Mary Queen of Scots is known to have toured Scotland extensively. It is likely she stayed in Loudoun Hall on her visit to Ayr.
AYR NATIONAL ISSUE 7897
THE QUEEN NEEDS AN AYR
Mary Queen of Scots Visits the West Coast
5th August 1563
The Royal Burgh of Ayr has seen salacious crowds, all hoping to catch a glimpse of the beautiful, young, and most fashionable twenty-year-old Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, as she partakes on her Royal progression through the West of Scotland, following her recent return from France.
Previous to the Queen’s arrival in Ayr, Her Royal Personage and her entourage have spent a great deal of time touring the country, of which it is said the Queen is a big fan – meeting her subjects up close and personal. If the rumors are true, it is highly suspected that our Queen is looking for her next King, after the tragic death of her first husband Francis II, King of France.
Crossing the Clyde from Dunoon to the Ayrshire coast on the 31ST July, staying the night at Lord Semphill’s Southannan Castle. A height of luxury castle, complete with straight to moat loos and stunning loch views, near Fairlie. Closely followed by her visit to Hugh Montgomerie, 3rd Earl of Eglinton at the Earl’s castle. Where it looks like the pair had a cosy dinner for two….and the lords and gentlemen of the district accompanied the Queen.
Having continued on their tour, passing through the Town of Irvine and following the coast to Ayr. The Provost, and Magistrates of the Royal Burgh of Ayr greeted the Queen and her entourage as they passed over the Auld Brig and entered the town, before the Queen was welcomed by Sir Matthew Campbell of Loudoun, Ayr’s golden boy and Sheriff. We can’t help but wonder how our lowly Loudoun Hall compares to the castles and palaces the Queen is used to. When told of the history of the building, the Queen learned of its original owner, a well-known trader with France, the queen exclaimed:
Which, to those of us who do not speak French translate to “I tried the salted fish from the region while I was in France. I found it quite pleasant!” High praise indeed from her Majesty. After a quick visit to St John’s tower, lighting a candle as a solid display of faith, it was time for our Lady to depart. We at the Ayr National wish her safe passage on her journey to Edinburgh….and luck with her quest to find a suitable Nobleman to sire our Country’s future King.
God Speed Lady Mary!
Written by: Kirsty McConnell
Illustrations by: Jazz Buchanan
Audio by: Elisha Bennison
Audio recording and mixing by: Scott Andrew