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Catrine Heritage and History

Catrine was constructed around one of the first cotton mills in Scotland in 1787 by Claud Alexander of Ballochmyle (who had made a not insignificant fortune as Commissary General in India) in partnership with David Dale. A plan of Catrine at that time shows the hamlet consisted of 11 buildings, including a smithy and corn mill.


In 1801 the factory was purchased by Messrs James Finlay & Co., of Glasgow In 1802, two artificial lochs, covering between them 120 acres (0.49 km2), were constructed above Muirkirk, near the village of Glenbuck, to supply the cotton works. The business was greatly enlarged in 1823 when they added extensive bleaching works. The motive power for the works was supplied by wooden wheels, made from oak grown on Drumlanrig estate.


Nether Catrine House was the country seat of the philosopher Dugald Stewart, Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh from 1785 and is located on the south bank of the River Ayr. It was here that the poet, Robert Burns, famously "dinner'd wi a lord".

THIS wot ye all whom it concerns,


I, Rhymer Robin, alias Burns,


October twenty-third,


A ne’er-to-be-forgotten day,


Sae far I sprackl’d up the brae,


I dinner’d wi’ a Lord.


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