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Although it may at first seem a little strange to be including a section about local history on this site I just had to do it. I feel the history of a place is such an important factor when trying to ... Read More ...
In 1727 an Alexander Campbell was appointed 'tydesman', a post under the Controller of Excise. He was to take up duty at Auchencairn. At that time the King's cutter - the Revenue boat- was stationed in Balcary Bay. The salaries of the Revenue cutter were: The Captain - £20 p.a., Crewmen - £15.
There is in the records an estimate of the value of the goods smuggled from 5 ships, as reported in August 1791; it was said to be over £7,000. The total amount of goods smuggled into the area was feared to be very much in excess of this.
One of the most notorious of the smuggling communities in this area was centred on the village of Craigrow, which stood near the head of Torr Peninsula on the Orchardton side. It was no uncommon sight for a band of 30-50 smugglers from Craigrow to be seen riding across the Bow Farm, with casks and bags of contraband slung across their saddles, into the more open countryside near Auchencairn.
The existence of this nest of smugglers so near the new mansion of Orchardton was an annoyance to Sir Robert Maxwell, the owner, and he tried unsuccessfully to persuade Edward Cairns to let him have the land so that he could root them out. His son, James, on inheriting the property in 1785 did persuade Cairns to sell the land and the village was destroyed and the smugglers dispersed - a happening which, it is said, Edward Cairns regretted ever afterwards. Craigrow was sometimes called Kirvellan, and the bay and point are now shoun on the O.S. map as Girvellan. The old well that served the village can still be seen.back to top