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Places of Interest about Girvan
Ardmillan House


THIS mansion stands about two and a half miles south of Girvan. In old times, it was the seat of one of the numerous branches of the Kennedys, and its proprietor bore the honours of the house of Bargany at the funeral of the laird, who was killed near May bole. About 1658, it passed by marriage into the hands of the Crawfuirds of Baidland, and recently by purchase into the hands of the Playfairs. At the covenanting period, the Ardmillan "gudeman," as he was called, was on the side of the persecutors, which accounts for the way the Episcopal Abercrombie speaks of him. "Next to Turnberry, is the Castle of Ardmillan, so much improven of late that it looks like a palace, built round, court-ways; surrounded by a deep, broad ditch, and strengthened by a movable bridge at the entry, able to secure the owner from the sudden commotions and assaults of the wild people of this corner, who, on these occasions, are set upon robbery and depredation; and to enable him the better to endure a siege, he is provided with a well in his court, and a hand-mill in the house for grinding meal or malt, with which two lusty fellows set at work will grind a firlot in the space of an hour."

The house is quaint and picturesque, nestling cosily among its woods at the foot of the hill, and looking out over the ever-varying panorama of the Firth of Clyde. It is said to contain one of the most elegant drawing-rooms in the county. Its best known proprietor was the late Lord Ardmillan, one of the Judges of the Court of Session, who died in 1876. Humble and warm-hearted to a degree, he was noted for his genial and kindly humour in private, as well as for his upright and manly conduct in public. He was very much attached to the place of his upbringing, and no one was better liked throughout the whole district. There is a Small obelisk to the memory of Lord Ardmillan's father erected on the hill behind the house, but it is fast hastening to ruin. Lord Ardmillan's career as a judge is best remembered by his decision in the Yelverton case.


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