The Shaw Monument

by Roger Griffith
  • The north facing view of the monument
  • The base and panel
  • Detail of the 'Crown-like' top

The Shaw Monument, an 18th century folly, located on rising ground (NS 36778 26122) near the Prestwick Airport Control Tower, was built at some point prior to 1775 by the then laird of Shaw, a keen falconer, in order that he could follow the sport from its top in his old age when he was no longer able to join in the chase. A faint portrait of a man in profile holding a falcon may support this theory or may have given rise to it. The tower is a Grade B Listed Building.

The tower is round, around 50ft or 20m high, and is built of well mortared rubble masonry, typical of 18th century follys. The internal spiral staircase is in poor condition. The tower is capped by a 'crown-like' top and originally had a viewing platform. The door was blocked up in the 1930s because of the poor state of the staircase. No door of any sort is now present, however the monument is doubly enclosed within railings and a fence.

The tower has a coped cylindrical base, with a doorway to the East, flanked by a barred window opening and an infilled opening; the shaft of the tower is stepped in from the base and three vertically aligned windows sit above the doorway; a coped cornice lies over a well machicolated eaves course.

As stated, a very worn stone panel facing to the West appears to have a faint image of a man holding a bird of prey.

The monument is shown on OS maps as standing on the line of a hedge until quite recently without any obvious access lane or footpath marked.


Roger Griffith says

Does anyone have any more information about Shaw's Monument?

Alex Christie says

Thankyou Roger, See ' Your Guide to Prestwick TODAY '. Prestwick TODAY pubished a few years ago mentions this Monument.

The guide, a joint venture of Prestwick North C.C. and Prestwick South C.C. features the Shaw Monument on page 15.

Explore Ayrshire & Arran 2011(A.& A.),and Ayrshire Heritage 1990,(A.H.) by Mr. Andrew Boyle are not mentioning this tower. Macrae Monument and Hill of Barnweill ' Wallace Monument Tower ' are mentioned in A.H. but are also missing from the A.& A. 2011 guide's website.Both Monuments are currently closed.

We have so few Monuments compared to D & G. Even by listing them all we are only scratching the surface of the incredible heritage of this small part of Scotland.

I thankyou again for the amazing picture you posted of the Obelisk in Loudoun Kirk.

Roger Griffith says

Thanks Alex. I will track down these references. It's odd that such a fine and substantial structure has managed to lose its history. By the way, can you see any image on the panel at the bottom of the tower?

Roger

Alex Christie says

You are welcome Roger. I will have a closer look at the panel next week. Re : the obelisk at Loudoun Kirk on Midton Road. Do you have the reference of were I could see the photograph ?

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