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Dreghorn is the birthplace of John Boyd Dunlop, inventor of the pneumatic tyre and is believed to be Britain's oldest continuously inhabited village after the remains of an ancient settlement were uncovered by builders, including the remnants of a 5,500-year-old well (one of only five to be found in Scotland) dating back to around 3500BC. During the development of new housing, a large prehistoric site was discovered to the north of the current Main Street, suggesting that there has been a settlement in Dreghorn for at least 5,000 years making it the oldest continuously inhabited village in the United Kingdom.
Maid Morville's mound was located to the left of the bridge over the Irvine, commemorating the tragic drowning of a member of this family who were the overlords of the baillerie of Cunninghame. It was destroyed by the earthworks of the expressway. 'Maid Morville Avenue' still exists to commemorate the event. Locally the mound was known as 'Marble Hill', a corruption of 'Morville's Hill'. There is also a 'Marble Avenue' nearby.
Dreghorn Station, at the foot of Station Brae by the River Annick, provided access to rail services between Irvine and Kilmarnock. It closed in 1964 and the railway is now a public footpath and woodland.
As the location for the local secondary school, Dreghorn is a fairly busy village given its size. The school itself educates around 1,200 pupils.
The Church of Scotland
The village boasts a rather unusual parish church, now called Dreghorn and Springside Parish Church (formerly Dreghorn and Perceton). It is built in the shape of an octagon and was completed in 1780.
There were at least two other Christian places of worship on this site, and at the uniting of the Parishes of Dreghorn and Perceton, the church owned the land surrounding the church (called 'The Glebe'). A current circular cul-de-sac called The Glebe commemorates this fact.
The second Church of Scotland building (Perceton and Dreghorn Parish Church), initially Perceton and Dreghorn Free Church, was formed soon after the Disruption. With the liberal assistance of Muir Macredie of Perceton, church and manse were built near his house, before February 1844, but was demolished and shipped to Japan after the formation of the new Dreghorn and Springside Parish which united Dreghorn and Perceton Parish and Perceton and Dreghorn Parish.
Dreghorn's historical main industries were farming and coal mining. All of the coal mines around Dreghorn were closed by the early 1980s. Dreghorn is still surrounded on two sides by farm land. The new communities of Broomlands and Bourtreehill cover the sites of some former mines.
- "Stone Pages Archaeo News: Britain’s oldest continuously inhabited village". Stonepages.com. Retrieved 2014-06-02.
- "Stone Pages Archaeo News: Prehistoric finds at a housing site in Scotland". Stonepages.com. 2004-04-19. Retrieved 2014-06-02.
- The Statistical Account of Scotland, Volume 4 by Sir John Sinclair, Bart.
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