An article from

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

Published by A.Fullarton and Co. - 1848


DALRYMPLE,(1) a parish along the southern verge of the district of Kyle, Ayrshire. It is bounded on the north by Ayr and Coylton; on the east by Dahnellington; on the south by Straiton and Kirkmichael; and on the west by Maybole. It is of an oblong figure; measuring from east to west 7 miles; having an average breadth of 2 miles, and containing an area of about 12 square miles. Nearly its whole surface rolls or undulates in numerous cultivated knolls, or little moundish hills, around most of which is hung out the extensive, varied, and enchanting panorama of the frith of Clyde and the lowlands south of Benlomond and the Grampians. One of the elevations commands a view of even the mist-vailed coast of Ireland. Along the whole southern and western boundary the Doon moves amidst alternations of bold sylvan banks and rich fertile haughs, dividing the parish from Carrick, and fringing its verge in the softest forms of beauty. Four lakes Martinham, Kerse, Snipe, and Lindston enrich the soil and the scenery, and abound in pike, perch, eel, and waterfowls. Martinham, the largest, only protrudes into the northern division of the parish, and belongs mainly to Coylston: it is about 1 mile in length, and a furlong in breadth, and has its surplus waters carried off south-westward by a rivulet to the Doon. The soil is, on a few of the eminences, a barren clay; on others, a loamy clay; and around the beds of the streams and lakes, a sandy, gravelly, or alluvial loam. Plantations of almost all varieties cultivated in Scotland beautify hill and vale. At Skeldon, on the Doon, are six oaks believed to be 300 years old. The ancient Roman road, connecting the friths of Solway and Clyde, traversed Dalrymple from east to west. On a rising ground at the western boundary are vestiges of three small circular British forts. In various localities ancient coins and memorials of Roman civilization have been found. More than half of the parish belongs to the Marquis of Ailsa. The barony of Dalrymple, however, was held in ancient times by a family to whom it gave name. During the reign of David II it was divided between two Dalrymples, who probably were the descendants of a common progenitor. In the reign of Robert II the whole barony was acquired by John Kennedy of Dunure; and it continued to belong to his descendants till the reign of Charles II. The Dalrymples, or ancient proprietors and their off-shoots, figure largely in history as lawyers, as statesmen, and as warriors. The village of Dalryinple is beautifully situated in a vale on the Doon, and has a neat and smiling appearance which attracts and pleases a tourist. In 1811 it contained a population of upwards of 200. Population of the parish, in 1801, 514; in 1831, 933. Houses 161. Assessed property, in 1815, 5,343. - Dalrymple is in the presbytery of Ayr, and synod of Glasgow and Ayr. Patron, the Crown. Stipend 229 17s. 2d.; glebe 12 10s. 4d. The parish-church, situated near the village, at the south-west angle of the parish, was built in 1764. A short period before the Reformation the parish was attached as a prebend to the chapel-royal of Stirling, and was served by a curate. Parish schoolmaster's salary 30, with 29 other emoluments. There is a school not parochial.

{1 The name is derived from Gaelic words which signify 'the Vale of the crooked pool,' and it exactly describes the site of the village.}  





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