An article from

'The Topographical, Statistical, and Historical Gazetteer of Scotland'

Published by A.Fullarton and Co. - 1848


DAILLY, a parish in the centre of the district of Carrick, Ayrshire. It is bounded on the north by Kirkoswald; on the east by Kirkmichael and Straiton; on the south by Barr and Girvan; and on the west by Girvan. It is of an irregular oblong figure, stretching from north-east to south-west; and measures, in extreme length, nearly 7 miles, and in breadth from 4 to 6. Its area probably contains upwards of 17,000 acres. The parish is intersected, in its extreme length, and along its central division, by Girvan water; which, all the way, is a beautiful pastoral stream, and here receives, on both banks, several rills of local origin. The surface, at first, rising gently and variedly from the banks of the river, and, afterwards soaring into hills of considerable height, is a basin abounding in the beauties of landscape. The lowlands are fertile, well-cultivated, and richly wooded; and the uplands, though naturally heathy and bleak, are partly reclaimed; and nearly all afford good pasturage. The beds of the indigenous rills are, "for the most part, deep, well-wooded, picturesque glens. The soil, in the holms and meadows along the banks of the Girvan, is light but very productive; on the south side, is light and dry, resting on a bed of gravel; on the north side, is clayey and retentive; and, on the hills, is thin, wet, and spungy, consisting in many places of moss, toal, limestone, and freestone abound. The coal-bed is believed to be a wing of the great coal-field which stretches from the vicinity of Edinburgh into Ayrshire, and is here worked in 5 seams, of from 4 to 14 feet in thickness. Limestone is worked at Blairhill, near the south-eastern extremity of the Parish, and at Craighead, near the north-western extremity. Argillaceous marl is found in most parts, and has been successfully employed as manure. Numerous small chalybeate springs welling up in different parts of the parish, seem to indicate the existence of strata of ironstone. The climate, in the valley, is generally dry and mild, but on the high grounds is moist and chilly; and though everywhere subject to heavy showers during westerly winds, is rarely loaded with fogs. The parish is divided among 7 landowners, 5 of whom have mansions within its limits. At Kilkerran and Penkill are ruins of fortified castles. Near the lower extremity of a wild and romantic glen once stood a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, whence the locality is still called Ladyglen. At a place called Machry-kill are vestiges of a small church or chapel, probably dedicated to St.Macarius. At the southern termination of the western heights is an oval and doubly enclosed encampment, 100 yards by 65, commanding an extensive and uncommonly brilliant view, and probably raised during the wars of Robert Bruce. There is only one village, that of New Dailly, situated on the Girvan, substantially and singularly built, and, of late years, greatly improved. There are here a library, a friendly society, and a savings bank. Across the Girvan are 4 bridges, 3 public and one private. Population of the parish, in 1801, 1,756; in 1831, 2,074. Houses 314. Assessed property, in 1815, 7,887. - Dailly is in the presbytery of Ayr, and synod of Glasgow and Ayr. Patron, the Crown. Stipend 348 7s. 9d.; glebe 15 10s. The old church which stood at Old Dailly, about 3 miles from the present church and village, was granted by Duncan, the first earl of Carrick, to the monks of Paisley; but was afterwards transferred by Robert I to the monks of Crossraguel, and remained with them till the Reformation. In 1653, an extensive tract of the original parish of Dailly, lying on the south-east among the upper branches of the Stinchar, was detached in order to form the modern parish of Barr. Dailly, however, received, at the same time, a small addition on the north-east from Kirkoswald. Though nowhere touching the sea-coast, the parish includes also the romantic rock of Ailsa, in the centre of the frith of Clyde. See AILSA CRAIG. The present church was built in 1766, and cost 600. Sittings 650. There are 4 schools, 3 of them nonparochial. Parish schoolmaster's salary 30, with 30 other emoluments.





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