Ayrshire castle was termed the ‘Windsor of Scotland’

We must always look to the future but never forget the past. Loudoun Castle, the seat of the Earls of Loudoun has many tales to tell, and was for a number of recent years a theme park with noisy rides etc.

However back in the times of the powerful Earls of Loudoun it was termed ‘The Windsor of Scotland’ as it was under the branches of a yew tree in the grounds that the Treaty of Union between Scotland and England was signed, the quill pen used has been preserved to this day. The tree is supposed to be well over one thousand years old, so it has seen a bit of history but perhaps not as much as the Fortingall yew reputed to be at least five thousand years old...

Now to a tale often told around a winter’s fire which concerns King James V who was riding to Loudon Castle unattended when he stopped at an inn to give his horse a drink with the place forever after being referred to as The King’s Well. Mind you to have a King travel unattended in those somewhat unruly times beggars belief , but I am reasonably sure that by unattended it was meant that he travelled without a body of men of arms, as I am sure he would have had a servant or two and a companion of sorts. Well to get back to the Kings travels, shortly after the stop to quench his horse’s thirst the poor animal sank in a bog of moss and it was only with difficulty that its royal master managed to scramble them both to safety. This boggy bit of moss has consequently been entitled ‘The King’s Stable’ a somewhat disparaging term for what happened on what was to become the main route between Glasgow and Kilmarnock This route passed by both the King’s Well and the King’s Stable but modern highways and by-passes do not acknowledge the presence of history and have taken an even more economic course.. It is unusual to find that the old road used an old ship’s gangway complete with the name of the shipping company along its side to cross over a burn. The good old Scottish attitude of ‘Waste not, want not’ provided an interesting if unusual feature to the traveller, pity we do not have these curious oddities today. The latter day traveller, would have to pass through Prestwick whose name is derived from the Priest’s Village which at one time was noted for its cures for leprosy. Understandably a hospital was founded there by King Robert the Bruce a victim of that dreaded complaint. The cure must have been the waters as history records some interesting wells in this vicinity.