In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Ayrshire like this:
Ayrshire, a maritime co. in the SW. of Scotland, adjoining the cos. of Renfrew, Lanark, Dumfries, Kirkcudbright, and Wigtown. It is in the shape of a crescent, with the concave side, measuring about 70 miles, adjacent to the Firth of Clyde. Its greatest breadth, across the middle, is 30 miles. ...
Area, 1128.5 sq. m., or 729,186 ac. Pop. 217,519, or 193 persons to each sq. m. The coast in the S. is rocky and destitute of natural harbours, but becomes row and sandy northwards from Ayr. The lofty islet of Ailsa Craig is comprised in this co. The surface slopes with slight undulations from the landward border, which is hilly in most parts, and is mountainous in the SE. The soil is various, sandy near the coast, of a rich clay in the middle parts, and moor in the uplands. The rivers are the Garnock, Irvine, Ayr, Doon, Girvan, and Stinchar. The largest lake is Loch Doon, on the SE. border. The minerals are coal, iron, limestone, and sandstone, all of which are extensively worked. The co. is famous for dairy produce and a fine breed of cows. The mfrs. are valuable, and include woollen, cotton, iron, and earthenware. (For agricurtural statistics, see Appendix.) The co. comprises 43 pars. and 3 parts, the parl. and police burghs of Ayr and Irvine (part of the Ayr Burghs -- 1 member), the parl. and police burgh of Kilmarnock (part of the Kilmarnock Burghs -- 1 member), and the police burghs of Ardrossan, Darvel, Galston, Largs, Maybole, Newmilns and Greenholm, Cumnock, and Stewarton. For parl.puposes it is divided into 2 divisions, viz., North and South, 1 member for each division.
Vision of Britain presents long-run change by redistricting historical statistics to modern units. However, none of our modern units covers an area close to that of Ayrshire. If you want trends covering a particular location within the county, find it on our historical maps and then select "Tell me more".
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Ayrshire | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 24th April 2017
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