS375214 he shows a road running
to Craighall and then across the river to St Quivox.
far as the Ayr to Cumnock road goes, he shows it as
a turnpike. Apart from the modernising of the road there
are no changes, except for the stretch of a mile or
so west of Ochiltree that has been replaced by a new
road. West of where the Littlemill to Stair road joins
it, he has a road leaving it at Arthurston that ran
up to Bridgend where the Water of Coyle is crossed.
A minor loop ran off this up past Sundrum. From the
river it went to Stair passing to the south of Dalmore.
There are no clues to its route between these points.
It may have gone up to Broadwood and then right past
Springs to Dalmore and Stair. This Broadwood stretch
was part of a turnpike approved in 1774 from Coylton
and Galston. The stretch might have been in existence
before the turnpike and incorporated in it but its line
seems unnecessarily long for a route to Stair. The alternative
would be for an earlier river crossing at or near the
turnpike bridge and a more direct line, perhaps passing
the suggestively named Gatefoot that is shown on the
1:25000 map as a small enclosure at NS424214.
north of this he shows a road starting at Gadgirth,
crossing the Ayr and running up to the Mauchline road.
This seems to have the course of the turnpike and the
modern road over Gadgirth Bridge, past Annbank to Mossblown
Near to Ayr another road cuts northward past Auchincruive
and St Quivox to end at the Galston road. At first glance
it looks like the B744 at Belston but in fact is the
track that starts at the point marked Old Toll at NS366208
and runs up past Gateside to Auchincruive. He shows
a definite crossroads at the Mauchline road - as there
was a staggered junction here prior to the roundabout
that opened in 2003, there has been a fairly extensive
realignment at some time.
remainder of the road to Ayr is the modern line.
Ochiltree - Mauchline (R 4-6, 4-5; A4)
to Ochiltree, Roy shows the road that runs up past Barturk
and Auchenbay to Roddenloft. At Roddenloft it took a
straight line past the south east corner of a rectangular
precursor of the plantation here and ran up to the River
Ayr. He shows the distinctive turn once over the bridge
but it made its way over to Haughyett and the Cumnock
Road rather than the straighter line of today. Various
driveways are shown on the Barskimming Estate.
Ochiltree/Auchinleck/Mauchline area (A4)
Ochiltree to Auchinleck road is shown (Barony Road)
although it should be noted that it went over the old
bridge and then parallelled the modern road about 200
metres west of it (still a track). The distinctive sharp
corner is still there, only displaced 200 metres to
the west. From there it ran directly to Auchinleck.
Old House;Dumfries House - Auchinleck
shows a number of roads in the policies of Auchinleck
Old House which still exist as farm tracks. Similarly
Dumfries House had a road running west of the House
past Temple and up to Dalsalloch near the new Auchinleck
primary school. There are present day farm tracks on
this alignment, including The Avenue which may well
be the traces of this road.
of Mauchline, the road down to the River Ayr at Barskimming
Old Bridge is shown on what looks like the modern line,
unlike Roy who, as said, routed it via Haughyett. It
terminates at present day Crosshill. This is where the
turnpike to Drongan, authorised in 1774, bends sharply
south. This could mean he was showing work in progress
although equally the turnpike could have used the existing
road. The start of the Ballochmyle road is shown - this
is the minor road that leaves the A76 near Kingencleugh
north of the creamery he has a road running to Old Barskimming
Bridge. Just short of the bridge another road ran up
to the Ayr road and this is probably the track running
through Highland and Muir.
Dalmellington towards New Cumnock (R 4-5; A4)
has a road shown by a single line, which perhaps denotes
a track, which ran south of the river for about a mile
then crossed and ran up past Pennyvenny and Clawfin.
Thus far it is very close to the line of the later turnpike
but it then headed northwards keeping to the west of
the Nith and terminated just beyond present day Upper
road to New Cumnock is that of the modern road and is
easier to follow on Thomson. The only exception is the
first mile which kept to the south of the burn. As said,
Roy had his road running near to Upper Beoch and fading
New Cumnock - Littlemill (A4)
Bank (present Craigbank or Bankglen, near to New Cumnock)
he has a road leading over the hills to Bonnyton, near
Littlemill. It ran between Farden and Whitehill over
to Burnston. Thomson doesn't show this track and although
there are odd tracks here and there on later maps none
seem to fit. In any case much of the route passes through
opencast workings so is totally lost. From Benston it
passed over or near to Tappet Hill, Burnockhead (his
Burnhead) and then over to Old Polquhairn. It is on
this stretch that Newall and Lonie identified what is
very likely to have been this road at NS512148 which
is just past Burnhead although they followed it to Auchencloigh.
There was no definite sign of the road on aerial photographs.
is hard to tell from the map what the course was after
Old Polquhairn. He shows it joining the turnpike near
Littlemill close to a road which ran to Ochiltree past
Belston Loch. From Thomson this looks very like the
present road to Sinclairston, although it terminates
there. This would mean Armstrong's road cut across in
an almost due westerly direction to this junction with
no readily identifiable track on Thomson or later maps
to link it with. A more straightforward alternative
would have been the track shown on Thomson running from
above Old Polquhairn through Drumbowie and Waterton
to Littlemill. This still exists as a road between Drumbowie
and Littlemill. The topological fit, however, is poor.
A possible solution is that Amstrong's Ochiltree road
is shown by the linear enclosure opposite Craigbrae
Cottages on the 1:25000 map. This also appears on Thomson.
The reason this fits is that it is north of Bonnyton
whereas the present Sinclairston road runs to the south.
That would then allow the road from New Cumnock to join
the turnpike near to there (and north of Bonnyton) which
is more consistent with the map as Thomson has his Sinclairston
and the modern road south of Bonnyton.
Littlemill - Ochiltree (A4)
implication here is that Armstrong's route to Ochiltree
is not the same as Thomson, albeit only as far as Sinclairston.
In general terms, this is an interesting route as it
has indications of being very early. One hint is given
by a Glenconner being on the path, conaire being a Gaelic
word for "path", another is that there is a farm called
Rottenrow near to Glenconner. One theory has this to
mean Route de Roi, or King's Highway.
The best fit for the route would be to start near Craigbrae
Cottages, running along a ridge of high ground to Belston
and then following the course of the present road south
of Barlosh and Plaid Loch (which was more extensive
then) before swinging north through Rottenrow to Glenconner.
From there it would have gone up through Holehouse and
Findlaystone to join the turnpike just west of Ochiltree.
It is unlikely the present day track from Rottenrow
to Barlosh fits as it runs north of Plaid Loch.
40. Dalmellington -
Ayr; Dalmellington - Carsphairn (R 4-4, 4-5, 3-4, 3-3;
Note: This road is dealt with in more
detail in the Miscellaneous section of this website -
see the Ayr - Kirkcudbright Road
the chapter on Roman Roads we referred to MacDonald's
paper on the course of a putative Roman road from Dalmellington
to Ayr (first proposed by the historian George Chalmers
in Caledonia and based on information from the antiquarian
Joseph Train) which he identified with Roy's and Armstrong's
roads. In that article he reproduced Roy's road alongside
the current OS map of the same route to show it was
the same as the "Roman Road". Although we
are not concerned here with his argument that the road
was an early parish road rather than Roman it is of
interest to see what course he thought the Roy road
it is worth recounting the course given by Chalmers,
viz: Burnhead - Chapmeknowes - Polnessan - Smithston
- Cube - Boreland - Mains Hill - Causeway - Purclewan
Mill - Brae - Lindsayton - Cockhill - Whitestanes -
Ayr. The road ran past Sillyhole on to the high ground
above the Doon Valley and continued on to where the
Drongan road is now. MacDonald shows tracks from the
OS map that are probably the road although Roy's Sillyhole
- Burnhead line is straighter than MacDonald suggests.
Roy's map tends to confirm that from Burnhead the road
took a relatively straight line as far as the Drongan
Road rather than leaving the Rankinston road a mile
or so further on as shown on Armstrong - this would
have called for a distinct change of alignment on Roy.
of Smithston, Roy's road matches the track MacDonald
shows (it can be seen on the 1897 1"OS map) which passes
Newfield, skirts the modern road west of Boreland and
runs to Mains. North of Mains the course is actually
marked on the 1897 map as a Roman Road. Chalmers and
MacDonald have it going through Purclewan Mill and along
the attractive old road with its double hedgerows that
can be seen
The road to Purclewan
from the Dalrymple road but this would have shown up
as a major deviation on Roy. It is more likely that
it just ran straight, more or less following the realigned
modern road to line up with the stretch of the A713
north of the Dalrymple road where MacDonald has it rejoin
after his Purclewan Mill deviation.
mile north of here, the 1897 map shows the "Roman
Road" again. It started at the slight bend just
after the industrial estate, went through Cockhill Wood
and crossed the A713 at Ailsa Hospital to become the
farm track on modern maps which runs past Braston. It
then passed to the west of Castlehill and ran directly
to the centre of Ayr.
of Dalmellington (not examined by MacDonald), two roads
are shown. The westerly one split soon after leaving
the town with one route to Barrbeth (the farm track
to the east of Bellbank) and one down to Carsphairn
and Kirkcudbright (the track 200 metres south of Bellsbank
Farm). The easterly road is not shown on modern O.S.
maps but appears on older editions. It ran over the
Town's Common close to the present A713 before cutting
down to join the previously mentioned road just west
of Mossdale. From here it made directly for Bryan's
Heights and Cairnennock close to the county boundary.
Its course can be followed south of here on the older
O.S. maps as the "Old Pack Road".
Dalmellington south (not examined by MacDonald) the
course of the old pack route is shown as on Roy above.
The modern road follows the later turnpike. The road
north to Ayr is not shown by Armstrong as a turnpike
so it is likely to be the same as that shown by Roy.
only major change from the modern road is near the crossroads
with the Dalrymple - Coylton road (B742). Heading north
there is a minor road to the left just past Benston.
The turnpike ran along this for about 300 metres and
then looped north past Boneston (now a farm track) and
then headed for Boghall Cottages where it turned left
to a point over the other side of the A713 opposite
the old road to Purclewan Mill when it took up its line
for Ayr again. The road has been considerably modernised
hereabouts but it is still on the old turnpike line.
Mauchline - Ayr (R 4-6, 3-3; A3,4)
road is either on or close to the later turnpike line.
Places match up as do the bends in the road. At Carngiling
(present Carngillan Cottages) a road went south past
Yett to Stair and north to Tarbolton. The Stair stretch
is shown as
winding than the modern road but is very close to its
line. It does not appear to continue south of Stair.
The northward stretch shows the distinctive bend at
Strandhead so is probably the modern road. It did not
continue north of Tarbolton.
Beyond Carngillan the course to Ayr lines up very well
with the turnpike and the modern road although there
is a suggestion of later straightening here and there.
It joined the Galston - Hamilton road at Whitletts and
ran into Ayr on the north side of the river.
is shown as a turnpike and matches well with Roy.
42. Mauchline - Irvine (R 4-6; A1,3,4)
This is shown as the road from Irvine to Sanquhar and
Dumfries. From Mauchline it left the Kilmarnock road
just north of the Burns memorial and ran past East and
West Mossgiel to Skeoch so presumably its course is
partly in the fields here before it takes the modern
line. It then went past a farm called Fencedykes which
Thomson shows on the turnpike about a mile west of Skeoch.
At this point the road seems to have left the later
line and headed up to Millburn and Boghead. It then
skirted Adamhill on its east side to make its way to
present day Caldrongill which he and Thomson show as
High Caldrongill. His line is straight from Boghead
so it may not be the minor road running past Plewlands
although it cannot be far from it.
It then follows the present day line as shown by the
placing of Craigie Castle and Syke and its general alignment.
It crossed the then Ayr to Kilmarnock road but surprisingly
this is the road running up through Symington, that
is, the A77 line did not exist then. Beyond the crossroads
at Dyke it still has the modern line as far as the bend
at Muirhill. From here it carried straight on as the
minor road for 500 metres. Its course is then shown
on modern maps by the plantation which runs west for
100 metres then runs north past Newfield Mains Farm.
Rather than continuing northwards it cut across towards
Dundonald then ran north to Drybridge and Dreghorn.
It is tempting to associate his road with the present
one but his line is straighter and passes the distinctive
meander at Drybridge some distance to the west. Conceivably
his map is consistent with a line running about 100/200
metres west of the present road and still aligned with
the ford at Holmford. North of here there is a distinct
bend lining up on the kirk so it may not be the same
as the modern road, i.e. it went east of this then curved
round to line up on the church.
Crosshands - Galston (R 4-6; A2,4)
first crossed at Lawersbridge and followed the modern
road as far as the bend at Millside. From here it passed
west of Millrig to line up on Old Walls and then ran
past Sparnelbank to the Ayr road as it leaves Galston.
Curiously enough there is a track from Sparnelbank which
meets the Ayr road almost exactly where Roy shows it
but this is not shown on Thomson so may be a later track.
shows the road on its modern line, as always much clearer
on Thomson but with a major difference near Galston.
Thomson shows the modern line, passing Gauchalland Farm
and joining the Ayr Road on the outskirts of the town.
Armstrong also shows this but as a minor road. The main
route carried straight on to the centre of the town.
It is not clear what the course was, possibly past Sparnelbank
and straight down the hill to the road just south of
Galston primary school but there are no definite traces
on later maps.
Ayr - Galston (R 3-3, 4-6; A2,3,4)
Ayr the line is very close to that of the later turnpike.
It went up past Whitletts, St Quivox and Sandyford on
a line now covered by the bypass and then followed the
line of the A719 which leaves the A77 at Sandyford.
Lady Kirk and Brownhill are shown and the bends of both
roads match up very well. It may have passed a little
closer to Brownhill.
Fail there was a road running to Mauchline. This ran
past Mosside and is probably on the line of the minor
road and the track beyond which is lined up on the Mauchline
- Irvine road described earlier which it joined a few
hundred yards south of Millburn.
from Fail there was a junction at or very near to where
the B730 leaves the A719 today. The left hand road went
up to Riccarton and effectively followed the line of
the present Craigie Road. However it seems to have cut
across country past Caldrongill and up to High Langside
where it lined up with the Craigie Road. It is interesting
to see that he has a Gateside and a Gatehouse marked
on the map.
Galston road continued from this junction, formed a
crossroads with his Irvine Road just past Adamhill and
crossed a stream at Townend. However, after this point
there is a major change in alignment from the modern
road. Just before Fairwells there was an old track shown
on the earlier OS maps which went up near Maintree,
shown by Roy as High Trees. The road then went past
Mosside which fits East Mosside and lined up with Shaws
Mill, close to the present bridge. There is a minor
road between Maintree and East Mosside and part of it
may be on Roy's line. From East Mosside there is a drop
of 200 feet on a regular downward slope which would
have been very difficult for carriages. The turnpike
line which was like a "bowstring" from Shaws Mill bridge,
cutting out the later bend, reduced the climb to about
over the river it ran to the Kilmarnock- Cumnock road
which at that time went through Woodhead. From here
to Galston its line is almost entirely modern.
Mauchline and Galston roads diverged at Whitletts at
the traffic lights heading into Ayr from Whitletts roundabout.
The first part of the Galston road has been lost under
the A77 although it has the same line. It can be followed
from the traffic lights up to the retail park where
it continues on the other side of the road as a lane.
It then takes the line of the A77 but remains as a layby
accessed on the northward carriageway. It re-emerges
at the Galston turnoff. As an aside it is interesting
to see that Sandyford had been a crossroads (although
not in Armstrong's time) with a road leading to Monkton.
Part of this remains on the far side of the A77 but
it is eventually lost under the runways.
From Sandyford to Galston it is essentially the same
as the present road. There has been some realignment
at Fail where Armstrong suggests, and Thomson shows,
a definite corner rather than a bend as shown on later
maps. This in turn has been superseded by a modern alignment
- the old road can still be seen on the east side of
Another realignment is at Carnell where originally the
road came in a direct line from Shaws Mill Bridge for
about 700 metres crossing the Cessnock near Airds Farm.
The track is still there. As it is mentioned in the
1878 list of highways it was still in use at that time.
This stretch replaced that shown on Roy which went up
past Maintree and Mosside - presumably to lessen the
the Galston road he has a short road leading to Ladykirk,
presumably the present day track and a mile or so further
on, a link to Tarbolton past Torcross, which is still
a road. He also has a link from Tarbolton to the Mauchline
road emerging at Coilfield. This may be the present
day track running just west of King Coil's Grave.
Kilmarnock - Galston - Darvel (R 4-6; A2)
running along present day London Road it crossed at
Hurlford and ran along south of the river to Galston.
From the map it appears to have ran closer to the river
than the present road for much of its length but against
this impression is the fact that this is a low lying
area subject to flooding.
the case, it crossed to the north side of the Irvine
and ran up the valley to Newmilns and Darvel with essentially
the same line as the turnpike and the A71 although there
have been some improvements over the years. Loudoun
Castle had an extensive network of driveways at this
time. There is a significant change from the modern
line however at Priestland beyond Darvel where it ran
up by Gorsebraehead and Coathill to cross the county
boundary. Its course may in part be shown by the present
day minor road south of the A71.
It is interesting to note that he has a Gateside (still
existing) up the Glen Water although no road is shown.
shows a road running along the line of London Road,
crossing at Hurlford (his Whirlfoord) and then, by now
a turnpike, taking a very similar line to the A71. It
seems to have gone along the wynd at the Mill Shop in
Galston. It then crossed the river and its course through
Newmilns and Darvel seems straightforward.
Newmilns, the road which branches off at the old Co-operative
building is shown as far as Dalwhatswood. He shows two
bridges in Newmilns and one may be that shown on Pont.
East of Darvel there is a major difference from the
present route from Priestland onwards where as the "Old
Edinburgh Road" it routed itself through Gorsebraehead
and Coathill, as on Roy's map.
road went north of the river back into Kilmarnock. He
shows it clearly as running south of Loudoun Kirk so
we must assume a lost stretch between the roundabout
and the Kirk. From here on it is clearly the minor road
running through Milton and Templeton Burn until the
sharp bend at the old Crookedholm school where it continues
as a path. The track up to Ralstonhill is shown, as
is a short stretch of the road that runs towards Grougar
Galston to Glasgow Road (R 4-6; A2)
road ran almost directly north to what is now Howletsburn
and then took a distinct turn to the north west where
it took up the modern line. There has been a change
in recent years near Alton where the turnpike ran over
Alton Bridge on the minor road and it may be that this
was the line of Roy's road.
North of this point the road can be followed easily
enough up to Waterside and has the modern line although
there has been a realignment north of Moscow. Beyond
Waterside it does not appear on the map. This does not
necessarily mean the road did not exist at that time
as in some instances the Military Survey omitted roads
- this may have happened here especially as the road
finishes at the edge of a map sheet. The main Glasgow
road is shown clearly enough.
line seems very similar to Roy and the modern road and
is shown as a turnpike.
Kilmarnock - Irvine (R 4-6; A1,2)
This is essentially the same road as the turnpike and
the old A71, prior to the new dual carriageway to Irvine,
which ran through Dreghorn, Springside and Crosshouse.
is the same road as Roy. From the roundabout west of
Springside it continues as the present main street in
Dreghorn as far as the roundabout just after the secondary
school and continues on the far side into Irvine.
Crosshouse there are two short lengths of road to the
south. One is shown taking the line of the present road
to Gatehead and then leaving this to go past Windyedge
Cottages to terminate at Moorfield; the other ran down
to the Gatehead to Springside Road to terminate there
- there had been a mill at this location.
of Crosshouse his road to Kilmaurs is that which runs
up through Knockentibber (B751). Just before Dreghorn
he shows a road running to near the old church at Perceton
past Muirhouses and Capringstone. There are footpaths
now at both ends of this road.
Kilmarnock - Kilmaurs; Kilmarnock - Stewarton (R 4-6,
this is the one road. It is on the line of the modern
road that runs behind the railway station, past the
Johnnie Walker distiillery, up to the roundabout at
Hillhead. Beyond this, it follows Kilmaurs road to the
junction about a mile up the road.
more westerly road ran to Kilmaurs on the modern line
and although a wide main street is shown, it didn't
extend beyond the town. The other road ran to Stewarton,
again on the modern line. There is a staggered junction
where it crosses the Kilmaurs to Fenwick road.
these roads are not shown as turnpikes and look very
like Roy's roads, as described above. He shows a short
stretch (B751) running from Kilmaurs to join the Stewarton
road south of Shaw Bridge. Another road led over to
Cunninghamehead. It looks very like the modern road
except for a straighter line on the approach to Cunninghamehead.
Another short length of road, although longer than Roy,
is shown north of Kilmaurs ending just past Covershaw.
Ayr - Monkton - Symington - Kilmarnock (R 3-3, 4-6;
over the river, it ran in a very direct line to Monkton
on a course almost identical to the modern road running
through Prestwick. Its course through the airport is
now lost but is easily seen on earlier OS maps.
Monkton the road went east for a short distance and
then changed its alignment through a couple of distinct
bends to the north-east, i.e. towards Kilmarnock. There
are few clues to its course on the map but it passed
very close to the monument and then ran about 100 metres
or so north of the A77, making for Stockbridge Farm
and Symington. It appears as the road running through
the village up past Knockendale to Dyke where it crossed
the Irvine Road.
here it ran directly to Fortacres so must be close to
the present road. It then went up to the south of Caprington
Castle. The best fit for this stretch (despite his placing
of Earlston and the missing stream) might be up to Earlston
then about 200/300 metres east of the Todrigs Burn to
reach the river 300 metres or so west of the present
bridge. There is in fact a field boundary along the
putative line of the road between Fortacres and Earlston.
It then ran along the river bank to stop just past the
Kilmarnock Water at a point where there were stepping
shows the turnpike which replaced Roy's older road through
Symington. It ran from Monkton up to the Dutch House
roundabout and from there is now overbuilt by the new
road. There is, however, a short stretch at Spittalhill
just north of Bogend Toll where half a mile of the old
road remains. From this point, it continues as the Ayr
Road (B7038) running to Riccarton and Kilmarnock.
Ayr- Irvine (R 3-3, 4-6, A1,3)
course from Ayr to Monkton was outlined above. From
Monkton it headed north for a few hundred yards but
then swung west towards Monktonhill. It then swung east
again to line up on Crossburn, Colellan, and Gateside.
This is an
that on leaving Monkton the road may have headed from
near Townhead Bridge over to the White House and followed
the road to Fairlees to join up with the B746 south
then had the line of the old A78 as shown by the B746
through Loans and then the minor road that parallels
the dual carriageway north of Gateside.
road is shown as a turnpike and passed through Prestwick
and Monkton. North of here there is a minor deviation
from Roy, the road taking a more direct line to Loans
but after this point both roads seem to be the same.
It is in this area that Armstrong has his well-known
warning about quicksands. This referred to the alternative
road over the sands, viz. "There is a dangerous quicksand
on the road at the Foot of Powburn to avoid it keep
as near to the sea as the tide will allow." There was
a toll near present day Heathfield Road from where it
cut across sand dunes past the spittal at Kingcase to
reach the sands at Bensfield. From there, there would
have been three miles of easy walking to Troon where
travellers could cut across the neck and then have another
three miles or so along the beach to beyond Gailes from
where it was a short distance to Irvine.
Dalmellington - Rankinston - Stair - Tarbolton - Irvine
of Dalmellington he shows a route running over the hills
west of Benquhat Hill to Littlemill and Stair. Beyond
Stair it passed through Tarbolton and then ran up to
the A77 near Symington. From Dalmellington there is
still a public road as far as Craigmark. Beyond this
point the road is closed due to opencast coal workings
although it is opened one day a year to allow locals
who lived in the former village of Benquhat to visit
the old village. From Burnhead, south of the site of
Benquhat village, his road continues north in a more
or less straight line to emerge at Rankinston a couple
of miles further on. Another road is shown just north
of Burnhead running over to the north of Polnessan.
Littlemill, the course is that of the modern road and
it is interesting to see the old milestones by the side
of the road. Rather confusingly when it reaches the
Ayr-Cumnock road he has it join east of the Stair road
when Thomson and the modern road have it to the west.
This may simply be a mistake but the plantations shown
on his and later maps suggest that there was a road
or track running from near present day Carston up to
Drongan House and the Ayr Road and it may be he was
showing this. North of here his course is correct to
Tarbolton and Fail (see 53 for continuation to Irvine).
52. Cumnock - Dablair - Crawfordjohn (A4)
shows a road that left Cumnock at Lugar and ran up to
Dablair and eventually to Crawfordjohn. He follows the
modern line up to near Whiteholm where the river was
crossed. It then continued north of Dornal to line up
with the track north of Dalblair. There are stretches
of farm track between these points which may be his
Beyond Dalblair it is easier to follow the route on
modern maps as it is essentially a well made unsurfaced
road. He routes it past Glenmuirshaw and Penbreck. Surprisingly,
it is not shown on Thomson, who also has a curious northwards
displacement of a mile or so for the whole of the Glenmuir
Whiteholm looking east
Tarbolton - Irvine continued (A1,3)
said earlier, the Irvine turnpike ran through Tarbolton
and Fail and its course beyond that is the same as the
B730. It crosses the A77 at Bogend Toll near the garden
centre and continues on the B730 line to Dundonald.
The sharp bend 1½ miles from the A77 is shown with a
road going straight on past Newfield to the Kilmarnock
road. He also shows the present road which runs through
Symington and rejoins the A77 just south of the village.
54. Dundonald Area (A1,3)
road is shown from Dundonald to Loans and it seems to
be the present back road over the hill. Another road
ran from Dundonald over to the Irvine Road. This has
the course of the A759 to near the quarry. At this point
it leaves the present main road as a track and carries
on past Hillhouse to the Irvine Road.
His roads just north of Dundonald are slightly confusing.
What appears to be the present day Kilmarnock road (A759)
is in fact the minor road ½ mile to the north running
past Ploughland and Harperland to a junction with the
straight road past Newfield mentioned earlier. From
this point, one would assume it took the line of the
present Kilmarnock road but a better topological fit
would be for the road to have run up past Fairlie and
then aligned itself with the river to pass through Old
Rome towards Caprington. It would have ended near the
confluence of the Irvine and Kilmarnock Water.
the Harperland Road, he has a route running towards
Dreghorn although he shows it terminating short of the
Irvine, presumably Drybridge. Cutting across this is
another road leading from near Girtry past Shewalton
and Mains. It crosss the Irvine south of Warrix and
joins the Kilmarnock Road. He also shows a loop above
the Haperland Road up to the Warrix Road. Much of this
area is now heavily industrialised (see also sheet 1).
Irvine - Glasgow (R4-6, 4-7; A1)
is marked as a cart road which no doubt implies it was
not a main road even then. It ran north from Irvine
town centre on the main Kilwinning road for half a mile
and then headed up to and through the grounds of Eglinton.
(where it joined a road running up to Kilwinning on
the line of the B785) it passed just south of Benslie
then ran directly to Laigh Patterton and Auchenharvie.
At this point it was joined by the road running up from
Irvine. On this stretch the road is almost certainly
lost although there is a sinuous field boundary on Laigh
Patterton farm. The next stretch is now a public road.
It ran past a Gateside (this no longer exists) to Crossgates
where a short branch led to the Glazert near Kennox.
The main road then crossed the Glazert at Gallowayford
and then forked just before Irvinehill, a branch going
to Stewarton, the main road continuing up to Dunlop
The Stewarton branch is now lost. It may have headed
over north of Gillmill Farm and Kirkmuir Farm but if
the plantation seen today at Anderson's Mount is the
feature shown on Roy, west of Lainshaw House, then his
road may be identical with the present road between
here and Stewarton.
His main road that heads towards Dunlop House can be
seen today as a trackway with double hedgerows that
runs between Irvinehill and North Kilbride and then
continues as the present minor road up towards Dunlop
House. Once past Dunlop House it ran past Titwood, Newmills,
Tailend and Craignaught.
The Irvine - Glasgow road near North Kilbride, facing
it follows the line of the road here, there are deviations.
Thus it ran from present High Gameshill to Sidehead,
ran north of Dunlop House to Titwood and then Newmill.
The present day track here may be the road. From Newmill
it ran slightly west of Tailend and Craignaught. Near
to present Glebe Knowe, a branch led past Nether Carswell
and Harelaw and Glanderston and eventually Darnley and
Pollock. The other more northerly branch went close
to the present road up towards Commore, Neilstonside
and eventually Neilston.
Roy, he has a road running from the outskirts of Eglinton
past Patterton to near Auchenharvie. This left a road
that ran up from Irvine, skirted Eglinton on the east
side and carried on to Kilwinning (like Roy) on the
line of the B785. Although, through its imprecision,
the Glasgow Road appears to have a different course
from Roy, there are enough similarities to think it
is the same. Like Roy, it joins a road running from
Irvine and Stanecastle up to Dunlop House and Neilston.
At Crossgates he has a road running to a place called
Westhod - this may be the modern road here but at that
time it went no further than Bloomridge.
Just past Gallowayford, he has a road looping north
and west to come back out at Auchenharvie opposite the
stretch to Westhod. The best fit for this is the public
road up to the B778 then left past Wardlaw and the Old
School to the present Hill of Fergushill. The map suggests
a continuation to the crossroads at Barnton and then
down to Caven Mill although the 1897 OS map shows a
short direct link between Fergushill and the mill. From
the mill it ran to Auchenharvie and present Crossgates
- presumably part of its course is now lost.
South of Caven Mill, he shows a road leading over to
Eglinton, probably near South Fergushill and close to
the road running past Patterton to Auchenharvie. The
course is now lost. From Fergushill he shows a road
past Patterton (perhaps Laigh Patterton) to south of
Auchenharvie but its course is also lost. Again, from
Fergushill a road went down to Irvine on the outskirts
of Eglinton and still exists as a track today and another
road ran to Kilwinning on the line of the B785. Eglinton
itself had an extensive network of drives and paths.
north from Gallowayford, his road is clearly that of
Roy, running on the track past Irvinehill up to North
Kilbride where there is a branch to Stewarton. It is
not clear if this was the same as the present road -
certainly there would have been a difference near to
Stewarton as he shows it joining the Dunlop Road at
Pointhouse Cottage where some realignment work has been
here onwards the place names suggest his course is the
same as Roy. Interestingly his road runs west of Hillend,
present Tailend, suggesting like Roy a deviation from
the present day road in this area.
56. Irvine - Glasgow via Stewarton
and Pollokshaws (R 4-6, 4-7; A1)
its length this is essentially the same as the modern
B769. It was later turnpiked. The road has been greatly
improved in Irvine itself, of course, but still has
the same line except for a short stretch beyond the
roundabout at Stanecastle.
Stanecastle, he has a road heading north to join the
"cart road" to Glasgow mentioned above. It joins it
just before Auchenharvie. This is undoubtedly the road
that runs 500 metres west of the A736, passing West
Balgray and Knowehead.
shows the road as a turnpike and it is clearly the same
road as shown by Roy. He also has the road which runs
from Middleton past Braehead to the minor road that
goes up to West Balgray. It is interesting to note place
names relating to roads on this route, viz. Causeyhead
at Stewarton, Kingsford, Croshouse (now Corsehouse)
which may derive from Gaelic croisgh, a crossing and
Windygate (now Windy Yett).
57. Irvine - Stevenston (R4-6, 4-7,
shows a road leaving the more westerly Irvine - Kilwinning
road (identical to or close to the B779) at a point
near to Nethermains Bridge (the river had very large
meanders here and this area was land within a large
meander at that time).
skirted the river on its north side, running south of
Bynehill and just north of Bog to the lower end of Stevenston.
It is easier to follow the route on older maps as the
area is now so built up but its approximate course was
south of Todhill Farm Training Home, along the old railway,
then through the roundabout in Ardeer to the junction
south of the railway station. From here, a road ran
up to the centre of town and is very probably the existing
road. It then continued directly to Saltcoats and its
course may be shown by the track and road on older O.S.
maps on this alignment. It is very close to the modern
his road may have been the same as Roy's but he goes
nearer to Bogside and has a more westerly crossing point,
perhaps ½ mile west of present Nethermain Bridge. Once
over the river, it is the same as Roy. It terminated
at Ardeer but the section to the centre of Stevenston
east of Stevenston, he shows the present day minor road
that loops up past Castlehill and back down to the town.
58. Irvine - Kilwinning (R 4-6, 4-7,
shows two routes to Kilwinning. One is identical with
the present road running past the hospital; the other
left this road near the Town Moor and follows the course
of the B779 up to Kilwinning. If not identical to this
road, it is very close to it. The course of the river
has changed considerably hereabouts and the crossing
point was perhaps 400 metres south of today's crossing
at Nethermains Bridge.
His road is identical to the present main road.
Kilmarnock - Glasgow (R 4-6, 4-7; A2)
The line is that of the present road through Beansburn
towards Fenwick. However, part of it has been converted
into a slip road for the A77. Once through Fenwick (the
A77 here is based on a 1930's bypass) it has the line
of the A77 as far as the Eaglesham Road. The only changes
of note are that it crossed and recrossed the Kingswell
Burn near Rathburn a couple of times before Kingswells
so that its course here is to be found just south of
the A77 for some distance.
of the Eaglesham Road, the A77 is new and Roy's and
later roads went to Kingswells (where Thomson shows
an inn) to split into the Eaglesham road and the Glasgow
road. The latter had the line of the minor road to Floak
Bridge and continued to Glasgow by Mearns Kirk - this
is now the minor road leaving the A77 nearer to Glasgow.
There are suggestions of a more sinuous course which
would be consistent with its improvement when it became
a turnpike. The Eaglesham road split into two just after
Ballageich Hill and rejoined just before the village.
It is marked as the road to Hamilton.
road is sufficiently consistent with Roy for us to assume
he is showing the same road.
60. Fenwick Area (A2)
to Fenwick, some minor roads are shown. One ran up towards
Rowallan and is presumably the straight stretch running
past Little Mosside. Another ran south from Waterslap
in Fenwick as far as the sharp bend at Marchbank. It
then continued past Craufurdland Castle (see present
day track) and swung round to rejoin the main road just
south of Borland. There is a short stretch at Aitkenhead,
and Kirkton Road can be seen. He shows an interesting
double line over the Craufurdland Water near to the
Galston Road and this is likely to be the well defined
ford or even a bridge at present day Bruntland Bridge
Stewarton - Dunlop - Beith (R 4-7; A1)
line is modern as far as Dunlop although there is a
suggestion of a later realignment in Dunlop near the
railway. Beyond Dunlop, it had a sharp turn at the Kirk
like the modern road with a hint of a straighter line
as far as the next distinctive bend at Oldhall. Beyond
this point, the road is identical to the modern road
as far as Beith even to the extent of a distinctive
bend at Windyhouse near Beith.
Roy roads in purple)
this route he has a short stretch of road running to
the right at Oldhall, as far as Longton - this is the
present minor road at this point.
At Burnhouse he shows a road running down to Kilwinning,
identical to the A736, as far as Sidehead, a couple
of miles south of Burnhouse.
From there it is hard to say if it relates to modern
roads although it is certainly close to them. It went
past Auchentiber, Greenlea, Dykeneuk, Clonbeith and
Hollerhill to terminate at Redston on the outskirts
of Kilwinning. Its course may be shown by a long field
boundary south of present Sydhead through Bentfauld
and Auchentiber on which there are short stretches of
track. In fact, the 1897 1" OS map has a ford at Auchentiber
and a continuous track to Bentfauld.
It then seems to have cut across the fields just above
Greenlea to Dykeneuk and it may just be identical to
the minor public road that runs down past Clonbeith
towards Hollerhill. If not, it must be within 100 metres
of it. Beyond Seven Acres Wood there is a wooded linear
feature 400 metres in length with links to a track at
Hollerhill. From here to Redston (3/4 mile), there is
a hint of a road in the field boundaries.
He shows another road off the Dunlop-Beith
Road at Barrmill. It too ran down to Redston at Kilwinning
where it met the road described above. Its course is
identical with the modern minor road past Drumbuie as
far as Waterside. There is then a stretch of about 2½
miles where its course is uncertain before we can pick
it up again near present day Jameston Moss. It may have
the line of the modern road as far as the crossroads
at North Auchenmade but could equally lie 100 metres
or so west of this and be making for the present day
South Auchenmade. From here it would have made its way
fairly directly to just south of Jameston Moss to become
the track running past High and Laigh Gooseloan and
Monkreddan to Redston. The distinctive bend Roy shows,
where this track leaves the B778, suggests he is showing
the B778 as far as this point.
much less precise than Roy there are enough clues to
say that the Stewarton - Dunlop - Beith road he shows
is the same as Roy's road.
doesn't show the road running between Burnhead and Kilwinning
but he does show the road between Barrhill and Kilwinning.
Again, its course is imprecise but when looked at in
conjunction with Roy, it is the same road.
has a couple of roads leading off this road which are
not shown on Roy. One left Redston and ran up to Blair.
On his map it ran up to the house, with a parallel drive
to the east running up beyond the House. Today there
is a distinct dogleg where these two have been joined
a few hundred metres south of the house. The road to
the east was joined by the other road that branched
off the Barrhill Road somewhere near Jameston Moss,
ran past Blair Mill and then joined up with a loop off
the Dalry to Beith Road. This loop skirted the top of
the Blair House estate and then went back up to Highfield.
Beith Road here (i.e. the one he shows running between
Dalry and Beith) looks like the turnpike and so the
A737. In fact, there is a strong chance that it is the
minor road that runs from Highfield up past Langmuir
of Auchengree and Auchengree Bridge to become the B777
(see his Broomhill and Auchengree). There has been a
modern realignment of the B777 at Willowyard Industrial
Dalry to Kilbirnie Road probably had the line of the
modern road although there are a couple of bends that
do not fit well. Just north of Dalry he has a branch
off this road at Middleton that went up to join the
Kilbirnie to Largs Road. This went past Hind Dog and
Gowanlee and up over Greenhill. On the 1897 O.S. map
much of it is shown as a track.
Beith - Neilston - Darnley (R 4-7; A1)
of Beith his road followed the present B777 past Gateside
and Langside. From there it went to Coldstream and Shutterflat
(presumably the present Townhead of Shutterflat) and
then Greenend. It may be the present minor road here
but it is hard to say for certain. One slight clue is
that the 1897 1" OS map has a North Highgate at the
bend south of Eastend of Shutterflat (NS398543).
Roy roads in purple)
From Greenend it went to Bowfield, perhaps directly,
although his orientation suggests it went across to
where Whitehouse is marked on the 1:25000 map and then
oriented itself with the present road and track to Bowfield
(unlike Armstrong, Roy's changes in orientation may
well be accurate). From here it almost certainly ran
along the top of the ridge above Loch Libo where there
is still a track today. His placing of Greenside, Finnibrae
and Banklug below the road supports this.
is nothing inconsistent with Roy's map and it is reasonably
certain he is showing the same road. At Whitehouse he
has a junction with three roads, the middle of which
looks like the Roy road over to Bowfield. The southernmost
road went down past Caldwell House and then to the south
of Loch Libo. His northernmost road, aligned towards
Rigend (present Rigfoot) might suggest his track went
to the left of the present road up towards Bowfield.
Beith-Paisley (R 4-7; A1)
Roy roads in purple)
road as far as Clark's Bridge (which Roy shows) is the
same as the modern road. Once into Renfrewshire, the
line is the minor road past Bourtrees and Middleton.
line is that of Roy. It is interesting to note indications
on the modern map of realignment work at Clark's Bridge.
Beith - Lochwinnoch (R 4-7; A1)
(see above map)
is the same as the present day minor road to East Kerse.
From there, its course is shown by the track up to West
The best fit is that he is showing Roy's road to East
Kerse. The branch to Lochwinnoch is then the same as
Roy. In the other direction it headed to Lochridge and
Kilbirnie with a link, probably shown by the existing
track, between Kerse Bridge and Lochridge. He also had
a road running north for a couple of miles to Ladyland,
which looks very like the minor public road on the same
line. South of Kilbirnie, he shows a short road ending
near Lochend. Going by the position of the Manse this
looks like the modern road.
65. Beith - Crawfield (R 4-7; A1)
Roy (see above map)
is a short stretch to the south west of Beith terminating
near Crawfield. Its course must now be mostly built
Kilwinning - Dalry - Kilbirnie (R 3-2, 4-7; A1)
road is shown
route seems identical to the modern A737.
Kilwinning - Beith (R 4-7; A1)
has been dealt with under the Stewarton - Dunlop -Beith
road (no. 61).
68. Saltcoats - Kilwinning (R 3-2,
is almost certainly on the line of the A738. It runs
has the same line as Roy. A road is shown running from
just west of Kilwinning up to the Dalry - West Kilbride
Road (see separate entry for no. 71)
Saltcoats - Dalry (R 3-2, 4-7; A1)
Roy roads in purple)
is now the present day road that runs up from near the
station past Girthill to Dalry. Armstrong shows only
a section of this road.
Kilbirnie - Largs, Dalry to Kilbirnie - Largs Road (A1)
of Kilbirnie a road to Largs is shown. At first glance
it looks like the turnpike/modern road but is not, only
aligning with that in the middle section.
Leaving Kilbirnie, it probably left the Dalry road as
a continuation of the sharp bend here (this fits his
placing of the manse and a church). It then ran south
of Kilbirnie House, crossed a stream running to the
west of the House and then crossed the Pitcon Burn just
below the confluence 400 metres west of Boag.
there it made its way up to join the route coming up
from Dalry past Hindog somewhere near North Hourat or
South Camphill at the reservoir. This latter route is
almost certainly that shown by the minor road to Gowanlee
and the track beyond it.
suggests a course for the Kilbirnie - Largs route over
towards Boag, crossing the Pitcon and then running northwards
for about a mile to join the route from Dalry. It looks
a difficult route because of the valley but Armstrong
shows it with dotted lines which may indicate a track
rather than any attempt at a made road so it wouldn't
make much difference to someone on foot or horseback
unlike someone travelling by cart or coach.
the reservoir didn't exist then - he only shows marshy
ground and not a loch - it is likely that the track
ran where the reservoir is, north of the Rye and crossed
it just past Routedaneburn. As an aside, it is interesting
to see that the modern road ran nearer to the reservoir
for ¾ mile in this area. From Routedaneburn, it must
have been close to the modern road for it passed Blair
Park as well as the present day track in the grounds
of Kelburn which can be seen just west of Fechan. Nearer
to Largs, the road took a line to Killingcraigs where
it joined the coast road (see Thomson's map).
- West Kilbride (A1)
of Dalry, a road ran to West Kilbride. Again it looks
like the present day road but there are differences.
It ran past Kirkland (near the cemetery) where a short
stretch of road ran up to Broadlie (now a minor road).
Giffordland Bridge, he has the road north of the river
which suggests a straighter line through Giffordlandmill
towards Minnoch than shown by the course of the present
day road. This must be identical to the track between
these places that is shown on the 1897 and 1925 1" O.S.
Minnoch, it went south of one unnamed hill (probably
Blackshaw Hill) and north of Law Hill, skirted some
ruins and ran straight in to the old town. This would
identify it with the present day track south of Blackshaw
Hill and then a sinuous field boundary north of Law
that passes Law Castle. Near Minnoch, he shows a stream
crossing close to Gill but the topology is not inconsistent
with a crossing near Minnoch. This would bring it in
line with the path from the south that he has joining
above Edward - presumably Knockewart.
72. Kilwinning - West Kilbride Road (A1)
road (or as he shows, more of a track) ran down to Kilwinning
from near the Munnock Burn past Knockewart (his Edward)
From there it went via Meikle Ittington and Muislaught
Farms, then along the Auld Clay Road past Auchenkist
and Whitehirst to join the main
Auld Clay Road
near the railway. There seems to be no reason to doubt
that it is on the line of minor public roads between
these places,as well as the Auld Clay Road. Tinkler
Hill near Meikle Ittington may refer to cadgers. This
route was never turnpiked.
Saltcoats - Largs (R 3-2, 3-1)
the modern coast road (as far as West Kilbride) hasn't
been built over Roy's road, it must at least be very
close to it.
at Bank and Chapelton, south of West Kilbride, the junction
is shown. The eastern branch went into West Kilbride,
the other is the next main road leading through the
centre of the town and then becoming the minor road
running past Bushglen. It is hard to be absolutely certain
but the positioning of Woodside helps to confirm that
it ran to the east rather than the west of Dalmilling
then went past present north Kilruskin (where there
is a typical 90 degree alignment of the modern road
under the railway to save expense in the building of
the railway bridge) and made its way across to south
of Poteath. North of here there have been major landscape
changes at the ore terminal but the modern road used
to be just yards from the shore and this is where Roy's
road runs up past Fairlie to Largs.
(note: Roy roads in purple. No roads
were shown on Roy's map of Cumbrae)
Stevenston - Largs (A1)
|Armstrong shows the road running
along the beach here
The coast road north from Stevenston left the town centre
to join the A78 and follows this line past Ardrossan
(which didn't exist at the time).
road from Saltcoats ran up to join the main road near
where Ardrossan Academy is, and another road ran up
to Dalry on the line of the modern road but ended near
the Glen Burn. The road initially had the Roy line but
then took to the sands on the clear stretch east of
Montfode where it ran for a mile or so before coming
back on shore at Glenhead.
road, as on Roy, splits here, and it must have been
on or close to the line of the two modern roads which
diverge at this point. One ran in to West Kilbride presumably
on a straighter line near the town to bring it into
alignment with the Main Street. From there it had the
line of the modern minor road through Bushglen and Kilruskin.
The other ran up through present day Seamill and over
towards Portencross near to Ardneill.
there it went north through Campbelton and west of Hunterston
Castle. It then rejoined the other road near the roundabout
at Hunterston Power Station, i.e near Poteath. He also
shows the stretch Roy has from Seamill into West Kilbride
which Roy continues through Kilruskin.
of here he is more or less the same as Roy as far as
Fairly. Towards Largs the road may have been further
inland, closer to Kelburn, beyond which the Kilbirnie
Road came in (no.70).
Largs - Greenock (R 3-1; A1)
of Largs, the road took a higher line which is still
the minor road reached at the Netherhall Estate. North
of Wemyss Bay, it is now a farm track from Kelly Mains
line appears to be the same as Roy.
Largs - Brisbane Glen (A1)
shown is the Brisbane Glen Road along the same course
as the modern hill road to Greenock, but terminating
at Outerwards. Interestingly, even on the 1925 O.S.
1" map this was where the public road ended although
by that time there was a track to the south end of Loch
Thom where it became a public road again.
Roy maps in particular offer us a unique view of a landscape
in process of transition. There were no turnpikes as
yet but the first enclosures can be seen and these reflected
the changes in agriculture that helped create a more
populous and prosperous society. As part of this process
the need for improved roads became apparent and over
the next 50 or so years, many of the above roads were
made up into turnpikes. Technologically these were an
enormous improvement on what had come before so that
although the network shown on Roy was almost as extensive
as the turnpikes there was hardly any comparison to
be drawn. Many of the roads looked at above must have
been paths or tracks or poorly made roads whereas the
turnpikes had firm surfaces that were well drained and
did not break up. As we shall see in the next chapters
they played an essential part in the considerable changes
occuring in Scotland at that time.
Strawhorn, Ayrshire at the Time of Burns, AANHS Collections,
Vol. 5, 1959
Arrowsmith, Map of Scotland constructed from original
materials, London, Arrowsmith, 1807
Thomson, Northern Part of Ayrshire, Southern Part,
Edinburgh, J Thomson & Co., 1828
Rev. John Warrick, The History of Old Cumnock, Paisley,
libraries in the west of Scotland may have black and
white copies of the Roy maps for their area. However,
a subscription service offered by SCRAN
(£30 pa in early 2007, £20 per 6 months)
allows online access to digital copies for the complete
survey of Scotland. These can be enlarged and are in
colour. Thumbnails of individual sheets can be viewed
on the site. Main libraries may have public access to
Scran and individuals working in education may be able
to get access through their institution.
maps have recently been added to the National
Library of Scotland website (2007) where they can
be viewed free of charge. The maps are supported with
detailed information on the Military Survey.