The Old House of Auchinleck

Captain Francis Grose was one of the first systematic recorders of architectural and archaeological remains in Britain. His six volume Antiquities of England and Wales published between 1773 and 1787, was followed by Antiquities of Scotland in two volumes published in 1789 and 1791. Robert Burns met him while he was undertaking the latter, and became a friend – writing three pieces about him including On Captain Grose’s Peregrinations through Scotland. This is a plate from Antiquities of Scotland showing the old Auchinleck House.   Grose says "This was the ancient seat of the family of the Boswells, of Auchinleck: the only remains are the fragment of a ruined wall and a window, here shewn.  It is said (and indeed seems) to be of great antiquity.  It was seated on an insulated rock, standing in the river, and appears to have been very difficult to access.  By the disposition of the surrounding rocks it could not ever have been of any considerable magnitude."   "In the adjacent grounds there are the walls of a later mansion, seemingly of the time of Mary or James VI.  These, though at present unroofed, might easily be made habitable.  These at present belong to James Boswell, Esq. well known to the publick by diverse ingenious publications.  He resides in a handsome modern seat adjoining."   "The Chartulary of Paisley records a donation from a gentleman of this family, Sir John de Auchinleck, who A.D.1385, gives to the abbot and convent of that house, twenty shillings sterling, per ann. as a compensation for the contempt and violence done to them, in the person of one of the monks, who was emasculated by him and his accomplices.  Tradition says, this gentleman caught the monk in an improper situation with his daughter."    
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Francis Grose (1731-91)
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East Ayrshire Council
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