Business: Turners Ayr and Newton Breweries Ltd
The Ayr Brewery was built in Mill Street by James Watson and John Brown, who had already established a successful business in Newton-upon-Ayr through their partnership of Watson & Brown.
The site lay close to the River Ayr and was originally part of lands belonging to the Dominicans, or Black Friars, which were located off Mill Vennel, later known as Mill Street.
The brewery was built to the plans of Alexander Davidson and consisted of "a group of 2- and 3-storey rubble buildings, of which the largest is a 3-storey, 5-bay block with an elliptical-arched cart entry". The foundation stone was laid on the 14th September 1833.
After the partnership of Watson & Brown was dissolved in 1850 the brewery was operated by the firm of James Watson & Son, then James Watson (1851-1884), and later James Watson & Co (1884-1898). Finally, in 1898, the brewery was acquired as part of the setting up of Turner's Ayr & Newton Breweries Ltd.
A second well, 315 ft. deep, was bored in 1900 by J. Henderson & Sons of Glasgow. Brewing ceased at the Ayr Brewery around 1912 and the buildings were used for a time by a subsidiary of Turner's: the Western Contracting Company.
The site is now occupied by a modern housing development.
Other Sources of information
Canmore has a number of records relating to the Ayr Brewery. Last accessed 19th July 2016.
Books and periodicals
Close, R. The forgotten breweries of Scotland: Turner's Ayr and Newton Breweries Ltd. Scottish Brewing Archive Newsletter, 1987, 10, pp.10-12.
Donnachie, I. A history of the brewing industry in Scotland. Edinburgh: John Donald Publishers, 1979.
Gibb, F. and Close, R. The brewers and breweries of Ayrshire, Buteshire and Renfrewshire. Stirling: Lomax Press, 2013.
Hume, J. R. The industrial archaeology of Scotland, 1: The Lowlands and Borders. London: B. T. Batsford, 1976.