Parish of Stair
Pant Farm lies in the parish of Stair and until recently was part of Barskimming Estate. The first “possessor” of Barskimming, which was also called Starquhyte was Willielmo Rede, who had the charter of the “ lands of Barskemyn” from King Robert II, dated 12th October 1377.
Adam Reid, son and heir of Bernard Reid of Stairquhit had a charter of the land on 13th July 1551. John Reid was a debtor in 1615 and Barskymming seems to have been acquired by Sir Henry Stewart, Knight, and brother of the well-known James Stewart, Earl of Arran. When he died in 1622, Barskimming was acquired by Gilbert Richart and subsequently his son James who died in 1691. The lands of Barskimming then passed to the Miller Family. In Robert Burns’s day Barskimming was the property of Sir William Miller, Bart., later known as Lord Glenlee, Lord President of the Court of Session, who Burns referred to in The Vision as the ‘aged Judge–dispensing good’.
During the Miller family’s time at Barskimming, Pant Farm was part of the estate: On the 18th October 1764, “Thomas Miller of Barskimming, his Majesty’s advocate for Scotland,” has sasine of ” these parts of the lands and estates of Stair, …Easter and Wester Davistons; lands of Mackieston; lands of Meadowhead and Kemphouse; of Stair; Stairhill, and Pant”.
"Man was Made to Mourn"
Robert Burns wrote his poem “Man was made to Mourn” whilst crossing the River Ayr at Old Barskimming Bridge, which crosses the river on the road from Pant to Mauchline.
The house on the corner is gone, but in Burns’ time was that of Mr Kemp, whose daughter Kate at one time caught Burns’ eye, and was the inspiration behind “Man Was Made to Mourn”. AyrshireHistory.com
Made fields and forests bare,
One ev'ning, as I wander'd forth
Along the banks of Ayr,
I spied a man, whose aged step
Seem'd weary, worn with care;
His face furrow'd o'er with years,
And hoary was his hair.
In 1860, the map shows Pant and the ‘Barskimming Tile Work’ beside the clay pit, which is now a pond and the ruins of the tiler’s houses. There were a variety of workers living at “Pant Tilery”, as recorded in the Stair Parish registers:
- John Wilson, Labourer/Woodman/Ploughman, 1862-1882 (living at Pant Tilery, Crosshill, Mainshill)
- Samuel Morrison, Coal miner, 1864
- Hugh Hutchison, Ploughman, 1864
- William Alexander, Forester/Labourer, 1868-1872
- William Wilson, Ploughman, 1880 (also at Stairaird 1878)
- William Cairns, Labourer, 1882-1887
- Allan Gibson, Ploughman, 1884
- William McClurg, Ploughman, 1895
which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth
Since 1900 and probably long before, Pant was a dairy farm, providing butter and cheese for Barskimming Estate. The living room was the dairy where the cows were milked and the main bedroom upstairs was the cheese maturing room. We have a plan of the house prior to the current renovation showing these rooms.
Pant farm was tenanted to a number of farmers:
- The Mair family – in 1850s and 1860s
- The Ramsay family, for nearly 70 years – from 1865 to 1941
- The Rennie family, from 1941 to 1961
The Rennie family tenanted Pant Farm for 20 years from 1941. Jack Rennie was a well-known cattle breeder and had a famous herd of Pedigree Ayrshire milk cows. Jack’s breeding influence was not only in the UK but throughout the world, via live cattle and semen exports. The Pant and Brocklehill bloodlines had and still do have a huge influence in countries such as Zimbabwe, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Kenya, where Ayrshires are now hitting the three million mark.
In 1961 Jack moved to Brocklehill, and “Pant Dictator” was the bull that started off his passion for the Ayrshire breed, with both “Pant” and “Brocklehill” becoming well-known Ayrshire lines of cattle. The Rennie’s were the last family to live at Pant and they built Pant Cottage in 1956, which is currently the farm manager’s house.
Pant Farm was a beef farm until the late 1990s and had a pedigree herd of Aberdeen Angus cows. Since 2000, Pant has been mainly a sheep farm. Pant Cottage has been occupied by agricultural students from Auchincruive Agricultural College and most recently by the farm manager. Unfortunately, over this time the farmhouse fell into disrepair until it was completely rebuilt and renovated. Pant Farmhouse was completed in October 2017 over 50 years after the last occupants, the Rennies, moved to Pant Cottage.