The New Cumnock Mural , at the Mary Morrison Memorial Garden
History of the Parish
of New Cumnock
by Robert Guthrie
Burnfoot Row
1913 Housing Conditions
James Brown of the Ayrshire Miners' Union visited Burnfoot on 13th November
1913 to assess the housing conditions and reported ' Burnfoot might, in common
parlance, be termed the limit, and it would win a contest for abonimations'
Little wonder , since Brown records that the population of 234 were served by a
total of 'six earth closets of two compartments each, having no doors, and with
ashpits attached, the contents of which had long ago overflowed their walls'.

The Burnfoot Row was made up of four blocks .

First Block : 10 two-apartment houses, room and kitchen. The room measured
11 feet by 9 feet and the rent was 2s 3d per week.
Second Block : 12 single apartment houses. The room measured 16 feet by 11 feet
and the rent was 1s 8d per week.
Third Block : 8 two-apartment houses, room and kitchen. The room measured 11
feet by 9 feet and the rent was 2s 3d per week.
Fourth Block: 11 two-apartment houses, with sculleries and boiler with a rent of 2s
9d per week. (In the 1881 Census each of the apartment was home to seperate
Ordnance Survey 1908 with 1938 additions
The Lanemark Coal Company was formed in 1865 and within a year they had
taken a lease from Afton Minerals. The Afton No.1 pit was opened in 1871 and
was known locally as Burnfoot Pit due to its proximity to Burnfoot farm, nestling at
the foot of Blarene Burn on the New Cumnock-Dalmellington Road.

The Burnfoot Row was built to accommodate the miners that would require to be
attracted to this prosperous coal-field. By 1881, the population was 153 , although
at this time over 20 of the homes were recorded as uninhabited. Only 4 of the
adults were recorded as being born in New Cumnock. However, the first
generation of Burnfoot folk was well established with 57 of the children being New
Cumnock born.

In 1909 William Hyslop, Laird of he Bank formed the New Cumnock Collieries
Ltd. bringing together the pits of the New Bank Coal Company and the failed
Lanemark Company.
Burnfoot Rows, courtesy of Donald McIver
Burnfoot Rows and Burnside, New Cumnock
Burnfoot | Census1881
Burnfoot Farm (foreground) and remaining houses of Burnside.

Many years later new houses were built at Burnside along side the refurbished
rows of Burnfoot. Being four miles from New Cumnock and six miles from
Dalmellington in many ways resulted in Burnfoot being considered as an isolated
community. However, the people that lived and worked their are as much a part
of New Cumnock's history as Wallace, Bruce or Burns.
Today, a few bricks of the Burnfoot Row can be found between the rushes,
a few houses remain scattered about Burnside and even Burnfoot Farm is all
but derelict. Heritage memorials appear to be only around the corner!