Ailsa Craig Photogallery
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Davie Law has captured some spectacular images of Ailsa Craig . Click on the photos below or the links to view them in several sizes. The 1024X768 sizes make wonderful desktop backgrounds. Click on one of these sizes and once the photo is open in your browser, right click and set as background or wallpaper. More photos on page 1 and page 3.  Davie Law's photo is now on the BBC Radio Today programme site. Photo and story at  The Great Puffin Revival.

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South End of the Island and Paddle Boat Waverley   760 x 358   1024 x 768

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Gannet Colony Paddle Boat Waverley & Ailsa Craig Old fog horn and dump truck
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Ailsa Craig Castle "Squadron" of Gannets Paddle Boat Waverley & Ailsa Craig
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Ailsa Craig from the South Ailsa Craig from the North Ailsa Craig from the North
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A MAJOR operation is under way to take 1,500 tons of granite from Ailsa Craig — to meet the demand for new curling stones. And Scottish women’s curling successes in Olympic and World championships have given a boost to the six-week enterprise. For it is envisaged the game will gain new popularity in the wake of the triumphs. And Ayrshire firm Kays of Scotland are ready to produce new stones to meet the anticipated demand. Mauchline-based Kays have exclusive rights for the unique Ailsa Craig granite, and the firm has ferried heavy lifting machinery from Girvan harbour on to the rock. A company spokesman said: “Weather held us back, but we finally got the machinery on to the island, and we’re now ferrying granite twice or three times each day.”

Kays stress that the operation, originally scheduled for a year ago, has been planned in co-operation with the conservation watchdogs at Scottish Natural Heritage. And it is understood that no blasting or quarrying is taking place — large granite boulders being simply collected from former quarries. Most of the larger speckled ‘Common Ailsa’ boulders will come from the south end of the island, while the rarer ‘Blue Hone’ will be collected from the north. Ailsa Craig’s large gannet colony — boasting more than 20,000 pairs — is located on the west of the island, and should be unaffected by work which is now at the halfway stage.

Kays are a small business employing around seven people at a factory in Mauchline’s Barskimming Road. And they admit the Scottish women’s curling successes have boosted interest in their products. For, as well as making regulation curling stones, the firm also makes a range of giftware, including miniature curling stones particularly popular with foreign visitors.

Kays say the range will be promoted in a number of retail outlets including the Sweetie Shop in Girvan, the Turnberry golf pro shop, the Tam o’ Shanter Experience in Alloway, and the Scottish Craft Centre in Buchanan Street, Glasgow.  Kays last took major shipments of granite from Ailsa Craig in 1989, although they have regularly collected smaller quantities as the need arose. (Article about Ailsa Craig and curling stones from the Ayrshire Post. August 2002)

Margaret MacPhee was recently given an old oil painting and told that it might be of Bass Rock but after some investigation, she believes that it may be Ailsa Craig. She would like to confirm this by asking our website visitors if they can tell her more about the painting or identify the artist. The last name of the artist is a little difficult to read but looks like it could be Craig, McCaig or McCraig. more

This photograph was taken as the sun was setting over the town of Girvan. Ailsa Craig can be seen between the church and town hall spires. Kevin Miller of Maitland, Florida captured this image in May 2007 as he was traveling by train through Girvan. Click on the thumbnail to view full size.

This photograph (by Matt Allen) of a painting by George Renwick Barr shows the Unicorn passing Ailsa Craig. The Unicorn was a brig, built by Wood & Peile at Workington in 1814. Image and information contributed by Jonathan Aylen. A larger image and more details regarding the ship may be found on Tim Latham's website Mighty Seas.

Ailsa Craig Artist: Bartlett; Engraver: Willmore. circa 1840. The stupendous insulated rock of Ailsa, between the shores of Ayrshire and Cantyre in Argyllshire, is about eight miles from the nearest point of the Ayrshire coast, and is generally considered as belonging to the parish of Dailly, as it is included in the Barony of Knockgerran, which is the property of the Earl of Cassillis, now Marquis of Ailsa.

Lithograph by T. Nelson & Sons of London circa 1891 This is a wonderful antique view of the island/rock Aisla Craig in the Firth of Clyde. . This distinctive dome- shaped island-rock lies 10 miles (16 km) off the coast of South Ayrshire and rises sharply from the Firth of Clyde to a height of 340m (1114 feet). Ailsa Craig, which comes from the Gaelic for 'Fairy Rock', is 1200m (1300 yards) long and 800m (900 yards) wide, with an area of 100 ha (245 acres). It is also known as Paddy's Milestone owing to its position as a landmark en route from Ireland.

Click here for sketches and a brief description of Ailsa Craig or here for a map and complete topographical details.  More photos