Explore Carrick’s attractions on open doors weekend

Members of the Girvan and District Attractions Committee alongside artist Councillor Alec Clark and artist Maureen Hutton.
Members of the Girvan and District Attractions Committee alongside artist Councillor Alec Clark and artist Maureen Hutton.

Places across Carrick are to take part in a doors open day this weekend which gives an opportunity for locals and visitors to see inside the area’s attractions.

The Doors Open Day is being held on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th September and gives a rare opportunity for anyone to look inside Carrick’s great buildings.

Girvan’s McKechnie Institute will be open on both days from 10.30am-4pm on the Saturday and from 12-4pm on the Sunday.

A refurbished Stumpy Tower will also be open on both days from 12-4pm.

An event was held at Stumpy Tower on Monday 1 September to showcase the work that has been done in conjuction with local artist Maureen Hutton as well as the work put in by the Girvan and District Attractions Committee.

Maureen has painted a whole host of new colourful boards which have now been put up in one of Girvan’s oldest attractions and showcase the varied history across the Carrick area.

Among them is a detailed picture of Sawney Bean, the semi mythical creature who is said to have lived in a cave at Bennane Head between Girvan and Ballantrae where him and his wife are said to have practiced cannabialism.Another myth about Sawney Bean is also documented inside Stumpy Tower; that of the Hairy Tree.

It is said that one of Sawney Bean’s daughters moved to live in Girvan where she planted the Hairy Tree.

After her family were captured, angry locals revealed her identity and hanged her from the bough of the Hairy Tree.

Another one of Carrick’s most famous sons is also depicted in a painting by Maureen.

King Robert the Bruce was born in Turnberry Castle in 1274 and is Carrick’s very own king.

Information boards also detail the history of Stumpy Tower itself, McMaster Hall, the RSPB nature reserve on Ailsa Craig as well as detailing about times when people inhabited Ailsa Craig.

When volunteers are available Stumpy Tower will be open for all to see and the volunteers are still putting the finishing touches on a refurbishment of the tower.

The Dailly Parish Church and Hall has also been refurbished and Ailsa Craig will be the theme of an photographic and audio exhibition during the weekend. Lots of new materials have been kindly donated to the new exhibition and it is well worth visiting if you have an interest in wildlife, geology, curling or local history.

The Parish Church and hall is open from 10am-4pm on the Saturday and 12-4pm on the Sunday.

Kirkmichael Parish Church will be open from 12-4pm on the Sunday and is a new addition to the programme this year.

Straiton Parish Church is also a new addition for 2014 and their doors will be open from 1pm-4pm on the Sunday afternoon .

Other buildings across Ayrshire that are open include Ayr Sheriff and Justice of the Peace Court from 10am-4pm on the Sunday, the Auld Kirk in Ayr which is open on the Saturday from 10am-4pm and the Belleisle Conservatory which is open from 12-4pm on both days over the weekend.