Ayrshire Towns and Parishes

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This is the modern name for the modern village built along the shore in the early years of last century 





The old village was named Penrioch meaning the grey speckled Pennylands - of norse origin. It was built up the hill above Pirnmill. There are various ruins, but six of the houses are still inhabited (1985). The herring fishing was a thriving concern here in the late 1800s and up until the end of the Second World War. The MacBrides came over from Irvine about 1890. They were ringnet fishermen using 36ft long open deck skiffs which were later decked when installing petrol/paraffin engines to them. The Curries, Robertsons, and Cooks were the mainstays of the driftnet fishing industry.

It is said that Robert the Bruce who had been backed up by the Clan Donachie at Bannockburn decreed that henceforth they would be Robertsons 'sons of Robert'. One Robertson was given the tenancy of the farm at Penrioch and other farmers recoded as held in tenancy from the king included Thunderguy, Altgolach, Immacher, and Banlicker.

The mill, from which Pirnmill gets its name, ran from about 1780 to 1840, an off shoot of Clarks of Paisley who then became Coats. Pirns, which are the wooden bobbins, were made from locally grown wood. When all the trees had been cut down, the mill ceased to function. It was powered by an overshot waterwheel the runnel for which still exists.







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