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Priory (Medieval)

Site Name Dalmilling

Classification Priory (Medieval)

Canmore ID 41724

Site Number NS32SE 4

NGR NS 36 22

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council South Ayrshire
  • Parish Ayr
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Kyle And Carrick
  • Former County Ayrshire

Archaeology Notes

NS32SE 4 c36 22.

Gilbertine Priory, Dalmilling (NS 36 22): An undated letter from Walter II to Roger, master of Sempringham, intimates his intention of founding a house of the Gilbertine order. This offer was accepted. Though Walter states in a charter of date 1219-28 that he has founded a house at a place in the land of "Mernes" called Dalmilling upon Ayr, this document is not in itself evidence that conventual life was established at Dalmilling. An advance party of canons visited Scotland, but nuns were never present. It seems that no conventual house was ever established. The Gilbert- ines had resigned their lands and possessions, and these had been given to Paisley Abbey before 1238, when the two canons at Dalmulin were ordered to return to England. There is no evidence that Dalmilling became a cell or oratory of Paisley.

Spottiswoode (1734) states that "the buildings or rather ruins of this monastery subsisted (as I am informed) not long ago." This statement probably refers to the early 18th century, but it must be regarded with considerable dubiety. The charter of James VI secularising the properties of Paisley Abbey in 1587 has no mention of a religious house at this site but includes merely "the lands of Dalmelling with the mill."

I B Cowan and D E Easson 1976; G W S Barrow 1958; J Edwards 1908

No further information. The finding of an 18th century headstone in area NS 358 228 may have some vague connection with Spottiswoode's observations.

Visited by OS (JRL) 4 November 1980

There are no visible remains of the Gilbertine house of Dalmilling, founded by Walter Stewart about 1219-1228. The foundation charter records his intention to erect 'ecclesiastical and domestic buildings... for the religious'. In 1684 Spottiswood states that 'the buildings, or rather ruins of this monas tery subsisted (as I am informed) not long ago'. The priory probably never attained full conventual status; the Gilbertines subsequently resigned their claim and by 1238 the property had been transferred to Paisley Abbey.

T Hope 1734; G Chalmers 1887-1902; J Edwards 1908; Barrow 1957; Cowan and Easson 1976; RCAHMS 1985, visited (IMS) September 1985.


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