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Roads and Tracks of Ayrshire

Back (The Turnpike Era)

 

TURNPIKE ROADS

For alternative navigation see maps below - 1767 and 1774 map; 1805 map
 
1767 Ayr Roads Act
Roads One to Ten
1. Ayr to Irvine 2. Ayr to Kilmarnock 3. Irvine by Stewarton towards Pollockstoun 4. Irvine to Saltcoats 5. Irvine to Kilmarnock 6. Kilmarnock by Kilmaurs to Stewarton 7. Stewarton to Whitehouse 8. Stewarton to Pollockstoun via Neilston 9. Ayr by Ochiltree, Old and New Cumnock towards Sanquhar 10. Ayr by Galston towards Strathaven
Roads Eleven to Twenty
11. Astonpapple east of Newmilns to Overmuir 12. Ayr by Mauchline, Sorn and Muirkirk towards Douglas 13. Mauchline to Galston 14. Kilmarnock to Galston 15. Waterside of Loudoun towards Kingswell 16. Kilmarnock by Kingswell to Flockbridge and 17. from the march of the shire towards Eaglesham to where it joins the road leading from Kingswell to Flockbridge 18. Kilmarnock by Mauchline to Old Cumnock 19. Galston by Sorn to Old Cumnock 20. Kilwinning by Dalry and Bieth(stet) to Clarksbridge.
Roads Twenty One to Twenty Four
21. Dalry to Maichbridge 22. Kilwinning by Bieth to Caldstream bridge 23. Saltcoats by Largs to Kellybridge 24. Irvine by Stair Bridge to Dalmellington.
 
1774 Ayr Roads Act
Roads Twenty Five to Thirty
25. Stewarton to Beith 26. Fail to Riccartown 27. Coyltown to Galston 28. Coyltown by St. Evox to Munktoun 29. Mauchline by Millburn to Craigie Castle 30. Mauchlineto Drongan.
Roads Thirty One to Forty
31. Muncktoun to Tarboltown 32. Kilmarnock by Dundonald to Loans 33. Kilmaurs to Symington 34. Kilmaurs to Cuninghamhead 35. Hurleford to Riccartown 36. Finwicktown to Shawbridge 37. Old-Cumnock by Muirkirk towards Douglas 38. Ayr to Dalmellington 39. Dalmellington to New-Cumnock 40. Ayr by Maybole to Girvane, one route by Kirkoswald and the other by Garpinebridge and Daily
Roads Forty One to Fifty
41. Muirston to Barr 42. Ayr to Turnberry 43. Girvane to the Confines of the County beyond Glenap, leading to Stranraer; which Road consists of two Branches, one of them going by Ballantrae, and the other by Colmonel 44. From the Garpine-Bridge by the Balloch to the Confines of the County leading towards Wigton 45. The Balloch to Colmonel 46. Old Daily by Penkill towards Colmonel 47. Maybole to Girvane by Drumelland, Dalquharran and Killochan 48. Ladyburn by Drumgirnanford to join the Road from Maybole to Girvane, near Dalziellely 49. Maybole to Dalrymple-Bridge, and from thence to Kirkmichael 50. Dalrymple-Bridge to Coyltoun.
Roads Fifty One to Sixty
51.Dalrymple by Carclowie and Doonholm to Ayr 52. Maybolle to Straitoun by Kirkmichael 53. Crosshill to Straitoun 54.Crosshill by Kirkmichael-Bridge to the Maybole to Straitoun road 55. Straitoun to Dalmellington 56.Kilwinning to Dreghorn 57. Milnburn by Hygenshouse to the West End of the Town of lrvine 58. Garranhill, in the Parish of Muirkirk, towards the County of Lanerk 59. Old Cumnock by Halglenmuir to Crawfordjoan 60. Stewartoun towards Kaimshill and Dunlop-House towards Glasgow.
Roads Sixty One to Sixty Three
61. Stone-Castle by Armsheugh, Auchinharvie, and Dunlop, to the Glasgow to Nielstoun road 62. Middletoun by Greenvale and Armsheugh to Kilwinning 63. Fail-Bridge to Lochbrown and the Mauchline to Kilmarnock road.
 
1805 Act 30 roads throughout the County
 
Conclusion

 

 

Text only file

 
1767 Ayr Roads Act

In this chapter we try to identify the course taken by the turnpikes. Many of today's main roads are based on the turnpikes but there are some significant differences. Occasional references are made to maps by Arrowsmith (1807) (1), Thomson (1828) (2) and Ainslie (1821) (3) for purposes of clarification. Reference is also made to the 1878 List of Highways. (4) Additional details are available in McClure. (5) Some older photographs are from the Detroit Publishing Company's Views of Landscape and Architecture in Scotland - see thumbnails on Library of Congress site here.

 

Turnpike Roads 1767 and 1774 Acts. See larger map

Ayr - IrvineAyr - KilmarnockIrvine  by Stewarton towards PollockstounIrvine - SaltcoatsIrvine - KilmarnockKilmarnock - Kilmaurs - StewartonStewarton - WhitehouseStewarton - Neilston - PollockstounAyr - SanquharAyr - Galston - StrathavenAyr - Galston - StrathavenAstonpapple - OvermuirAyr - DouglasMauchline - GalstonKilmarnock - GalstonLoudoun - KingswellKilmarnock - Flockbridgetowards EagleshamKilmarnock - CumnockGalston - Sorn - CumnockKilwinning - Dalry - Beith - ClarksbridgeDalry - Maich BridgeKilwinning - Beith - Caldstream BridgeSaltcoats - Largs - KellybridgeIrvine - Stair - DalmellingtonStewarton - BeithFail - RiccartonCoylton - GalstonCoylton - MonktonMauchline - Craigie CastleMauchline - DronganMonkton - TarboltonKilmarnock - Dundonald - LoansKilmaurs - SymingtonKilmaurs - CunninghamheadHurlford - RiccartonFenwick - ShawbridgeCumnock - Muirkirk - DouglasAyr - DalmellingtonDalmellington - New CumnockAyr - Girvan  (2 routes)Muirston - BarrAyr - TurnberryGirvan towards Stranraer (2 routes)Road to Wigton via BallochBalloch - ColmonnelOld Dailly towards PinmoreMaybole - Girvan via KillochanLadyburn - DalziellelyMaybole - Dalrymple/KirkmichaelDalrymple - CoyltonDalrymple - AyrMaybole - StraitonCrosshill - KirkmichaelStraiton - DalmellingtonKilwinning - DreghornMilburn - IrvineMuirkirk towards StrathavenCumnock - CrawfordjohnKaimshill towards Dunlop HouseIrvine towards GlasgowShort link roadFailford - CrosshandsCrosshill - Straiton

Reproduced from the 1935 Ordnance Survey map. Crown copyright
1767 Act     1774 Act  
 

1. Ayr to Irvine.
Most of this still exists on its original line. It goes up through Prestwick as far as the roundabout at the airport where a stretch has been lost under the airport itself. It is picked up again at Monktoun where it becomes the A78. The road has been greatly improved north of here and a new stretch built from Fullarton into Irvine but the old road can be seen as the B746 through Loans and then the A759 as far as the first roundabout at Shewalton where it runs as a minor road parallel to the A78. From Newhouse it runs directly to Fullarton and Irvine. Apart from a stretch north of Monkton, Roy seems to show this line. Armstrong shows the turnpike itself.

 

2. Ayr to Kilmarnock.
Most of this route still exists. The route is the same as the previous road to Monkton and then follows the minor road up to the Dutch House roundabout. From there it lies under the A77 as far as Spittalhill where it exists to the west of the dual carriageway. It then becomes the B7038 running straight to Riccarton and Kilmarnock. It is shown on Armstrong but Roy has a different line through Symington.

 

3. Irvine by Stewarton towards Pollockstoun.
This is now the B769. In Irvine itself it runs to Stanecastle roundabout then to the north east for 500 metres before turning right and running through Girdle Toll and Perceton to Stewarton and the county boundary. Both Roy and Armstrong show the road; Armstrong as a turnpike.

 

4. Irvine to Saltcoats.
Although greatly improved, this is still the main road up to Kilwinning and then the A738 over to Stevenston and Saltcoats. Both Roy and Armstrong shows the complete route, although the latter does not show it as a turnpike yet.

 

5. Irvine to Kilmarnock.
This is the road running through Crosshouse, Springside and Dreghorn to Irvine. Roy and Armstrong show it, Armstrong as a turnpike, and Pont has a river crossing at Crosshouse.

 

6. Kilmarnock by Kilmaurs to Stewarton.
This is the present day A737. The earlier road shown by Roy and Armstrong ran to Kilmaurs, with the Stewarton road leaving this at Altonhill Farm and running up via Low Byrahill to Stewarton.

 

7. Stewarton, to a place called Whitehouse.
This is the present day road to Dunlop and Lugton. There has been some realignment at Pointhouse Cottage, two miles north of Stewarton but otherwise it is the same route. From Lugton, however, it takes the line of the Beith road for a mile then heads up towards Hall on the B775. Whitehouse is on a minor road west of the B775. This is interesting as it is on the county boundary and Armstrong shows three routes radiating from here. Aitken's map suggests Paisley as the most logical reason for there being a road to Whitehouse. Both Roy and Armstrong show only the Dunlop stretch of this route although they both pick it up again at Whitehouse on the Beith to Neilston route.

 

8. The road which departs the Road between Stewarton to Pollockstoun, to the March of the Shire towards Neilston.
This is shown on Thomson (1828) as the present day road which leaves the B769 near to Fulshaw a mile out from Stewarton and then runs up to Fullwood and New Mill and then the county boundary two miles short of Neilston. The stretch south west of New Mill as far as the Stewarton to Dunlop road was turnpiked later despite Roy and Armstrong both having a road on this stretch. This shows that not all turnpikes formed the basis of later major routes. Roy and Armstrong show the road from New Mill to Neilston.

 

9. Ayr by Ochiltree, Old and New Cumnock towards Sanqhuar.
This is the present A70 as far as Cumnock and then the A76 south of here. The only changes are the new road from Laigh Tarbeg to Ochiltree, and some realignment between Cumnock and New Cumnock, e.g., the layby at Borland. Roy shows a different line for a mile or so out of Cumnock and then more or less has the same line as the turnpike. Armstrong shows the turnpike.

 

10. Ayr by Galston towards Strathaven.
This is essentially the route of the A719 to Galston and then the A71 to Darvel and beyond. In Ayr itself, it is the road out to the traffic lights just short of Whitletts roundabout. From there it runs north through the retail park to come out on the line of the A77 where it can still be seen as a layby. At Sandyford it heads up to Fail where it routed past the houses themselves. Just past Carnell it ran in a direct line through Aird farm. At Galston it crossed the river and ran up to the county boundary on the modern line. The same route is shown on both Roy and Armstrong, the main differences being a routing north of the present road between Fairwells and Aird Farm on Roy, and both showing a more southerly course beyond Priestland to the county boundary.

 

11. Aston Pople, east of Newmilns to Overmuir, in the road to Eaglisham.
This is the minor road that runs very directly past Templehill (NS557385) to High Overmuir where it degenerates into a poor track as far as Myres in Lanarkshire. As it appears again in the 1805 Act and as it is not shown on Arrowsmith's map of 1807 it probably hadn't been built at that time. The 1878 List of Highways does not list it as an ex-turnpike so although it was built this would have been done by the parish under the Statute Labour system. It is not shown on Armstrong or Roy.

 

12. Ayr by Mauchline, Sorn and Muirkirk towards Douglas.
Between Sorn and Muirkirk

This went through the Whitletts roundabout on the same line as the present roads, i.e. A758, B743 and A70. One change is where the B743 joins the A70 west of Muirkirk; another is a minor realignment on the stretch into Muirkirk. Armstrong shows this route and indicates the Ayr to Mauchline stretch as a turnpike. Roy shows the same road but has a gap between Sorn and Garpel, west of Muirkirk, as well as a significantly different line between Mauchline and Sorn.

 

13. Mauchline to Galston.
This appears to have been exactly the same route as today, viz. the A76 to Crosshands then the B744 with the exception of a straighter line between Millands and the A719 at Gauchallands (cf. Thomson). Armstrong shows it as a turnpike. Roy also has the road but with a straighter line between Millside and Galston.

 

14. Kilmarnock to Galston.
This has the line of London Road to Hurlford, then the A71 as far as the petrol station where the road made directly to Galston - 200 metres or so is now lost but the rest remains as Titchfield Street running into the town centre. It is shown on Roy (possibly a bit closer to the river) and on Armstrong, who has it as a turnpike.

 

15. Waterside of Loudoun, where it departs the road leading to Strathaven, towards Kingswell till it falls into the foresaid Road from Kilmarnock, to Kingswell.
This is now the road from Galston to the A77 (A719). There have been minor realignments with the old road remaining as laybys and as a stretch of 400 metres just north of Moscow. The junction with the present A77 used to be much more of a Y junction than the present T junction (further changes have been made since the motorway was built). Roy shows it as far as Waterside and Armstrong has it as a turnpike.

 

16. Kilmarnock by Kingswell to Flockbridge and from the march of the shire towards Eaglesham to where it joins the road leading from Kingswell to Flockbridge.

The M77 from the old A77 at NS 506 514. The pre-turnpike and the turnpike lie in between.

From Kilmarnock town centre this runs north through Beansburn to Meiklewood where it is incorporated in the A77 at this interchange. It re-emerges as the road running through Fenwick. Further north the major change is at Eaglesham road-end (B764) where it ran to Kingswells and is now the minor road running north to rejoin the A77 at the county boundary. Both Roy and Armstrong show this road. The intervening stretch of the A77 was built in the mid-19th century.

 

 

 

 

 

17. From the March of the Shire, towards Eaglisham, till it join the road leading from Kingswell to Flockbridge. This is the one-mile stretch of the Eaglesham road (B764) running to the county boundary. A road on this line is shown on Roy but not on Armstrong.

 

18. Kilmarnock by Mauchline to Old Cumnock.
This is effectively the present road. It ran along London Road, through Hurlford as the B7073 and then as the A76 to Bargower. Here it ran across the fields to rejoin the A76 at Rodingdean. There was a winding stretch at Howford Bridge south of Mauchline which is now closed but the rest of the road is unchanged, running through Auchinleck to Cumnock. Roy has a road along most of this alignment and Armstrong shows the turnpike itself.

 

19. Looking south to SornhillGalston by Sorn to Old Cumnock.


There appears to have been no changes to this road which is the B7037 to Sorn. South of Sorn, it crosses the old bridge near the church and runs up past Laigh and South Logan to Auchinleck. There seems to have been a long delay
in building it, as it does not appear on Arrowsmith's map of 1807 nor on Ainslie's map of 1821, appearing only on Thomson in 1828. The 1806 Act refers to a road (q.v.) from Sornhill Toll Bar to Catrine
and then Auchinleck which may be a re-submission of this road although it appears to have been built along the
route mentioned here.

 

 

20. Kilwinning by Dalry and Bieth (stet) to Clarksbridge.
This is the present A737, the only difference being that it passed through the town centres. Armstrong shows it in its entirety, although not as a turnpike; whereas Roy only shows the one mile stretch from Beith to the county boundary at Clark's Bridge.

 

21. Dalry to Maich Bridge.
This is the present day route, viz. the Dalry - Kilbirnie Road and then the A760. It is shown on Armstrong as unturnpiked but does not appear on Roy.

 

22. Kilwinning by Bieth to Caldstream Bridge.
The Kilwinning to Beith section of this road does not appear on Arrowsmith's map of 1807 nor on Ainslie's map of 1821. However, the Beith to Coldstream Bridge section does, so this must have been built fairly soon after the Act was passed. This section left Beith on what is now the B777 (road to Lugton) to just past Overton. From there it went by the minor road to what is marked on the modern 1:25000 map as Coldstream Bridge No.1.

 

As the 1805 Act mentions a road from Kilwinning via Auchenmead and Marshalland Bridge to Beith and beyond to Kerse Bridge, it is likely that this was a re-submission of the road along its original intended route between Kilwinning and Beith. The route is that of the modern B778 and then the road up to Auchenmade and South Barr where it turns and runs to Beith as the B706, and thereafter to Kerse Bridge. This is a similar line to the earlier road shown on Roy and Armstrong with the exception of their routing along what are now farm tracks past Monkredden and Gooseloan as far as Auchenmade.

 

23. Saltcoats by Largs to Kellybridge.
This was a very useful road which gave good communications as far as the county boundary and so to Greenock beyond. Although Armstrong shows his road running over the sands north of Ardrossan there seems no particular reason why the turnpike would do this. It is probably safe to say that the turnpike follows the line of the A78 as far as Bank Cottages where it becomes the B7047, a minor road passing through West Kilbride. Certainly this is the line shown on Ainslie (1830) as the main road.

 

The turnpike left West Kilbride by the road running up to Kilruskin but the next two miles have been obscured by the new main road past Hunterston. North of here, the turnpike has the modern line. It is interesting to note that the turnpike between Fairlie and Kelly Bridge (Wemyss Bay) almost entirely replaces the earlier road which ran through Kelburn and, north of Largs, on the line of the minor road about half a mile from the coast.

 

24. Irvine by Stair Bridge to Dalmellington.
There have been major changes to the road network in Irvine. However, the initial stages of this road can be traced as a track and minor road a few hundred yards north of the Shewalton roundabout which leads to a minor road to Drybridge. From here it runs south as the B730 through Dundonald, crosses the A77 at Bogend and runs through Fail where there has been minor realignment, to Tarbolton. It continues through Stair and Drongan to Littlemill when it carries up the hill into Rankinston and then becomes a track leading to Dalmellington. (6) It is shown on Armstrong but not Roy.

 

1774 Ayr Roads Act

25. Stewarton to Beith, by the Old-Hall-Bridge over the Water of Lugton.
This is the present Dunlop - Beith road and is shown on Roy and Armstrong, though not as a turnpike on Armstrong.

 

26. The Road from Fail till it joins the Road from Ayr to Kilmarnock at Riccartown.
This leaves the B730 two miles north of Fail and runs over to Craigie and then to Riccartoun, passing through Shortlees on the way. A road on this line is shown by Roy although it has a more direct line between Craigie and Fail.

 

27. Coyltown to Galston by Gadgirth Bridge and Tarboltown, till where it joins the Road from Kilmarnock to Cumnock, near Lawersbridge.
This is the B744 from Crosshands over to Tarbolton and Annbank and then the B742 over Gadgirth Bridge to Coylton. As this doesn't appear on Roy or Armstrong except for a short stretch at Gadgirth on Armstrong it was a completely new road. It is interesting to see that the significant changes in orientation of the B744 indicate that this numbering system, introduced in the early 1920's, was partly based on the old turnpike routes

 

28. Coyltown by St. Evox to Munktoun.
This is now the A70 as far as Belston. It then runs north for mile as the B744 to Broadhead where it becomes a minor road running through St Quivox to the A77. It then turned north to run along the line of the A77 to Sandyford then north-west past Shawhill, to Monkton. Although much is now lost to the airport, a stretch near the A77 remains. Strawhorn shows a 19th century map of turnpikes in Ayr parish in his History of Ayr - the road in question is marked as no.15. Armstrong shows a two mile stretch of road from above Broadhead to the A77 line, i.e. through St Quivox but to the south his road continues down to Gateside. Curiously this doesn't appear on the Ayr parish map as either a turnpike or a parish road so predates the turnpikes. Roy shows only a road between Coylton and Belston, i.e., the Ayr to Cumnock road.

 

29. Mauchline by Millburn to Craigie Castle.
This is the minor road which passes Mossgiel. At Barrmuirhill it turns up past Millburn to reach the A719. It then cuts across to Plewlands and Caldrongill to join the Irvine - Dalmellington turnpike, viz. B730. Roy shows a road on this line as far as Mossbog when it cuts across country to Millburn. It is not shown on Armstrong except perhaps a short stretch between Caldrongill and Craigie Castle on his Fail to Symington route.

 

30. Mauchline by the old Bridge of Barskimming till it joins the Road at Drongan.
This is straightforwardly the minor road that goes over Barskimming Bridge and runs over to Schaw on the B730 near Coalhall. Drongan is just a mile or so further south. Armstrong has a road on the same line which runs from Mauchline to Crosshill only. Roy's Ochiltree road includes a stretch from Barskimming Bridge to Crosshill.

 

31. Muncktoun to Tarboltown.
This is now the B739. The stretch from the A719 to Tarbolton is shown by Armstrong but not Roy.

 

32. Kilmamock by Oldroomford through Dundonald, till it joins the Road from Ayr to Irvine near the Loans. This leaves Kilmarnock as Dundonald Road and although there has been some realignment at the roundabout near the abattoir it picks up the line again as the road through Gatehead. It forks to the left near Palmer Mount to run into Dundonald. From there it is the hill road over to Loans. Armstrong shows this stretch. It is not shown on Roy

 

33. Kilmaurs by Corsehousebridge and Oldroomford through Symington, till it joins the Road between Ayr and Kilmarnock.
This is now the B751 through Knockentiber to Crosshouse and Gatehead. It then runs along the Kilmarnock - Dundonald Road (A759) for mile and turns left to run past Peatland to Symington. Although Roy and Armstrong show roads on part of this, overall it was clearly a new route.

 

34. The Road from Kilmaurs till it joins the Road from Irvine to Stewartown, near Cuninghamhead.
This still exists and no changes in alignment seem to have been made. The road on this line shown by Armstrong appears to cut out the bend on the approach to Cunninghamhead. Nothing is shown on Roy.

 

35. Hurleford to Riccarton.
Although this stretch is less than two miles long it is interesting to see the changes that have occured. Initially it ran directly between the two places. Then when the roundabout was built it ran directly to that. Later still with the Irvine expressway it was routed under the new road and was realigned on the far side of the roundabout. It can still be seen on the north side of the present road running into Hurlford. Neither Roy nor Armstrong show the road.

 

36. Finwicktown to Shawbridge.
This is the B751 running from the south end of Fenwick over towards Kilmaurs. Shawbridge is one kilometre short of the town. It is not shown on Roy or Armstrong.

 

37. Old-Cumnock by Muirkirk to the Confines of the County towards Douglas.
This is essentially the A70 although there have been a few changes, viz. at the old bridge near Logan, a couple of places where the road remains as a layby, and near to Wellwood. Armstrong and Roy both show what is presumably an earlier road on this line.

 

38. Ayr to Dalmellington.
Although this is the present A713 there have been changes over the years, already noted in respect to Roy and Armstrong. A major realignment has been carried out at the intersection with the Dalrymple - Coylton road where it turned for 200 metres in the direction of Coylton then down again towards Benston. Here, however, it looped round the minor road to the right for over mile before taking up the modern A713 line again. Close to Smithston, Armstrong's road divides into two: one branch follows the A713/turnpike line, the other goes over by Lethanhill and Burnhead to Dalmellington. Roy also shows this stretch and then a similar line north to Ayr from Smithston. South of Smithston he shows a different line from the A713.

 

39. Dalmellington to New-Cumnock.
The only major change from the modern line is that on leaving Dalmellington the road ran south of the river as far as Pennyvenie. The route was shown on Armstrong but Roy's road, although initially the same, terminates just past Upper Beoch Farm (NS521103).

 

40. Ayr by Maybole to Girvane, which Road divides at the Redbrae near Maybole into two branches, one of which goes by Kirkoswald, and the other by Garpinebridge and Daily.
The first stretch from Ayr to Maybole is now the B7024. From Maybole the first branch mentioned is essentially the A77 with some modern improvements, notably a one mile stretch west of Maybole, and is different from the lines shown on both Roy and Armstrong. The other road is that running to Crosshill and then Dailly.

 

However, at Rowanston it took the Armstrong line down the minor road to Ladyburn and then ran just above Kilkerran House to take up the line of the modern road (B741) again. The junction here (NS290024) is clearly seen. By 1828, Thomson's map shows the modern road line replacing this stretch. Another major change is that the road ran through New Dailly, 300 metres north of the present road. It then ran via Lady Farm, Bargany, Gateside and Hawkhill to Old Dailly. The route can easily be seen on the 1:25000 map. Roy and Armstrong show this stretch. The rest of the road to Girvan is the modern road.

 

41. The Road which departs near Muirston from that Branch of the Road immediately above described as leading by the Garpine-Bridge and Daily to Girvane, and leadeth by Kilkerran-Mill to the Village of Barr.
This leaves the B741 at Moorston, one mile east of New Dailly and runs to Barr. Older OS maps show that it ran almost directly south for mile from Delamford. Armstrong shows the road, although he does not have the stretch from Moorston to Lindsayton but rather has it running directly from the latter to New Dailly. It is not shown on Roy.

 

42. Ayr by the new bridge of Doon at Greenan along the Coast to Cullean, and from thence till it joins the Road from Kirkoswald to Girvane above Turnberry-Houses.
This is the present A719 - there do not appear to have been any changes from the original turnpike line. Both Roy and Armstrong have what is very probably the one road running from Turnberry to Ayr but it ran very near the coast in the vicinity of Culzean Bay, took a higher line near Dunure and ran down to the coast after the holiday camp.

 

Click for larger image
Kennedy's Pass, 3 miles south of Girvan. The turnpike ran higher up the hill here but was later rerouted.

43. Girvane to the Confines of the County beyond Glenap, leading to Stranraer; which Road consists of two Branches, one of them going by Ballantrae, and the other by Colmonel.
The first road is the A77 to Stranraer. On the Girvan to Ballantrae stretch there have been a couple of changes. One is that for about two miles it took a higher line near Pinbain Hill - the track can still be seen running from Kilranny Bridge to approximately Pinbain Bridge - this section is shown on Roy. Another change is that by a curious twist it went through Meikle Bennane, was later routed around Bennane Head and is now, with the modern road, back to the original alignment. This can be clearly seen on OS maps.

 

South of Ballantrae it went by the minor road from Lagganholm to Coilingbridge and then ran through the grounds of Glenapp Castle.

 

Click for larger image
Ballantrae bridge, with Ardstinchar Castle

Near to Auchencroish Farm it appears (cf. Thomson's map) to be the track 100 metres west of the A77 which turned from its present course near the loch to run to the crossroads. The next major change is at Mark in Glenapp where it crossed to the north side of the river, crossed back over near its mouth and then took up the modern line again to the county boundary. Both Roy and Armstrong show a road which, if not identical to the turnpike line along most of its length, is at least close to it. The one exception is Glenapp where the turnpike is significantly different from both.

 

The other branch is now the A714 as far as Daljarrock near Pinwherry where it becomes the minor road over to the B734 which then leads to Colmonell. There do not appear to have been any changes in alignment on the stretch. Armstrong shows this road although not as a turnpike; but Roy's route leaves the A714 near Pinminnoch and goes over the hills to near Pinwherry where it takes up the Colmonell line.

 

South of Colmonell it crossed the bridge and then ran west past Craigneil. It appears from Thomson that it left the present road alignment just past Cairn Hill and ran north of the Knockdhu Burn over to Sallochan. It probably crossed at the ford noted on modern maps to take up the modern line again to Heronsford, Auchenflower and

 

The turnpike between Colmonnel and Killantringan, south of Crailoch

Crailoch. From here to the A77 at Killintrangan, its course can be seen as the track shown on modern OS maps. Both Roy and Armstrong show this road although there are doubts about the exact route they are showing.

 

44. From the Garpine-Bridge by the Balloch to the Confines of the County leading towards Wigton.
This is the hill road to Newton Stewart. Thomson's map suggests a straighter line than at present but the only changes that can be pointed to with certainty are that it took a straighter line between Drumyork Hill and Knockinculloch and perhaps on the approach to North Balloch. Beyond here, there do not appear to be any changes in alignment. Roy and Armstrong both show a road on this line.

 

45. From the Balloch by the Bar, till it joins the Road from Girvane by Colmonell to the Confines of the County towards Stanraer.
There is a minor road between Balloch and Barr but both the Roy and Thomson maps (Armstrong doesn't show the stretch from Balloch to Milton) suggest that the turnpike lay higher up the hill slopes, at least between Knockeen and close to Upper Barr. Leaving Barr, it is probably identical to the B734 as far as Doularg. From here it made towards the distinctive north-south stretch of the river that runs down from Kirkland. It crossed the river to run through Benan and then re-crossed at Pinclanty Mill to take up the B734 line again to Pinmore Bridge where it joined the Girvan - Colmonell road. Armstrong shows a road on the south of the river, and so differing in parts from Roy's road and the turnpike. There is a major difference at Pinclanty where it ran over the hills to Ballimore to come out eventually south of Pinwherry.

 

46. Old Daily by Penkill till it joins that branch of the Road from Girvane to the Confines of the County by Colmonel.
This starts as the B734 to Penkill and is then the minor road past Tralorg, Tralodden and Tormitchell to Pinmore. Neither Armstrong nor Roy have a road on this line.

 

47. Maybole to Girvane by Drumelland, Dalquharran and Killochan.
This is the track a few hundred metres west of the minor road running south from Maybole to Kilkerran just above Dailly, where it becomes the B741. The track runs through Springgarden and Craigfin Wood to come out on the present road near Roan of Craigoch. Beyond Pathead it went on the loop up to Drummochreen Farm and then down to Wallacetown. From this point on it seems to have the modern line. It does not appear on Roy or Armstrong.

 

48. From Ladyburn by Drumgirnford to join the Road from Maybole to Girvane, immediately herein before described, near Dalziellely.
This is confirmation that the Maybole to Girvan road through Crosshill (No 40) was different from the modern line, Ladyburn being mile east of this. This road is to be identified with the minor road from Ladyburn via Ruglen to Roan of Craigoch - Thomson's map suggests a straighter line to Ruglen once the river has been crossed. Interestingly enough, whereas the turnpike between Rowanston and Woodend Bridge ran through Ladyburn, Kilkerran and Maitland, Thomson shows (in addition to the old turnpike) a new road which is the present day road, viz. B741 so this must have been built after the turnpikes (1774) and before the map (1828). The road does not appear on Roy or Armstrong.

 

49. Maybole to Dalrymple-Bridge, and from thence to Kirkmichael.
This is now the A77 as far as High Smithston Bridge (or at least the older sections of the A77 which can be seen beside the present road), and then the B742 to Dalrymple. At Chapelknowe, however, it ran directly on to the minor road leading to Dalrymple. As it does not appear on Arrowsmith's map of 1807 and is mentioned again in the 1805 Act it probably had not been built by that time.

 

So far as the link to Kirkmichael goes, this does not appear as an ex-turnpike in the 1878 List so must have been built by the parish. This is the minor road going down through Guiltreehill. Thomson shows a straighter line in places but this may just be the mapping. Armstrong shows only part of the route from Maybole to Dalrymple, viz. a stretch of the A77 and then from Cassilis to Dalrymple. Roy has no link to Dalrymple and although he has a road heading south from near Dalrymple, it is significantly different.

 

50. The Road from Dalrymple-Bridge till it joins the Line of Road from Ayr to Cumnock, near Coyltoun.
This is the B742 which runs up to Corsehill in Coylton. The only change is at the junction with the Dalmellington road at Boghall. Roy and Armstrong do not show any road between these places.

 

51. The Road leading from the said Bridge by Cardowie and Doonholm to the Town of Ayr.
This appears to be the present road to the A77 as far as Carcluie. It then went up through Barrhill and Doonholm towards Ayr. Both Roy and Armstrong show a road on or very close to this line.

 

52. Maybolle to Straitoun by Kirkmichael.
This is now the B7045. There do not appear to have been any changes except perhaps the series of bends near Drumfad, one and a half miles east of Kirkmichael, where Thomson's map suggests a straighter line. Armstrong shows a route between Maybole and Straiton but with significant differences between Maybole and Kirkmichael. Roy does not show a road on this line.

 

53. Crosshill to Straitoun.
There seems no reason to doubt that this is the road running past Cloyntie and Blairquhan. Both Roy and Armstrong have routes to Straiton but they seem to run more directly to Blairquhan.

 

54. The Road from Crosshill by Kirkmichael-Bridge till it joins the Road from Maybole to Straitoun.
This is the present day road with no apparent changes. It is shown on Armstrong but not Roy.

 

55. Straitoun to Dalmellington.
This is the present day road (B741) with no evident changes. It is shown on Armstrong but not on Roy .

 

56. Kilwinning by Corsehill Chapel and Milnburn to Dreghorn.
The first part of this road is easily traced as the B785 running east of Kilwinning via Benslie to join the A736. From here to Dreghorn, most of it has been incorporated into housing estates in Irvine. From Sourlie it continues as a distributor road to Stanecastle and then through Bourtreehill to cross over the Irvine into Dreghorn. Although stretches are shown on Roy and Armstrong, they are part of other routes shown by them and not a link between these two places.

 

57. Milnburn by Hygenshouse to the West End of the Town of lrvine.
This road is now hard to trace. It appears to have run from the above road near Benslie through the grounds of Eglinton to just north of Irvine on the Kilwinning Road. Roy has a road on this line but not Armstrong.

 

58. The Road which departs from the Road between Ayr and Douglass at Garranhill, in the Parish of Muirkirk, and leads from Garranhill aforesaid by Blackside and Waterhead, and from thence to the Confines of the County of Lanerk.
This is the A723 leading to Strathaven. The only change of note is the realignment in recent years at Greenock Burn about two miles north of Muirkirk.

 

Old Track near Greenside and the modern A723 heading towards Strathaven

It is worth noting that the well made track, visible from the bend near Greenside (one mile north of Muirkirk), that runs south to Tardoes, appears from map evidence to be 19th century. Neither Roy nor Armstrong show any link to Strathaven.

 

59. Old Cumnock by Halglenmuir to Crawfordjoan.
This is the minor road to Dalblair and then the track which continues beyond the road end. It starts as Barrhill Road in Cumnock, running to the junction for Logan. It had a much straighter line past Logan with the Muirkirk turnpike running down to the old bridge over the river, with a minor realignment where the railway used to be. Curiously, Thomson has the road ending at Whiteholm which may indicate it was never a successful route. Armstrong shows the road but takes it north of the river between Whiteholm and Dalblair. It does not appear on Roy.

 

60. From Stewartoun towards Kaimshill, and from that to Dunlop-House, and from that to the Road leading to Glasgow.
This left the Stewarton to Dunlop road (No.7) near present Pointhouse Cottage and ran up to join the road to Glasgow which went via Fulshaw and Newmill. From the position of Titwood on Thomson, it appears to have continued on from High Gaineshill past Sidehead and Titwood to New Mill. The course can still be traced on an existing track and on field boundaries. Both Roy and Armstrong have a road on this line.

 

61. The Road from the Cockpitt near Stone-Castle by Armsheugh, Auchinharvie, and Dunlop, till it joins the Turnpike Road leading from Glasgow by Nielstoun to Ayrshire.
This turnpike is on the course of an earlier road shown on both Roy and Armstrong. It ran along what is now a road through a housing estate up to High Armsheugh and then followed this minor road up to Auchenharvie and Crossgates. Once over the Glazert Burn it took the fork to the right to Irvinehill. This stretch is now a track and is quite attractive with its abandoned double hedges. Once it reaches the B778 at North Kilbride it runs up to join the new stretch (No.60 above) from Pointhouse Cottage to Newmill.

 

62. Middletoun by Greenvale and Armsheugh to Kilwinning.
This is a short link between the Irvine - Stewarton Road (No.3) and the Irvine - Dunlop road (No.60) and is the minor road up past Roddinghill and Millburnside. Roy does not show it but it appears on Armstrong although somewhat displaced.

 

63. The Road from Fail-Bridge to Lochbrown till it joins the Road from Mauchline to Kilmarnock.
This appears to be the road from Failford up to the B744 near Mossbog and then along the B744 to Crosshands. Loch Brown was south of this road where the railway is. Neither Roy nor Armstrong show this road.

 

 

1805 Act

In 1805, another act was passed adding further roads to the network.


Turnpike Roads 1805 Act.
See larger map

Irvine towards Loch LiboIrvine - Loch LiboLargs - Kilbirnie/DalryKilwinning - Beith - Kerse BridgeBelston - AnnbankCumnock - Connel ParkStair towards BelstonCatrine towards SornRiccarton towards Mauchlineroad in AyrAyr - Over MillMauchline - Catrine -SornMonkton - St QuivoxLittlemill - StraitonAstonpapple - OvermuirNewmilns towards CumnockOchiltree - AuchinleckOchiltree towards CatrineCatrine to SchawOchiltree towards MauchlineBonnyton - Burnton - OchiltreeBurnton - BenstonAyr - MayboleDailly towards DouglastownKierhill towards KirkmichaelLittlemill - MayboleBrae Toll Bat, GirvanLoveston - BarrGirvan - BallantraeKilantringan towards Mouth of GenappColmonnel - Barrhill - Newton StewartNew Ayr road towards Kirkmichael

Reproduced from the 1935 Ordnance Survey map. Crown copyright

A road to lead from the Road from Irvine to Stewarton at the Girdle and to pass by at or near Doura and Mountgreenan, and alongst the Lugton to the extremities of Ayrshire, near Loch Libo, passing through the parishes of Irvine, Kilwinning, Stewarton, Dunlop and Beith.

The 1878 List of Roads, Highways and Bridges in Ayrshire lists a Loch Libo Road for each of these parishes and shows each stretch to have been a former turnpike. From the routes given through each parish in the 1878 List, it is clear that this is the A736.

 

A road from Largs to Dalry by Haily, Redhall and Knockside and a branch from that at or near Howrat to the bridge at Kilbirnie passing through the parishes of Largs, Kilbirnie and Dalry.

This is the A760 between Largs and Kilbirnie, with the B784 branching off to Dalry.

 

A road leading from at or near Kilwinning by Auchenmaid, Marshland Bridge and Beith to the confines of the County at or near Kerrsland Bridge passing through the parishes of Kilwinning and Beith.
There is a possibility that this is the same road as road 22 in the 1776 Act and that this had not been built. The reason is that road 22 does not appear on Aitken's map of Cunninghame (1806) nor on Arrowsmith's map of 1807. If so, its mention here would be a renewal of permission to build the road with the opportunity to extend the road to Kerrsland Bridge (modern Kerse Bridge).

 

A road from the Road from Ayr to Cumnock at a point near Bellston across the Water of Ayr at Enterkine Tar Kilns and from thence till it joins the road from Gadgirth Bridge to Tarbolton passing through parishes of Coylton and Tarbolton.
This is the minor road that leaves the A70 about one mile east of the A77 at Belston and runs via Tarholm to Annbank.

 

A road from the village of Old Cumnock leading past Benston Limework to join the Dalmellington to New Cumnock Road.
This is probably the road from Skerrington (near the roundabout south of Cumnock) which runs to Connel Park, one mile west of New Cumnock. The 1897 OS map shows this road running past limeworks, near to Benston.

 

A road from near Stair Bridge by Dalmore and Old Bridge of Kyle to the Ayr to Cumnock Road.
This leads off the Stair to Drongan road just south of Stair and runs via Dalmore, Broadwood and Milncraig to near Belston on the A70.

 

A road from the Mauchline to Cumnock Road near Clews Farm via farms of Catrine Daldorch Smiddyshaw and Barrs Parks to the Ayr to Muirkirk Road near the Coal Ford of Gilminscroft in Sorn parish.
The stretch between the A76 and Catrine (the B713) is problematic as it appears to duplicate part of the road mentioned later which ran from Catrine via Whiteflat over to the Daljore Ford near Barskimming. From Catrine onward however it is the modern B713 via Daldorch to the new bridge in Sorn.

 

A road from Riccarton either in present line or through Riccarton Moss by Treeswoodhead, Fiveway Houses near Cairnhill and by Longhouse to junction of line of road from Galston towards Stairbridge through Park Muir.
This is the minor road which starts off as Treeswoodhead Road and runs down to Cairnhill on the Galston - Ayr road and then for a further two miles to near Rottenrow.

 

A road from the new Bridge of Ayr by the back of the town until it joins the road from Ayr to Dalmellington, within the Parish of Ayr.
It is hard to tell from this description and available evidence what the course of this road might have been. Given that the Vennel and the High Street were in existence at the time, it might be Miller Road across to the start of the Dalmellington Road at the roundabouts near the railway station.

 

A road from the Sea Shore of Ayr between Black Burn and Cunning Park around the Race Course and by Shawfield Whinmuir Fisherton Sandyford Duphold and Holmston to the Water of Ayr, at the Overmills of Ayr, within the Parish of Ayr.
This is probably the road marked on McDerment's map of Turnpike and Parish Roads in Ayr (1852). It ran along Seafield Road, Racecourse View, Chapelpark Road, Ewenfield Road, Belmont Road, Hillfoot Road and Overmills Road to the Over Mill which now lies on the far side of the A77. There are some fine stepping stones over the river at this point. This route has been realigned at Hillfoot Road/Dalmellington Road and at Holmston Road near the roundabout on the A77.

 

A road from the south end of Mauchline Village by Grassmilees and Ballamyle Smithy to Catrine and from thence towards Sorn, by the Back of the Chapel of Ease, passing through the Parish of Sorn and Mauchline. This is the B705 from Mauchline past Ballochmyle Hospital to Catrine and then the minor road up to the Mauchline - Sorn road just west of Sorn Castle. It is shown on a map in the Old Statistical Account for Sorn.

 

A road from Monkton through the lands of Prestwick by Saint Evox to Coylton, passing through the Parishes of Monkton, Saint Evox and Coylton.
Part of this road is now lost under Prestwick Airport but it reappears at Highfield (near the A77) as the B7035 running to St Quivox and then via Oswald's Bridge to the old Broadhead Toll.

 

A road from Little Mill to the Weel Foot of Dalharco, leading to Straiton, passing through the Parishes of Dalrymple, Dalmellington and Straiton.
Initially, this is the B730 between Littlemill and Polnessan (Dalharco was just south of here). In the 1878 List, No.9 Patna Road in Straiton Parish and No.12 Patna Road in Kirkmichael Parish are marked as ex-turnpike. These are now the Patna - Kirkmichael road. Goosehill Road in Kirkmichael Parish is described as leading between the Patna and Straiton Turnpikes so giving a continuous route between Littlemill and Straiton. Goosehill Road ran between Stepends Bridge and Blackbridge. See below, however, for a possible difficulty in identifying this road.

 

A road from Astonpople East of Newmilns to Overmuir in the Road to Eaglesham, passing through the Parishes of Loudoun and Fenwick.
A road was to have been built on this line under the 1767 Act yet as Arrowsmith in 1807 does not show such a road it may not have been built and its inclusion in the 1806 Act was in order to renew the proposal. It appears on Thomson's map of 1828 but may have been a parish road as it is not listed as an ex-turnpike in the 1878 List. As a point of interest, Thomson shows a projected line for a new road between Glasgow and Cumnock that is very close to this road.

 

A road from Sornhill Toll Bar, by the Farm of Bank to Newmills where it joins the Road to Edinburgh and Glasgow by Eaglesham and also the Road from Sornhill Toll Bar to Catrine and from thence till it joins the Road from Kilmarnock to Old Cumnock at the Village of Auchinleck, which Two last-mentioned Roads pass through the Parishes of Loudoun, Galston, Mauchline and Auchinleck.

Sorn Old Bridge

This had been proposed in the 1776 Act yet does not appear on Arrowsmith in 1807 or Ainslie in 1821 (it is shown on Thomson's map of 1828). In view of this, we must presume there had been delays in building it. The stretch from Sornhill Toll Bar to Bank and Newmilns seems never to have been built under the Act although there is now a road on this route (shown on Thomson) which must have been built by the parish. There is a difficulty in fact with the mention of Sornhill Toll Bar as it did not exist at the time. It may be that the 1805 Act is referring to the projected route shown on Thomson which, apart from the Astonpapple stretch, was to have run from Newmilns to Bank and Sornhill Toll Bar and then via Burntwood, Auchenmillan, Grassyards, Catrine, Little Heateth, Auchinleck and Cumnock. The route actually built seems to have reverted to that given in the 1776 Act, viz. Galston by Sorn to Old Cumnock. The 1878 List shows that the road went via Sorn Old Bridge and Laigh Logan to Auchinleck.

 

Old road just after the old bridge at Ochiltree
Just east of the old bridge (which hadn't been built at that time) the road swung to the north. At a later date it was rerouted eastward to what is now the B7036 and headed up to the Barony Road. Later still the old bridge was bypassed by a new bridge and a new stretch of road. See map.

A road from Ochiltree by the Ford in the Water of Lugar at Loganston and from thence to the Village of Auchinleck, by the present road from Auchinleck House to the Church, where it joins the Road from Mauchline to Cumnock, passing through the Parishes of Ochiltree and Auchinleck.
This is very probably the B7036, i.e. the Barony Road, between Ochiltree and Auchinleck. Thomson's map shows that on leaving Ochiltree it ran nearer the river towards Blackfauldhead and then turned very sharply into the line of Barony Road some 300 metres west of the present road. Tracks can be seen on part of this line today.

 

A road from Ochiltree by the aforesaid Ford, and from thence by Blackfallhead, Drumfork and Brakenhill, where it joins the road from Mauchline to Cumnock, passing through the Parishes of Ochiltree and Auchinleck. Following clues from Thomson, this appears to have had the line of the previous road as far as the Barony Road. Beyond this, there is a track today leading to Blackfauldhead Farm which goes on to join the road up to Drumfork and the A76. However, Thomson's map suggests a line more from Auchinleck House.

 

A road from Catrine through Whiteflat to the aforesaid Road from Mauchline to Catrine and from thence through the Farms of Clews, Willockstone, Syke, Martinshill, Turnerhill and Willockshill to the Daljore Ford in the Water of Lugar, near Barskimming and from the said Ford, by Rodinglast, till it joins the Road from Mauchline to Stair, and from thence continued through a Hollow till it joins the Stair Bridge Road, passing through the Parishes of Sorn, Mauchline, Auchinleck, Ochiltree and Stair.
The course of this road can be traced with the help of Thomson's map. The first section is the B713 from Catrine to the A76. It continued as the road on the other side of the modern A76 that runs down to the old bridge over which the Mauchline - Cumnock road used to pass. Before reaching this bridge it ran south past present Low Clews and is seen here as the farm track leading to High Clews. It then ran over to Long Avenue and to Daljore Farm which was to the east of present Roddenloft. From there it went to Schaw on the Stair to Drongan road.

 

A road leading from the Town or Village of Ochiltree to the Town or Village of Mauchline through the Broom Farm, Muir's Mailling, Carwhallan, and by Barturk and Auchenbay, all parts of the Estate of Ochiltree, in the Parish of Ochiltree, and the Lands of Roadinglast, belonging to Sir William Miller of Glenlee, where it falls into the Road to Mauchline, already made.
This is the road leading north-westwards out of Ochiltree which runs past Caston, Barturk and Auchinbay to Roddenloft.

 

A road (Part of which is already made) beginning at the Toll Bar on the Road from Dalmellington to Stair Bridge, on the Lands of Bonnyton, where there is a Cross Bar, near Bonnyton House, and by it, along the New Bridge across Bonnyton Burn, through the Lands of Polquhairn, by the Loch, the Lands of Drumjoan, and the Estate of Ochiltree, till it terminates at the Village of Ochiltree, and all lying in the Parish of Ochiltree.
There has to be a strong presumption that this is the road from Bonnyton (just north of Littlemill) that goes through Sinclairston as far as Burnton then turns north towards Ochiltree. Indeed Ainslie's map of 1821 shows this road. The situation is complicated, however, by it not appearing on Thomson a few years later. The 1878 List shows the road between Bonnyton and Burnton as not having been a turnpike. However, it has as a former turnpike the present stretch of road up to Mote Toll (one mile west of Ochiltree) and its continuation southward to Auchlin and Burnock Bridge - this was known as the Moat to Marchburn Road.

 

A Branch, or other Road, to go off from the Road last described on the Estate of Ochiltree, through Part of that Estate, then through the Lands of Burnockston, and across the Water of Burnock, through another part of the Estate of Ochiltree, all in the said Parish of Ochiltree, till it joins a Road made by the late Earl of Dumfries on his Estate on the March of the Parish of Old Cumnock, leading to the said Earl's Limework, and the Village of New Cumnock, where it terminates and falls into the great Turnpike Road between Ayr and Dumfries.
This is probably the road south from Burnton as mentioned immediately above, running to Skares and continuing on towards New Cumnock. The limeworks were near Benston so the road would have terminated at the crossroads and the parish boundary near here. As said this was the Moat to Marchburn Road and noted as a former turnpike in the 1878 List. Thomson (1828) shows this road (with an interesting routing past Burnock Mill) but Ainslie (1821) shows nothing in the area.

 

A road from Maybole to Ayr, by Monkwood Bridge, and the Foot of Barrhill, near to the March with Doonholm, through the Lands of John Hunter Esquire, and the Lands belonging to the Countess of Crawford, and from thence through the Lands of Finnickland and so on through the Borough Acres, until it joins the Road from Ayr to the Old Bridge of Doon, near Culros Burn, passing through the Parishes of Maybole and Ayr.
The existing turnpike ran through Culroy and Alloway (B7024). The proposal was an improved line and follows the route of the A77 (best seen on older OS maps because of realignments here and there) and then the A79 (Maybole Road and St Leonard's Road) into Ayr itself.

 

A road from the inland Road between Maybole and Girvan, from a Point between Dalquharran and Bargany, passing near to or through the Farms of Blair, Threave, Chapelton, High Park and so on in the Best Line to the Sea Shore at Douglaston, lying in the Parishes of Dailly and Kirkoswald.
This is probably the road that leaves the B741 just before that road runs down into Dailly. It runs up past Glenlochrie and Farden to Drummuck. It then runs north for several hundred metres to a crossroads where it turns right to head north and east for Threave. Just before the latter farm, Thomson shows a road running north more or less directly past Craigenton Hill and Knox Hill to join the present minor road 300 metres south of the A77 near Croftengee. From Thomson the only suitable road shown is that which leaves the A77 about 300 metres nearer to Kirkoswald and goes over to Glenronnie on the A719. From here it is under a mile to Douglaston, which is where Maidens now is.

 

A road from Kierhill, to join the Road between Kirkmichael and Maybole, passing through the Parishes of Straiton and Kirkmichael.
This is the road running west from Patna (present Patna Hill is shown on Thomson as Keir Hill) as far as Dalvennan. From here it is difficult to tell from the description if it is the continuation of this road into Straiton or if it is the road that runs up to Fardenwilliam and Guiltrehill and then down into Straiton. A few hundred metres of this road have been lost between Fardenwilliam and Guiltrehill. The 1878 List shows both these roads as 1st and 2nd Patna Road and as a former turnpike. From this it may be safe to presume that the more direct road (1st Patna Road) is the one mentioned in the 1805 Act. It is hard to tell from the descriptions of this road and the one above leading from Littlemill to Dalharco if they are one and the same. Perhaps the Littlemill road ended at Dalharco and the Kierhill road continued the line to the Kirkmichael - Maybole road.

 

A road from Littlemill to Maybole, passing through the Parishes of Dalrymple, Straiton, Kirkmichael and Maybole.
A turnpike between Maybole and Dalrymple had been proposed in the 1767 Act (No.49) but there is a likelihood that it had not been built yet (it does not appear on Arrowsmith's map of 1807) and that its inclusion was to renew permission to build it. It appears on Thomson's map by 1828 and is noted as a former turnpike in the 1878 List. The remainder of the route to Littlemill does not seem to have been built as a turnpike - the 1878 List does not show any of the linking roads as ex-turnpikes so these were probably parish roads.

 

A road from Brae Toll Bar, through Ballochtoul by Piedmont, to where it joins the present Post Road to Ballantrae, and to make a Branch of the Toll Road on the South Side of the Water of Girvan, passing through the Parish of Girvan.
This is the minor road that links the B734 (Girvan - Old Dailly) to the A77 at the roundabout south of the town of Girvan.

 

A road from the Water of Girvan, from a Point at or near Loveston, to the Village of Bar, by Knockgiran, passing through the Parishes of Dailly and Bar.
This is the B734 between Loveston, about mile east of Old Dailly, and Barr.

 

A road from Girvan to Ballantrae, through Balkeachy, Knockdaw, Carlton Mains and Corsclays, passing through the Parishes of Girvan, Colmonell and Ballantrae.
Thomson shows a road from Pinminnoch (near Balkeachy), two miles south of Girvan, running down to near Knocklaugh Lodge. From here the road is presumably the present day minor road running to Lendalfoot. At Carleton Mains it would have been aligned with the route shown on the Military Survey map that ran about a mile inland from the coast down to Corseclays Farm.

 

A Branch of Road from Killantringan by Balmeanoch, and Glendrishock to the Post Road which passes the Finnart at the Mouth of Glenap, passing through the Parish of Ballantrae.
Using Thomson as a guide, this road ran from Kilantringan (3 miles south of Ballantrae and west of the A77) through Low Ballochdowan and then by the present day track to Balminoch, Shallochwreck and Craigans down to Glendrisaig Farm. From here it must be the existing track past Turf Hill and then have taken a more direct course to the bridge at the mouth of Glenapp.

 

A Road from Colmonell Bridge, on the South Side of the Water of Stinchar, passing near Pinwherry, and from thence along the Valley of Dusk to the March of the County, towards Newton Stewart, passing through the Parishes of Colmonell and Bar.
This is the road and track that runs south of the river via Dalreoch to Pinwherry. Beyond that it forms the A714 as far as Barrhill and then the B7027 to Loch Maberry and Loch Dornal and ultimately Newton Stewart. The present A714 south of Barrhill is not shown on Thomson (1828).

 

A Road, from the New Road from Ayr to Maybole, by Woodston, or near it, to Kirkmichael; and another Branch to be continued, to intersect the Road from Maybole to Garpen Bridge, and from the Road from Maybole to Girvan by Drummellan, on the New Line, passing through the Parishes of Maybole and Kirkmichael.
This is the B7045 which leaves the A77 just south of Minishant. The other section is the short stretch leading over to Ballochbroe on the Maybole to Crosshill road.

 

Conclusion

It is remarkable just how dependent the present day network is on the turnpike roads. Apart from minor roads practically every other road is a former turnpike. Having said that it should not be thought that the present day network is just the old turnpikes with some minor realignments here and there and a general resurfacing. Practically every turnpike has been "improved" along its whole length, not only laterally with an improved line but vertically as well to eliminate gradients. This is not to deny that the modern roads follow the turnpikes - they do- and the old roads where replaced can be seen beside them. Where this has not happened the turnpikes are literally just under the surface, i.e. under a few inches of modern surfacing, or in some rare cases are in their original state. Old toll cottages can be seen at various locations and even the milestones remain. They are in fact still "official" milestones under Council care.

 

The turnpikes therefore are still with us, although vastly altered. It was a remarkable age and we can only salute the energy that went into creating what were the beginnings of a modern road system.

 

References

1. Aaron Arrowsmith, Map of Scotland constructed from original materials, London, Arrowsmith, 1807

2. John Thomson, Northern Part of Ayrshire, Southern Part, Edinburgh, J Thomson & Co., 1828

3. John Ainslie, Map of the Southern Part of Scotland, Edinburgh, Macreadie Skelly & Co., 1821

4. List of the Roads, Highways and Bridges in the County of Ayr prepared under Section 41 of the Roads and Bridges (Scotland) Act 1878

5. David McClure, Tolls and Tacksmen, Ayrshire Monographs No.13, AANHS, 1994

6. J Strawhorn, Historical article in Among Thy Green Braes, ed. J Moore, Cumnock & Doon Valley District Council, 1977

 

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