Ailsa Craig Photographs
Home ] Up ] Photo Galleries ] Town Guides ] Notables ] Community ] News ] Places ] History ] Search ] Contact Us ]

A panoramic shot of the Ailsa Craig. Click on the images to view them full size. Images courtesy of Ann Bowker

Girvan Harbour

Approaching Ailsa Craig

 Cliffs of Ailsa Craig

Side view of Ailsa Craig

 Cliffs of Ailsa Craig

For those who have landed without permission

Castle on Ailsa Craig Castle and lighthouse from above Thousands of gannets nest on the cliffs
The sky is full of seabirds

The castle and lighthouse from the sea

Two sides of the island

A major operation is underway to take 1,500 tons of granite from Ailsa Craig — to meet the demand for new curling stones. Mauchline-based Kays of Scotland have exclusive rights for the unique granite, and the firm took heavy lifting machinery on to the rock from Girvan harbour. Now granite is coming back twice or three times a day, and is being processed at the Mauchline factory into quality playing stones, as well as miniature curling-stone giftware. Scottish women’s successes in Olympic and World championships have given a boost to the sport, hence Kay’s six-week enterprise. And Rhona Martin, skip of the GB Olympic gold medallists, visited Ailsa Craig, with her family, at the invitation of Kay’s.

Also on the trip were three Swiss visitors, who toured the Mauchline factory the previous day. And Kay’s are pleased to announce they have secured a substantial order for playing stones from a curling club in Switzerland. While on the island, Rhona took part in a promotional photo- shoot for Kay’s giftware, now available from 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. Kay’s stress that the granite collection was planned with conservation watchdogs at Scottish National Heritage, and involves no blasting or quarrying.

And Ailsa Craig’s large gannet colony — more than 20,000 pairs — isn’t affected, as it is located on the western side of the rocky crag. Kay’s last took major shipments of granite from Ailsa Craig in 1989, although they have regularly collected smaller quantities as the need arose. (Article from the Ayrshire Post dated September 6th, 2002)

More photos here. Click here for sketches and a brief description of Ailsa Craig or here for a map and complete topographical details. Article in Scottish Curling Magazine featuring photos by Davie Law. A unique amoebae has been discovered on the island. Read more about this here and here.  The Pointe Claire Curling Club in Quebec, Canada has a great website and a very active membership.  Stories of Stones and Shipwrecks - an article by Rowena Love . Short clip