Bute Farms A-G

The English translation of the farm name in brackets is from 'History of the Isle of Bute' volume 1 by J K Hewison. All details given are according to the 'Bute Record of Rural Affairs.'


The ploughshare field
1806 Neil Jamieson.
1840 James McConechy. William Crawford: known as 'Auld Acholter.'
Mentioned in the first issue of the Clydesdale Stud Book.
John Crawford: His son and last of the Crawford's to farm here.
John Hunter: Left Stuck farm to take up the tenancy here after the Crawfords.

Nether Ardroscadale or Balliachrach

Rich and fertile height of the point
1890s Robert Stewart: Was tenant, and on his death about this time, his son; William Stewart: Took over the farm and ran it for many years before leaving farming to take over a Threshing Mill business in Ayrshire. Duncan McAlister: One of the younger members of the Meikle Kilmory family, became tenant. He specialised in breeding and married Elizabeth Hunter (Upper Ettrick). They intended changing over to Kerrytolia in May 1951. Upper Ardrescadale 1840 Robert & John Stewart: The farm was a long time in the Stewart possession. Robert concentrated on breeding stock while John was the inventive type, there were many implements on the farm of a novel kind. Colin McCallum On vacating Kilmichael, entered the tenancy, and on retirement passed it onto his son James. His wife was the daughter of James McIntyre, Little Grenoch.

Upper Ardroscadale

Rich and fertile height of the point
1840 Robert and John Stewart: For long this farm was in the hands of the Stewart family. Colin McCallum. Moved from Kilmichael to Upper Ardroscadale.
1951 James McCallum: Succeeded his father in the tenancy.


1850 James Jamieson: The Jamieson family had been associated with this farm for many years.
John Jamieson: Followed his father, and reference is made of him in ' The Battle of Kingarth'. He was married twice and there were three sons by the first union. William, took to the sea and sailed as a Captain in Chinese waters, John, to Marine Engineering.
James Jamieson: The youngest son took over from his father on the farm. John's second wife was a sister to Angus Miller a well known sheep farmer of Kames. They had two sons and two daughters. The elder daughter married Duncan Barbour, Ballikillet, Cumbrae, and moved to Leicestershire. Jessie the younger daughter died some years ago.
Angus and Malcolm Jamieson: On the death of their half brother James, they followed on in the tenancy. They are last mentioned, retiring and vacating the farm at May 1951.


Little height or rising ground
Alexander Currie: Bred one of the best known stallions the island has produced, namely ' King of the Roses ' who won the 'Highland Show.'
John Currie: Alexander's son farmed here for many years before taking up tenancy at Blackbridge, Bathgate.
Duncan Currie: At the time of publication (1951) Duncan is mentioned as owner. He is described as being from a butcher's family. He leased the farm to,
Dugald Ferguson: Dugald is the son of Duncan Ferguson of Kilchattan Butts. Ardbeg farm is known from the song 'Sweet Rothesay Bay' - "And I'm a puir hairst lassie That works the lee-long day Amang the corn-rigs o' Ardbeg Abune Sweet Rothesay Bay."


The point of Jesus' servants son
1840 Thomas Stevenson: The Stevenson's came from Uplawmoor, Renfrewshire.
James Stevenson: Is mentioned as being tenant for many years although no dates are given.
Mrs Gibson: James's sister carried on from him, and
Robert Muir: from Mecknoch followed her. On his death the tenancy passed to,
Donald McKinnon: who at the time still retained Bannatyne Mains farm.


The height above the cow
1800 John Crawford: Was one of the original founders of the Bute Agricultural Society. (Instituted:- 11 March, 1806)
1840 Archibald Hall: Followed as tenant, and was succeeded by his son,
John Hall: Who vacated about 1880. His son, also John became a Road Contractor at Bonhill, Dumbarton and worked a small farm in that district.
John Martin; Came to Ardnahoe from Lubas, he had three marriages. His first wife Mary Orr from Ayrshire, bore him two sons and three daughters. Archibald became a veterinary surgeon. He died at the age of thirty on 3 March 1879.
James Martin: Remained at Ardnahoe before taking up tenancy at Stravannan. Martha married John Brown, Fences Farm, West Kilbride, and Margaret, David Gowans, Greenock. Their sons John and David were well-known on Bute, the latter emigrating to Durban, South Africa, where he conducted a flourishing wine business and took a prominent part in public affairs. The younger member of this family, Mary Orr, became the wife of James Wilson, a Manchester business man who originated from West Kilbride.
Rebecca Hunter: (Mid St Colmac), was Arnahoe's second wife. There is no mention of children.; Rebecca Hunter Barr:(Kerrylamont) his third wife bore him two sons and three daughters. John (Ardnahoe) Martin died in 1885. Rebecca carried on the work of the farm. On a July night in 1887 seven members of a potato digging squad were burned to death when the straw shed and barn caught fire. Six months later the second youngest daughter of the family died.
David Ferguson: Became Rebecca's second husband in 1889, he was the son of Gilbert Ferguson, Muirhead Farm, Largs. Rebecca Hunter Barr Martin Ferguson died in 1929 aged 85 years. She is the mother of the Author of " The Farmers of Bute." John Martin: Rebecca's eldest son took over the tenancy of the farm on her death. Of the daughters, Rebecca married William McIntyre, Barnauld and Jean Barr, married James Morton O.B.E., Engineer with P Henderson and Co. Ltd., Shipowners, Glasgow.


Height of promontory of the basin
1880 Archibald ("Aird") Duncan: Farmed here before moving into the spirit trade at premises in the Watergate.
James McBride: Followed in the tenancy, then his son,
Peter McBride: for a short while.
Daniel Boag: A rabbit trapper from Dixon's Dam, a small holding on the moor road took over the tenancy until his death in 1941. His wife and sons (no details) carried on the tenancy.


The cuckoo's retreat
1829 - 42 Robert Balloch. The McLean Family: The farm was in the hands of this family for three quarters of a century. They originated from Argyllshire and their last survivor was, Hugh McLean.
On his death the farm was sold to, Colin Campbell From Oban. This is one of the few farms not owned by the Bute Estate.

Mid Ascog

1806 Archibald Glass.
1840 Robert Thom, Jnr.
1860 Robert McAlister: Whose helpmate was Janet Murdoch, of Carntyne farm, near Glasgow. There was a large family, James (Meikle Kilmory), Janet (Mrs Charles Duncan - Little Kilmory), she died in 1942, Dugald and Alexander who occupied prominent business positions in Glasgow, Margaret (Mrs A M MacKay - Bruchag),William the youngest of Mid Ascog, he died there in the 1940's.
Robert and John McAlister: (R & J McAlister) carried on the tenancy following their fathers death. John later took over the Ardyne Farm at Toward before moving to a farm in Staffordshire where he died.
Ian McAlister: His son took over Mid Ascog from his Uncle Robert.
Ashfield Alexander Mathewson: Is the father of Thomas Mathewson, of Largizean.
James Keith:
Alexander Stewart: Is the son of the Blacksmith at Ambrisbeg.
John Baxter:
Charles Simpson: From St Colmac occupied tenancy here.


John Lyon: He had six daughters all over six feet in height. The best known was Mrs McIntyre of Kildavannan.
Dugal McDonald: From Argyllshire married Jeanie. Their son,
James McDonald Followed on before moving to Stuck at May 1944. Auchinteerie Early 1800's William Montgomery: He was succeeded by his son,
Alexander Montgomer: His son,
James Montgomery: Continued the tenancy. His wife was of the Duncan family from Kilwhinleck.
John Stewart: Vacated Craigberoch to take up tenancy here.

Bannatyne Mains

John Simpson: From Largiverchtan started the farm here, taking over the property from County Councillor James Duncan, (Rhubodach) who had settled here in his retirement. William P Dickie: From Cranslagvourity carried on the tenancy.
Donald McKinnon: Came into the tenancy at the end of the Great War.


Finlay's town
1806 James Brown:
1840 George Brown:
Peter McIntyre: A stout burly man of fresh complexion, he centred his attentions on feeding cattle and growing good grain.
Archibald McIntyre: His son, followed in the tenancy.
Robert Robertson: From Greenan transferred here for a short time.
1938 John Martin: From Scalpsie followed on. His wife was Rebecca Hunter from Upper Ettrick.


Strengthening ground
1806 Colin Smith.
1840 Daniel McFie: Farmed for 60 years and then his son,
Hugh McFie became tenant at the turn of the 19th/ 20th century, and when he died his nephew,
Daniel McFie: took over the tenancy, transferring from Lubas. His wife was Janey Lyon from Drumachloy.
1943 James McFie: The son of Daniel continued the tenancy.


The champions town
1806 James McFie:
John McFie: His wife was the daughter (someone has crossed the word daughter in William Martin's book and replaced it with Niece.) of Samuel Girdwood, Kerrylamont and Little Kilmory, their son Samuel was a prominent member of the legal profession in Edinburgh.
James McFie: Succeeded his father but only for a short while.
John Currie: Butcher of Rothesay took over the tenancy and ran the farm in conjunction with his business, he later transferred to Kerrytonlia.
Douglas M Cowan: Meikle Grenach took up tenancy for a while. Thomas Duncan: followed in the tenancy.


1840 Charles McFarlane:
Duncan McFarlane: Was born here and farmed it into the early 1900's.
Alexander Lyon: From Drumachloy took over tenancy and later moved to the Argyllshire farm of Fearnoch, Kilfinan and returned to Glecknabae. His wife Helen McFie was from Lower Ettrick.
William McMillan: From Knockanreoch was the next tenant before changing to Meikle Kilmory at May 1944.
Messrs Miller: From North Park, Inchmarnock became the next tenants.


The apple top
1840 Duncan McDougall:
Robert McDougall: Farmed here until his death in 1890.
Duncan McDougal: His son continued the tenancy until his death.
William McIntyre: Transferred from Scoulag to this tenancy. His wife is Rebecca Martin from Ardnahoe.

Barone Park

The woman's great share or division
1829 James Muir:
1840 James Muir:
Archibald Muir: Brother of the Estate factor farmed here until 1887.
William Barr: From Kerrylamont came here but died within a fortnight. His mother (not named) carried on until her death two years later.
John McKay; From Quochag was the next tenant. His wife died giving birth to his son John who later became tenant of Cranslagloan before moving on to Blairnile, Balloch. John Sn. second wife was the daughter of County Councillor James Duncan of Rhubodach. Their son, James McKay: Took over the tenancy from his father.

Birgidale Crieff

A little dale or shoulder of a hill
James Robertson: From Cumbrae occupied the farm at the latter part of the 19th century. John Robertson: His son continued the tenancy. Robert McDougall: From Barnauld followed. Robert McDougall: His nephew followed and his wife, was the sister of Thomas Lochhead, Kildavannan.

Birgidale Knock

The hill covered with brushwood
Alexander Duncan: Of the Scoulag family was tenant here for some time. Ninian his eldest son carried on a potato and grain business in Store Lane.
Alexander Duncan: Another son, continued after his father.
James Duncan: A younger brother was the next tenant.
Archibald Robertson: Birgidale Crieff and South Park, Inchmarnock and brother-in-law through his wife to James Duncan succeeded him. Both wives were sisters to Alexander Montgomery, Auchinteerie.
William Robertson: The youngest son carried on the tenancy, his elder brother James having emigrated to America. William's wife was a Miss Herbert from East Kilbride whose family were long associated with the grain and dairying trade in Glasgow.


The hut or cottage field
Hugh Simpson: Came from Westlands Farm, West Kilbride. His sons,
John and Thomas Simpson, took over from him. They left to take on Kildavaig Farm at Ardlamont, Argyllshire. John later returned to the island taking over " West St Colmac."
Tom bought a farm at Langslie, Lochwinnoch.
A S Black: Who had been into sheep farming in Australia took up Bogany tenancy.
R & J Bodys: From Paisley later bought the farm when it came onto the market.


A pleasant precipice
1870's Robert Montgomerie: Who had occupied this farm left for Hall of Caldwell, Renfrewshire and later Lessnessock.
Duncan McDougall: Was tenant for a few years before moving to Ballochmartin, Cumbrae. 1870's Archibald M MacKay Whose forebearers occupied Kilchatten Mill succeeded in the tenancy. He died on the 5 December 1913. His wife Margaret McAlister MacKay (Mid Ascog) bore him 10 children, James farmed Kingarth, Sabatia went to Kenya, Dugald and William had large holdings on the Hatfield Estate, in Hertfordshire. John died in Portuguese East Africa while serving in the Great War. One of the daughters married Dr Robert F Montgomery, Chief Veterinary Research Officer at the Welcome Research Station in Kent.
1928 Robert MacKay: The eldest son returned to take up the tenancy of Bruchag.
James McAlister: Moved from Meikle Kilmory to take up the tenancy from the MacKay's.

Craigberoch or Craigbiorach

The pointed rock
Archibald Morrison: From Windyhall was tenant here before moving on to the Bush.
William Carmichael: Followed on in the tenancy from Morrison.
Alexander Carmichael: His son, who was known as Alister carried on the tenancy for a while before moving to Stravannan.
James Ferris: Came from Greenock and took up the tenancy.


Border of the bog or meadow
1829 William Barr:
1840 William Barr:
Lachlan McLean: From Ascog farmed at Cranslagloan until he retired in the 1930's when he and his wife Sybil Dietrichsen left the island for Huntly, Banffshire. Their daughter was married to Robert MacNicol, a prominent cattle dealer at Huntly. They had a son, Hugh MacNicol who farmed in the Methven district of Perthshire.
John McKay: From Barone Park took up the tenancy until he retired in 1945 and bought Blairnile Farm, Balloch.
James McMillan: From Knockanreaoch followed in the tenancy. His wife was a Miss Stewart from Kames.


Virgin Mary's limit or border
1840 Andrew Campbell. David Crawford: (Acholter), who was known locally as " Banger " while tenant carried on a cattle-dealing business and on giving up farming instituted a bus service from Port Bannatyne to Ettrick Bay.
Alexander Robertson: (Breakough, Cumbrae) was in tenancy for about 20 years but on the death of his wife Margaret Jane Duncan (Little Kilmory), he emigrated with some of his family to Canada.


Murdoch's border or limit
1840 James McConechy:
1900's James Dickie: He came from Ayrshire to farm here. On his death his wife continued the tenancy.
William P Dickie: Took over from his mother, his wife was sister to Alexander Montgomery, Auchinteerie.
John Dickie Their son succeeded the tenancy.


A little cross
Duncan Cuirrie: Butcher of Rothesay owned this farm. It is known locally as Windyhouse His son-in-law was John C Morrison, Post office, Kilchatten Bay.


The ridge of the churchyard
1840 James Lyon: He and his wife, Rebecca Hunter Carswell of Edinbeg-Mid St Colmac had three sons and two daughters. Julia became the wife of Colin McCallum, Kilmichael, and Janey of Daniel McFie, Lubas. Alexander the oldest son was tenant at Barefield and Glecknabae. James was in the employment of Messes Dobbie and Co. Ltd., Seedmen, working at both Rothesay and Edinburgh.
George Lyon: Followed on the tenancy and his wife was a Miss Scott, from Strachur. Their sons, James, is tenant at Kerrycroy and Alister assisted at Drumachloy.


1840 William McIntyre.
1890 Alexander McFarlane.
John McDougall: Came from Barnauld Farm to take up tenancy here.
Thomas Crawford: Transferred from Little Kilchattan to here before going on to Langalbuinoch.
James Howie: From Kilbirnie took up residence for a short while before going to Boag farm. William McKirdy: Was the tenant in 1950.


The foreigners fort
1820's Angus McLean: Farmed here for over 60 years. He died in 1888.
1890's Alexander Weir: Followed on the tenancy. On his death his wife and daughter carried on the farm.
Donald Potts: Married the widow and took up the tenancy before moving on to Lubas.
Peter McKirdy: Was tenant at the publication of William Martin's book (1951).


1806 Robert McConechy.
1840 Archibald Macintyre.
1880 Daniel Macintyre: He was succeeded by his son,
Alexander Macintyre: who lived well into his eighties.
Edward Macintyre: Had assisted his father on the farm, they traded under the name A and E Macintyre.


The little face or front
1840 Thomas Carswell.
James P Malcom: Who died in 1942 farmed here all his life.


The frog wet ditch
1840 William Walker.
1890's Thomas Barr: Was tenant throughout the latter part of the 1800's and early part of the 1900's.
1918 John McMillan: From Knockanreoch, nephew of Thomas Barr took over tenancy when he retired. His wife was Janet Mathewson, from Largizean. They had two sons, John who assists his father on Eskechraggan while William assisted his aunt at Largizean. One of their daughters married Walter Pollock, Maryhill.

Lower Ettrick

The shallow water
Robert McFie: Was the tenant at the latter part of the 19th century. His wife who died young was Mary Jane Hunter from Upper Ettrick. Of their family three of their sons emigrated, Alexander and William to America, and Charles to New Zealand, Robert took to marine engineering in the Clyde shipyards.
John McFie: Followed his father into the tenancy of Lower Ettrick. He also later took over the butcher's business at Port Bannatyne from his brother-in-law, Hugh Lamont.
Robert McFie: Took over the tenancy along with his mother after his father was tragically killed in a road accident. Mrs McFie died in 1943.

Upper Ettrick

1840 William Hunter: Arrived on the island from West Kilbride.
William Hunter: His son continued the tenancy until his death in 1889.
Elizabeth Martin (Largizean), his widow continued on in the tenancy with the help of her family.
William Hunter: Their only son followed on the tenancy from his mother. He died in May 1945. His wife was Rebecca Simpson (Mid St Colmac), and their children, John, he became tenant at Acholter, James, he went into insurance and emigrated to Canada. Their two daughters are referred to under Nether Ardroscadale and Ballianlay farms.
William Hunter: a son, followed on however intended transferring to Nether Ardroscadale at May 1951 and the new tenant for Upper Ettrick will be Hugh Ronald from Drymen.


Where tussilage grows
Thomas McFie: Occupied the farm during the 1880's. He apparently enjoyed a good time, so much so he gave up the farm and occasionally laboured elsewhere on the island.
Thomas Scott: A carpenter to trade, was the succeeding tenant changing over from Upper Stravannan. His wife, Margaret Martin (Kerrymenoch) bore him six sons and one daughter who became the wife of John Kirkwood, Joiner, Rothesay. Four of the boys went to trades or business, James M. was long associated with the local grain trade firm James Fisher and Son. He also held the position of Secretary to the Bute Branch of the Farmers' Union. Thomas and Richard: Remained on the farm becoming tenants after their fathers death. After Thomas's retiral, Richard continued on the farm until his death in 1942.
James Martin: (Stravannan), the tenancy then passed into his hands.


The rough and rocky end
1840 James McKay.
Angus McLean: Worked the farm in conjunction with Dunagoil.
Alexander Weir; Followed the same practice.
Sir William Macewen: An eminent Glasgow surgeon erected a fine residence on the farmland.


Field or enclosure of the wood
Andrew Ritchie: Brother of James of the Gortans.
George Ross: A Clydesdale enthusiast.


The birch hollow or glen
Bryce Martin: (Kerrymenoch) Twice married, there was a family of one son and four daughters by his first wife, Agnes Stevenson (Kilbride). James emigrated to Canada and the daughters married Hugh Lamont (Hilton ), Andrew B Baird and Alexander martin, both of Rothesay, James Simpson (Kerrycroy).
Bryce Martin: Was born to the second wife, Annie Lyon (Auchavoulig), he followed his father on the farm.
Donald McDonald; Was the next tenant, he married one of the Ritchies of Gartnakeilly. Alexander Lyon: Formerly of Barefield took up residence.


The large glen
James Connell: Was tenant of the farm until his death in 1896.
Andrew McIntyre: From Argyllshire took up tenancy.
Matthew McIntyre: Followed on in his fathers footsteps until taking up tenancy at East St. Colmac.


The small patches of land
James Ritchie: His father came from Howwood, Renfrewshire District. James changed from milk to poultry and then to pigs before working himself out. The farm was then divided into smaller holdings.
Alexander Ross: An Ayrshire man had managed the Plan Farm for the Estate before taking on one of the holdings. George Ross: His son followed until taking over Gartnakeilly. He was a Clydesdale enthusiast.
Peter McIntyre: Who had a yacht repairing business in Port Bannatyne, occupied another of the holdings, he was married to the said Alexander Ross's daughter who took a prominent part in the poultry world.
Archibald Robertson: Whose father was manager of Rothesay Tramways, and mother a daughter of Peter McIntyre of Ballianlay, occupied another of the holdings.


James Paton: A little and quaint looking man was tenant here.
William Galbraith: James Paton's nephew succeeded. Robert Robertson: (Birgidale Crieff) succeeded until taking over Ballianlay.
Andrew Mair: From Ayrshire entered the tenancy.

Little Grenach

Peter and Dan McCallum: Farmed here before moving to Hampshire.
Andrew Paterson: Took up tenancy and when his wife died he gave up the farm and emigrated to Australia.
James McIntyre: From Home Farm, who carried on a butcher's business in Rothesay, then entered the tenancy until his death in 1949. He was on the Council of the Clydesdale Horse Society at the time of his death.
James McLean: A ploughman was next to take up the tenancy.

Meikle Grenach

Dugald Cowan: An Argyllshire man, former occupant of Shalunt took up tenancy here. He married Marion McLean (Ascog) and both lived until they were 90 years old. Duncan the oldest son farmed at High Mildovan, Cardross before moving to the Arbroath District. William, the second son, an engineer died in an accident in Antwerp harbour. John, entered business at Glasgow and became a partner in the firm J K Mills and Co.
William Craig: From Hardcroft, Dalry became the next tenant.

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