People who, like me, enjoy looking at old photographs may want to check out the Ballantrae website, which has a nice collection of old images of the village, some looking out to sea, with the ever-present Ailsa Craig on the horizon, others showing street scenes with the residents in their fashion of the day. The website also has a fascinating timeline of events, happy and sad, which have taken place there over the years, starting from 1806. Another interesting feature of the website is a table showing a comparison between the 1900 village and the present one. As a sad sign of the times, it reveals that in 1900 there were 6 grocers, but only one now; there was a baker in 1900, now there are none; and in 1900 there was a post office, while the present-day post office is inside the grocers. The shingle beach at Ballantrae is a nature reserve, classed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with nesting grounds in the nearby cliffs. The beach lies between the harbour at the north end and the mouth of the River Stinchar at the south end, which is dominated by the ruins of Ardstinchar Castle, once home to the Kennedys of Bargany, where Mary Queen of Scots spent a night in August 1566. The village was immortalised in literature in a book by Robert Louis Stevenson called The Master of Ballantrae, about a family feud during the Jacobite Uprising. Ballantrae has its own Gala Week, which this year starts on 29th June, preceded by the crowning of the Gala Queen and Gala King on 14th June.
Map of the area.
©2007 Snapshots Of The Past, via Wikimedia Commons