Death of Rev. John Lamb B.D.

Obituary taken from the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald, October 24th 1913 We regret to record the death on Tuesday morning, of the Rev. John Lamb B.D., minister of the parish of West Kilbride. Mr Lamb had been in failing health for some time, being troubled by a weakness of the heart and was confined to


It was the day before Christmas Eve in 1831 when Cholera first hit Scotland. Known as the pestilence (or the “pest”, which my grandmother used to call me), it spread quickly throughout the west of Scotland – the area worst affected by far. In Glasgow, over 3,000 souls would lose their life, Paisley 450, and

Derivation of Place Names: Meadowfoot (Road)

The name Meadowfoot is a relatively modern name, but the road we nowadays call Meadowfoot Road is far more ancient. This would originally have been the track used to enter church lands when travelling from Kilwinning Abbey. In the 1700’s, this main trackway was used by horses and carriages bringing travellers to our little village.

Burking and the Paisley Cholera Riots

We looked at the crowded, unhealthy living conditions of the poor in West Kilbride during the 1820’s – here. In 1826 the Liverpool Mercury reported the curious case of 33 dead bodies that had been found covered in salt and ready for shipment to a surgeon in Edinburgh. The bodies had been removed from graves

West Kilbride in the 1820’s

Life was generally not good in West Kilbride at the start of the 19th Century. More than half of the village lived in squalid, cramped conditions in tenement buildings on the now vacant King’s Arms Car Park. Between 1795 when the rather romantic picturesque village was described by the Rev Oughterson, until 1832 when Cholera

Derivation of Place Names: Thrushing Meadow

Thrushing Meadow was the 18th Century name for the piece of land that ran below the Barony, between it and the Manse. It is now Manse Road as shown in the picture. Thrushing is an old Scots language term that has nothing to do with birds as previous writers have suggested, but simply means threshing.

Portencross, The Great Haffue?

We have recently been looking at the origin of Halfway Street, or the Haef Weg. In this 19th Century map we¬†see that Halfway extended all the way to Portencross Castle and the harbour. Where do we get the idea that Halfway derives from Haef Weg or “the way to the sea”? In old Norse the

Myth: Goldenberry Hill and the Battle of Largs

One of the most persistent 20th Century myths was that the Battle of Largs in 1263 stretched as far as Portencross to Goldenberry Hill. The Friends of Portencross Castle website says: Around 1360, Portencross Castle replaced it on the site where we see it in the village today. It was on part of the estate

The Origin Myth of Portencross Castle

With my apologies to the Friends of Portencross whose continued hard work earns my greatest admiration and respect, but I feel the truth must out. The Myth A favourite local history myth is that the Boyd family built Portencross Castle around 1375. In April 2008, Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division (GUARD) said ” The medieval