We have compiled a Burgh Glossary which is now on our website with our Burgh catalogues! As the Burgh records come in different forms and explore a wide variety of themes, this glossary is to help researchers using the catalogues to understand the burgh records and what information they might contain.
Today marks the 418th anniversary Prestwick Burgh erected anew as a burgh of barony. It is believed that Prestwick had already received a Burgh of Barony status from at least 1174, but it may have been earlier. Although there is uncertainty to the exact date the town originally received it’s burgh status, we do know that these rights were finally confirmed on 19 June 1600. This was in the form of a charter of novodamus by James VI as administrator, tutor and governor of his son, Henry the Duke of Rothesay confirming all grants by his progenitors to the Burgh of Prestwick and erecting it anew into a free Burgh of Barony (BP/1/1/9). This is an official confirmation of the rights historically granted to the Burgh of Prestwick and is pictured below.
Although Prestwick was formally erected a burgh of barony in favour of the inhabitants, during the 17th century it came under the influence of the Wallaces of Craigie. Prestwick Burgh had an unusual constitution based on the property rights of 36 freemen, known as barons, who held the entire lands of the burgh and re-allocated them periodically among themselves by lot. The freemen eventually gave up their rights to burgh governance with the establishment of the modern burgh in 1903 when it became a Police Burgh, although landholding had been normalised since 1850.
Our catalogue which displays the Prestwick Burgh records held by Ayrshire Archives can be accessed on our website.
Hi folks, it’s Glennie here!
As it is International Archives Day, I was invited to spend some time at Ayrshire Archives HQ and find out a little more about what archivists do on a daily basis. Although we only tend to see what goes on in the searchroom, there is a lot that happens behind the scenes too. Not only do staff regularly take a range of enquiries about the records from researchers and monitor the searchroom, but they are constantly working on the collections they hold to make them more accessible to the public.
You may have noticed that some Ayrshire burgh catalogues have been making their way onto the Ayrshire Archives website. One of the archivists is in the process of re-cataloguing the Ayr Burgh records and has given me a task to help out with! I am helping to accession this volume which originally belonged to the Ayr Fire Brigade.
When items are transferred to the archives, they firstly become known as accessions and are given an accession number and description. This confirms what the items are and that they have been transferred and stored in a repository. It is a process which takes place before records can be inserted and displayed in a catalogue. Before I accession this volume, I am gently giving it a clean with a special smoke sponge. This allows for the dry cleaning of the book in order to remove any dirt or dust it has gathered over the years!
Now it is all clean, it is now time to create a description for it. I shall take a peek inside the volume to see what information it holds and when it dates from…
Having a look through, the volume appears to record fires attended by Ayr fire brigade 1935 – 1941, including information on the location, which fire fighters attended the fire and how much they were paid. I see several familiar streets and buildings mentioned, but something in particular has peaked my interest….
On 29 October 1936 the volume logs a fire at a petrol store at the agricultural college, Auchincruive – this is in the same area that Ayrshire Archives HQ sits today!
It is rather easy to get lost in history. However now I have the details I need, I can fill out an accession form with the correct information so the record can be easily identified by the archivist. This was just a glimpse of what happens in an archive on a daily basis in order to receive, maintain and preserve records. As a result people are able to access important sources of information which contribute to our history and culture.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my role at Ayrshire Archives in celebration of International Archives Day and look forward to visiting again soon!
Today is National Fish and Chips Day, so we thought we would look back on the work of fishermen who play an important role in order to celebrate this event! Therefore we have decided to share an interesting fishing image held at Ayrshire Archives.
This image is from accession 16/117 and shows a fishing boat sailing from Dunure, a well-known fishing village in South Ayrshire. Taken in the spring of 1954, the fishermen pictured are Hugh McCutcheon, Mungo Munro who was the skipper and Robert McCutcheon. The boat they are aboard was fitted with seine-netting gear which allowed them to catch white fish outwith the herring season. The fishing industry in Dunure slowly declined in later years as boats became bigger and the harbour’s limitations became apparent. However this photograph is of a time when Dunure was the ‘plaice’ to be for fishing!