From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present
Ayrshire
Ardstinchar Castle




Ayrshire is a historic county and registration county in south-west Scotland, located on the shores of the Firth of Clyde.

It is roughly crescent-shaped and is a predominently flat county with areas of low hills, it forms part of the Southern Uplands geographic region of Scotland. The north of the county contains the main towns and bulk of the population. East of Largs can be found the Renfrewshire Heights, which continue south to the hill-country around Blae Loch.

Southern Ayrshire shares with the Galloway counties some rugged hill country known as the Galloway Hills.

Ayrshire is one of the most agriculturally fertile regions of Scotland. Potatoes are grown in fields near the coast, using seaweed-based fertiliser, and in addition the region produces pork products, other root vegetables, and cattle and summer berries such as strawberries are grown.

A number of small islands in the Firth of Clyde are part of Ayrshire, the chief of these being Horse Isle, Lady Isle and Ailsa Craig.

The area that today forms Ayrshire was part of the area south of the Antonine Wall which was briefly occupied by the Romans during the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius. It was inhabited by the Damnonii, who are presumed to have been Britons. Later, it formed part of the British Kingdom of Strathclyde, which was incorporated into the Kingdom of Scotland during the 11th century. In 1263, the Scots successfully drove off the Norwegian army in a skirmish known as the Battle of Largs.

A notable historic building in Ayrshire is Turnberry Castle, which dates from the 13th century or earlier, and which is famed as the birthplace of Robert the Bruce.