An article from

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

Published by A.Fullarton and Co. - 1848


WALLACETOWN, a modern but populous suburb of Ayr, situated on the east side of Newton- upon-Ayr, forming with it one compact town, and separated from the royal burgh only by Ayr river. About the year 1760, when there were only eight or ten straggling houses on the site of the suburb, Sir Thomas Wallace of Craigie began to feu at the end of the old bridge. The incipient town took its name from him, and speedily acquired considerable bulk and population. Its increase, owing to the vicinity of coal-works, the general growth of manufactures, the demand for day-labourers, and, especially, the facility afforded for the cheap lodging of Irish immigrants, has been progressive, and still continues. Its inhabitants, in consequence, are almost all of the poorer classes, and consist of colliers, artisans, weavers for the Glasgow and Paisley manufacturers, carters, publicans, small shopkeepers, and a large proportion of Irish employed as labourers, and in a hundred methods of earning a precarious subsistence. Yet, though the town has so medley and poor a population, though it abounds as much in pauperism as probably any place which could be named in Scotland ; and though it wants the appliances of burghal government which are possessed by both Ayr and Newton, it does not appear to a stranger to differ very materially in character from its immediate neighbours, but seems to wear an aspect quite in keeping with that of the adjacent parts, both of the burgh-of-barony and the royal burgh. In common with Newton, it is included within the parliamentary boundaries of Ayr. In ecclesiastical quoad civilia position it belongs to the parish of St. Quivox; but, in 1836, it was erected by the authority of the presbytery of Ayr into a separate parish quoad sacra. The church was opened in March, 1836, and cost £1,550. Sittings 865. Stipend £150. —An United Secession place of worship was built in 1799, and cost £1,010. Sittings 610. Stipend £120, with £6 for sacramental expenses. -An Original Seceder meeting-house was built in 1799, and cost £740. Sittings 605. Stipend £130, with £8 for sacramental expenses, and an allowance of £16 16s. for a house-rent. A Roman Catholic chapel, belonging to a congregation established upwards of thirty-five years ago, was built in 1836, at the cost of £1,900. Sittings 800. The minister has under his care all the Roman Catholics of Ayrshire, south and east of Ardrossan, and officiates in five or six different towns. Emoluments from £100 to £200. -A Reformed Presbyterian meeting-house was built in 1832, and cost about £500. Sittings 480. Stipend £80. —An Independent-place of worship was built in 1805, and cost, up to 1836, about £1,000. Sittings 550. Stipend £65. —An Episcopalian place of worship, used by a congregation which was established in 1832, is the upper floor of a house originally intended for a granary, and rented at £10 a-year. Sittings 182. Stipend about £100. —The population, according to a census taken, in 1836, by a committee of the inhabitants, consisted then of 2,229 churchmen, 1,922 disenters, and 48 nondescripts, —in all 4,199 persons. The school-statistics are given in the article on St. Quivox; and the social and miscellaneous institutions belong properly either to Ayr or to Newton.  





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