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The Lordship and Barony of Kilmarnock

A new website “The Lordship and  Barony of Kilmarnock” was created to provide visitors with referenced historical information and quality photographs of one of Scotland’s most famous historical locations. It follows the great fortunes – and misfortunes – of the original owners, the Boyds, one of Scotland’s noble families, and their involvement with the greatest figures of the times – including William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Mary, Queen of Scots, and King James III.  Dean Castle (Kilmarnock Castle until 1700), was the ancestral home of the Boyd family for almost 400 years, and is featured with many recent photographs.

When the Lordship was sold by the Boyd family – and later inherited by Lord de Walden -  the castle and an area of land were gifted to the Kilmarnock & Loudoun District Council in 1976. The remaining baronial lands were sold to property investment companies, after which in 2002 the Lordship and baronial titles were acquired by the Ayre family, a sept of Clan Boyd. Persons of the lowland regional Ayre surname – variations include de Ayr, de Are, Ayr - are recorded in Scotland since 1281.

The Baron of Kilmarnock, Eur Ing David Ayre BA BSc MSc DMS CEng MIEE, is a Chartered Electrical Engineer in the North Sea oil & gas industry, and has lived in the Orkney Islands of Scotland for over 25 years. His paternal forebears – originally from Ayrshire - are Ulster-Scots from Randalstown, Co. Antrim. His maternal grandfather, William Hindman, from Coatbridge, County of Lanark, was a regimental sergeant in the Black Watch (1914-18).

The Baroness of Kilmarnock is Patricia Ayre nee Mitchell, whose paternal family originate in Wanlockhead, Dumfriesshire (at 1531 feet, the highest village above sea level in Scotland). The Mitchell family mined and managed the lead mines of Wanlockhead for generations until their closure. The late William Mitchell, father of Lady Kilmarnock, served with the King’s Own Scottish Borders Regiment. The website includes recent photographs of the picturesque village of Wanlockhead.

The armorial bearings and blazon of the Baron on the website are shown to incorporate the green and gold chequy of old Burgh of Kilmarnock, which is a reference to Thomas Boyd of Kilmarnock, the original owner of the Barony.

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