Dec 2011

I have found a single reference to there being a sugarhouse in Ayr.

NAS CS 271/39548 is a Bond of Caution drawn up by Daniel Angus merchant of Greenock concerning surety for William Robertson ship master of Greenock in a dispute with William Wood on 10 March 1791. William Wood, along with John Ballantyne, were trustees for James Hunter & Co of Ayr Sugar House, and Robertson, as a partner in Alexander Adam & Co merchants of Greenock, owed the sum of 21.3s.3¼d for sugars supplied to him almost 12 years earlier.

I can find nothing more about this sugarhouse, however having just researched the St Christopher Sugar House in Edinburgh that turned out to be a warehouse, or shop, selling the produce of the South Sugar House in Glasgow, I am now wondering if this may have been a similar concern in Ayr. A James Hunter is listed(1) as a partner in the No.2 refinery in Sugarhouse Lane in Greenock in 1788 and I suppose there's a possibility that he could have used the Edinburgh warehouse idea to supply sugar directly to the good folks of Ayr.

(1) Notes on the Sugar Industry of the United Kingdom by John M Hutcheson, James McKelvie & Son, Greenock, 1901.


Aug 2013

I'm very grateful to have been contacted by Tom Barclay, of South Ayrshire Libraries, who has followed up my note about the Bond of Caution with local research that has led to him publishing considerable detail, including maps and images, regarding the Ayr Sugar House on the South Ayrshire Libraries History Blog.

There was indeed a fully-functioning sugar refinery in Ayr, albeit for a very short time ....

1772 - James and Robert Hunter & Co were granted permission to build a 7 storey sugarhouse on a piece of land near the harbour mouth,
1773-9 - amonst others, Christopher Kleine and Jacob Clen(e)coff, both sugarbakers, and Samuel Wilson, clerk, were employed there,
1780 - it would appear that business had ceased by this date,
1794 - the building was being used for the accommodation of soldiers, a use that continued through to the 1960s,
1967 - the building was demolished.


Read the full story at ...

South Ayrshire Libraries History Blog
Enterprise and Refinement: James Hunter and the Ayr Sugar House
August 5, 2013