Failford is a small village 2.5 miles west of Mauchline, where the Water of Fail flows into the River Ayr. Robert Burns was betrothed to ‘Highland Mary’ (Mary Campbell) here in 1786.
The village features a range of 18th century almshouses, including a hospital, which was described as ‘spacious and handsome…designed for inhabitants of Tarbolton and Mauchline…upwards of forty years of age…who have never solicited alms.’
The 17th century Covenanter minister, Alexander Peden, preached in nearby Coilsholm Wood, using a red sandstone outcrop, which overlooks the River Ayr and is known as ‘Peden’s Pulpit’. A set of steps provides access to the path above, but they’re worn and not seen as safe.
Coilsholm Wood is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, due to its ancient woodland of oak, ash and beech, and is also a haven for interesting wildlife.
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