Catrine, Ayrshire

Historical Description

CATRINE, a village, and formerly a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of SORN, district of KYLE, county of AYR, 25 miles (E. by S.) from Mauchline; containing 2659 inhabitants. This place, which, prior to the year 1786, contained only the two families of the miller and the blacksmith of the parish, is indebted both for its origin and progress to the establishment of the cotton manufacture, at that time, by the late Claud Alexander, Esq., of Ballochmyle, and David Dale, Esq., a merchant of Glasgow. The works, after being carried on for a few years, were purchased from the original proprietors by Messrs. Finlay and Company, of Glasgow, who enlarged the concern, and brought it to its present flourishing condition. The buildings are spacious, and replete with machinery of every kind. Two water-wheels, each fifty feet in diameter, estimated at 200-horse power, have been erected for giving motion to the machinery; and two steam-engines, of sixty-horse power each, have been added, to secure the continuance of the work under any failure of water. In the bleaching-works, also, the requisite machinery is propelled by a water-wheel of thirty-two feet diameter, and by a steam engine of twenty-eight horse power. Every process of the cotton manufacture is carried on, with the utmost regularity; the raw material sent from Glasgow is spun, woven, bleached, and finished, either for home consumption, or for exportation to foreign markets. In the bleaching-works, which were established in 1824, in addition to the goods produced in the cotton factory of this place, all the cloth manufactured at the other works of the company are bleached; the process is carried on within the walls, at all seasons of the year, and from 150 to 200 acres of land, which would be requisite for the exclusive purpose of a bleachfield, are thus appropriated to agricultural uses. The number of persons employed in both the works is 960.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 1851 by Samuel Lewis