|Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Gharbhain|
Girvan shown within South Ayrshire
|Population||6,651 (2011 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Council area||South Ayrshire|
|Lieutenancy area||Ayrshire and Arran|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock|
|Scottish Parliament||Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley|
Girvan (Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Gharbhain, "mouth of the River Girvan") is a burgh in Carrick, South Ayrshire, Scotland, with a population of about 6,700. It lies 21 miles (34 km) south of Ayr, and 29 miles (47 km) north of Stranraer, the main ferry port from Scotland to Northern Ireland.
The opening of the railways, initially with the Maybole and Girvan Railway at the end of the 1850s, encouraged the development of Girvan as a seaside resort with beaches and cliffs. Holidaying here from 1855 to 1941 were Robert and Elizabeth Gray and their children; particularly Alice and Edith Gray. The family, led principally by Elizabeth and Alice, created scientifically organised collections of fossils for several museums including the Natural History Museum.
The town is now served by Girvan railway station.
Just north of the town is a William Grant & Sons distillery which opened in 1963. There is a Nestlé factory that manufactures chocolate that is shipped down to York and used in Kit-Kat and Yorkie bars.
Local facilities and festivals
The McKechnie Institute was endowed by a local businessman and opened in 1889.
The Girvan Folk Music Festival takes place on the first weekend of May each year. Girvan also has a folk music club.
The Lowland Gathering takes place on the first Sunday of June each year in the Victory Park in the centre of the town.
The annual Festival of Light takes place in October with a six-week lantern project resulting in the river of light lantern procession and shorefront performance. The autumn lantern project is a celebration of the lanternmakers and the people of Carrick.
Nearby places of interest
Culzean Castle is about 8 miles (13 km) north of the town, and the volcanic island of Ailsa Craig is visible about 10 miles (16 km) offshore. Turnberry golf course and hotel are located 5 miles (8 km) north of Girvan. The coastline south of Girvan is famous for its geology, and also for Sawney Bean's Cave, where the legendary murderer and cannibal Sawney Bean supposedly lived until his arrest and execution in Edinburgh.
Education and community
Girvan has its own secondary school, Girvan Academy, which the majority of local children attend. Roman Catholic families have the option of Queen Margaret Academy in Ayr. The town also has a harbour.
The town's swimming pool was closed in 2009 by South Ayrshire Council, on the grounds that it had reached the end of its operational life. The building has since been demolished and the foundations have been paved over. A new pool is scheduled to start construction in January 2016, and to open to the public in March 2017.
Girvan has a Roman Catholic church, "Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary", built around 1863. The Church is in Harbour Lane, situated between Louisa Drive and Henrietta Street, close to the junction with Ailsa Street West.
Girvan has two Church of Scotland congregations: Girvan North Parish Church in Montgomerie Street (with a spire over 100 feet tall) and Girvan South Parish Church.
The town's Episcopalian congregtion of St John was closed in 2014: they had been using the town's Methodist church building for services after their building became unusable in 2009.
Torcy, Seine-et-Marne, France - in honour of a Scottish knight named Sir Thomas Huston originally from Girvan, who fought the English as part of the Auld Alliance during the Hundred Years War. Rewarding him for his bravery during the capture of Meaux in 1439, the King of France granted him the fiefdom of Torcy.
- "Area Profiles". Scotland's Census 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- "Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba - Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland - Database".
- "Girvan; South Ayrshire". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Vol. 17 (reprint ed.). London: British Museum. 2013. pp. 170–252. ISBN 0 565 09011 9. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
- "McKechnie Institute". South Ayrshire Council. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- "Local legends fire up for Girvan's Festival of light". S1Girvan.com. 5 November 2010. Retrieved 2011-05-01.
- "Girvan-Online.net". Retrieved 26 October 2013.
- "Girvan pool: Your questions are answered".
- "St John’s final service in Girvan tomorrow". Carrick Gazette. 17 May 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
- About Girvan
- Salmon Fishing on the River Girvan
- Girvan Online
- South Ayrshire Council
- Girvan Folk Club
- National Library of Scotland: SCOTTISH SCREEN ARCHIVE (archive films relating to Girvan)