Human settlement in Scotland
Maybole is located in South Ayrshire
Location within South Ayrshire 22
Population4,580 (mid-2020 est.)[1]OS grid referenceNS301100• Edinburgh71 mi (114 km)• London325 mi (523 km)Council areaLieutenancy areaCountryScotlandSovereign stateUnited KingdomPost townMAYBOLEPostcode districtKA19Dialling code01655PoliceScotlandFireScottishAmbulanceScottish UK Parliament
  • Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock
Scottish Parliament
  • Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley
List of places
55°21′18″N 4°40′48″W / 55.3551°N 4.68°W / 55.3551; -4.68Coordinates: 55°21′18″N 4°40′48″W / 55.3551°N 4.68°W / 55.3551; -4.68

Maybole is a town and former burgh of barony and police burgh in South Ayrshire, Scotland. It had an estimated population of 4,580 in 2020.[1] It is situated 9 miles (14 km) south of Ayr and 50 miles (80 km) southwest of Glasgow by the Glasgow and South Western Railway. The town is bypassed by the A77.


St Cuthbert's in 1789

Maybole has Middle Ages roots, receiving a charter from Donnchadh, Earl of Carrick in 1193. In 1516 it was made a burgh of regality, although for generations it remained under the suzerainty of the Kennedys, afterwards Earls of Cassillis and (later) Marquesses of Ailsa, the most powerful family in Ayrshire. The Marquess of Ailsa lived at Cassillis House, just outside Maybole until its sale in 2007.[2] In the late seventeenth century, a census recorded Maybole was home to 28 "lords and landowners with estates in Carrick and beyond."[3]

In former times, Maybole was the capital of the district of Carrick, Scotland, and for long its characteristic feature was the family mansions of the barons of Carrick. Maybole Castle, a former seat of the Earls of Cassillis, dates to 1560 and still remains, although aspects of the castle are viewed as "of concern".[4] The public buildings include the town-hall, the Ashgrove and the Lumsden fresh-air fortnightly homes, and the Maybole combination poorhouse.[5]

Maybole is a short distance from the birthplace of Robert Burns, the Scots national poet. Burns's mother was a Maybole resident, Agnes Brown.[6]

In the nineteenth century, Maybole became a centre of boot and shoe manufacturing.

Margaret McMurray (??-1760), one of the last native speakers of a Lowland dialect of Scottish Gaelic, is recorded to have lived at Cultezron (not to be confused with nearby Culzean), a farm on the outskirts of Maybole.

Notable landmarks

The disused Maybole Parish Church
  • The ancestral seat of the Marquesses of Ailsa is Culzean Castle, now run by The National Trust for Scotland and located 4 miles (6 kilometres) west from Maybole. This dates from 1777; it stands on a basaltic cliff, beneath which are the Coves of Culzean, once the retreat of outlaws and a resort of the fairies.
  • Maybole Town Hall incorporates a tower which dates back to the 16th century.[7]
  • Cassillis Castle, near Maybole, is a category A 14th century castle with 17th century and 19th century baronial extensions.
  • A primary rail service is at Maybole railway station. Set up in 1860.
  • 2 miles (3 kilometres) to the south-west are the ruins of Crossraguel (from Crois Riaghail meaning 'Cross of St Regulus' ) Abbey, founded about 1240.
  • Our Lady and St Cuthbert Catholic Church in Maybole was opened in 1878 and it was largely funded by Catholic convert Margaret Radclyffe Livingstone Eyre (born Kennedy).[8]
  • In the early 20th century, Maybole added a Baptist church. This was admitted to the Baptist Union in 1901 and appointed its first full minister in 1919, a year after the Great War finished.[9]
  • Kirkoswald, where Robert Burns spent his seventeenth year, learning land-surveying, lies a little farther west. In the parish churchyard lie the real people who inspired two of Burns's fictitious characters Douglas Graham (Tam o' Shanter) and John Davidson.
  • Farther south are the ruins of Turnberry Castle, where Robert the Bruce is said to have been born. A few miles to the north of Culzean are the ruins of Dunure Castle, an ancient stronghold of the Kennedys.
Housing on the site of the old St Cuthbert's shoe factory
The head of the old Maybole Cross in the gardens of Maybole Castle. The cross bears the coats of arms of the Kennedy family of Cassillis and has a rare Moon dial on one face.


The town has three primary schools: Cairn Primary, Gardenrose Primary and St Cuthberts Primary.

The secondary school for Maybole is Carrick Academy (a school of Rugby).


The local football club, Maybole F. C., play at Ladywell Stadium.

Notable cultural references

The lyrics of The Waterboys' "Glastonbury Song" include: "I dreamed myself from the sultry plains, To the old green square back in old Maybole ..."

Notable residents

Twin towns

See also


  1. ^ a b "Mid-2020 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland". National Records of Scotland. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  2. ^ "Party-loving Scots laird drops dead in Florida toilet hours before he is due to be guest at Highland Games", Daily Record, by Stephen Houston, 22 January 2015,
  3. ^ "Maybole Visitor Guide - Accommodation, Things To Do & More".
  4. ^ "Maybole Castle, High Street, Maybole | Buildings at Risk Register".
  5. ^ "Maybole Feature Page on Undiscovered Scotland".
  6. ^ a b "Notables".
  7. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Town Hall, High Street, Maybole (LB37708)". Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  8. ^ "Eyre, Margaret Radclyffe-Livingstone- [née Lady Margaret Kennedy], styled countess of Newburgh (1800–1889), philanthropist". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/45582. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  9. ^ "Baptist Church of Maybole History".


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Maybole". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 931.

External links

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