Ayrshire Flat in Troon
2 Flats in Troon, near Ayr, Strathclyde
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- ''For the cattle originating from Ayrshire, see Ayrshire Cattle.
(Siorrachd Inbhir Àir
in Scottish Gaelic) is a region of south-west Scotland, located on the shores of the Firth of Clyde. Its principal towns include Ayr, Kilmarnock and the new town (and ancient royal burgh) of Irvine. The town of Troon (pop. 20,000) on the coast has hosted the British Open Golf Championship twice in the last seven years, eight times in total, including the most recent one in 2004. Approximately 200,000 visitors come to Troon during this period.
Ayrshire, under the name the County of Ayr
, is a registration county. The electoral and valuation area named Ayrshire covers the three council areas of South Ayrshire, East Ayrshire and North Ayrshire, therefore including the Isle of Arran, Great Cumbrae and Little Cumbrae, which are not always included when the term Ayrshire
is applied to the region. The same area is known as Ayrshire and Arran
in other contexts.
Ayrshire is one of the most agriculturally fertile regions of Scotland. Potatoes are grown in fields near the coast, using seaweed-based fertiliser, and in addition the region produces pork products, other root vegetables, cattle (see below) and summer berries such as strawberries are grown abundantly.
The area used to be heavily industrialised, with steel making, coal mining and in Kilmarnock numerous examples of production-line manufacturing, most famously Johnnie Walker whisky. In more recent history, Digital Equipment had a large manufacturing plant near Ayr from about 1976 until the company was taken over by Compaq in 1998. Some supplier companies grew up to service this site and the more distant IBM plant at Greenock in Renfrewshire. Almost all incidences of industry are gone, and unemployment (excluding the more rural South Ayrshire) is high, above the national average.
The area became part of the kingdom of Scotland during the 11th century. In 1263, the Scots successfully drove off a group of Norwegian Vikings in a skirmish known as the Battle of Largs.
A notable historic building in Ayrshire is Turnberry Castle, which dates from the 13th century or earlier, and which may have been the birthplace of Robert the Bruce.
The historic shire or sheriffdom of Ayr was divided into three historic districts or bailieries which later made up the tradtional county of Ayrshire. The three districts were Carrick in the south, Kyle in the centre, which included the royal burgh of Ayr, and Cunninghame in the north which included the royal burgh of Irvine. Much of the reorganisation took place in the 19th Century due to Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889, this Act established a uniform system of county councils and town councils in Scotland and restructured many of Scotland’s counties. Cunninghame included the Isle of Arran until Act when the islands administration was taken over by Bute. (See: History of the local government of Scotland).
The Ayrshire breed of cattle originated here, prior to 1800.
Glasgow Prestwick International Airport, serving Glasgow, is located in Ayrshire. It has a niche in rock history as the only place in Britain visited by Elvis, on his way home from Germany in 1960.
- See also Local government of Scotland''
Ayrshire county council was created in 1890, under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889. In 1930 three districts were formed within the county, under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929, to administer functions previously the reponsibility of parish councils: the districts of Carrick, Cunninghame and Kyle.
In 1975 the county council was abolished and the county area was divided between four new disticts within the two-tier Strathclyde region: Cumnock and Doon Valley, Cunninghame, Kilmarnock and Loudoun and Kyle and Carrick. The Cunninghame district was larger than the pre-1975 district: it included the Isle of Arran, Great Cumbrae and Little Cumbrae, which had been administered previously as part of the County of Bute.
In 1996 the two-tier system of regions and districts was abolished and Ayrshire was divided between the unitary council areas of East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, and North Ayrshire. North Ayrshire includes the Isle of Arran, and the Cumbrae islands.
There was an Ayrshire constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1708 to 1801 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 until 1868, when the constituency was divided into Ayrshire North and Ayshire South.
During the whole of the 1708 to 1868 period, and until 1950, the burghs of Ayr and Irvine were parliamentary burghs, represented as components of Ayr Burghs. In 1832 Kilmarnock became a parliamentary burgh, to be represented as a component of Kilmarnock Burghs until 1918. Ayr Burghs and Kilmarnock Burghs were districts of burghs, and quite different in character from later Ayr and Kilmarnock constituencies.
From 1918 to 1983 Ayrshire and Buteshire were treated as if a single area for purposes of parliamentary representation, with their combined area being divided into different constituencies at different times. Scottish local government counties were abolished in 1975, in favour of regions and districts, but the next reform of constituency boundaries was not until 1983.
Constituencies covering Ayrshire may be listed by periods as below, but the story is somewhat more complicated than the lists may imply: until 1918, Ayr Burghs and Kilmarnock Burghs included burghs lying outside both Ayrshire and Buteshire; a particular constituency name may represent different boundaries in different periods; in 1974, there were boundary changes without the creation of any new constituency names.
| Period|| Constituencies|
| 1708 to 1832|| Ayrshire and Ayr Burghs|
| 1832 to 1868|| Ayrshire, Kilmarnock Burghs and Ayr Burghs|
| 1868 to 1918|| Ayrshire North, Kilmarnock Burghs, Ayr Burghs and Ayrshire South|
| 1918 to 1950|| Bute and Northern Ayrshire, Kilmarnock, Ayr Burghs and Ayrshire South|
| 1950 to 1983|| Bute and Northern Ayrshire, Ayrshire Central, Kilmarnock, Ayr and Ayrshire South|
Towns in Ayrshire
Some notable people born in Ayrshire
- Sir Thomas Brisbane (1773-1860), Scottish soldier and colonial administrator after whom the city of Brisbane, is named.
- William Murdoch (1754 - 1839), Inventor of gas lighting and Engineer.
- Robert Burns (1759-1796), poet, in Alloway;
- John Dunlop, (1840-1921), Scottish inventor of the pneumatic tire, in Dreghorn.
- Andrew Fisher, (1862-1928), prime minister of Australia;
- Sir Alexander Fleming (1881-1955), inventor/discoverer of penicillin, in Darvel;
- John Galt, (1779-1839), author;
- John McAdam, (1756-1836), engineer, responsible for a system of road design;
- Bill Shankly, (1913-1981), successful football manager
- Malcolm Wallace, Father of William Wallace one of Scotland's greatest national heroes, in Riccarton, Kilmarnock.
- Robert the Bruce, possibly at Turnberry Castle.
- Steven Naismith, Scottish football prodigy.
This article was copied on 11 July 2006. The current version
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