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Places of Interest about Girvan

"The name Dailly" as one of its ministers has said, "is as pleasant to the lip as the place is to the eye"; and with this dainty compliment a stranger may not intermeddle. The village is situated on the banks of the Girvan, with the pleasure grounds of Dalquharran lying immediately opposite. The Parish Church, seen in the engraving, is at least the third of its kind which the parish has seen; the first having probably stood near Kilkerran, the second at Old Dailly, and the third now forming the centre of New Dailly Village. It was built in 1776, and, to speak the truth, is the darkest and least comfortable of any church in the district. There is a Free Church also in the village.

The history of a parish is generally best read in its churchyard, where the worthies of former days lie sleeping. The Dalquharran lairds are buried within their own grounds, and the Bargany lairds at Old Dailly; but the Kilkerran lairds have their Mausoleum here. Here, also, are some of the ministers who have served the parish. The name of the Rev. Thomas Thomson, who died in 1799, has been eclipsed by that of his two sons, John, the famous landscape painter, better known as "Thomson of Duddingston," and Thomas, famed in his day as a lawyer and antiquarian. The Rev. David Strong's name has also been eclipsed by his two sons, David and Charles, the one a minister in Glasgow, and the other in Melbourne. Dr Hill, too, officiated here for a time, and Principal William Chalmers of the English Presbyterian College, London.

Of the other tombstones, perhaps the most singular is the one bearing the following inscription:—"In memory of John Brown, collier, who was enclosed in Kilgrammie Coal Pit, by a portion of it having fallen in, October 8, 1835, and was taken out alive, and in full possession of his mental faculties, but in a very exhausted state, October 31, having been 23 days in utter seclusion from the world, and without a particle of food. He lived for three days after, having quietly expired on the evening of November 3, aged 66 years." I do not know whether this "breaks the record" in fasting or not; but it is to be remembered that Brown had always sufficiency of water within reach. The Pit in which he was entombed is the disused one immediately adjoining Dailly Railway Station. As you approach the village from Crosshill, there is a small granite block standing by the roadside intimating that John Aitken, roadman, died suddenly there. I remember being told that John was a character in his way, and had a great antipathy to read sermons. One stormy Fast-day the minister of Barr came to preach, and John drily remarked—"It's a pity the man cam' sae far, as he micht hae sent his paper by the Post!"

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