Subscribe to BBC Gardeners' World Magazine and receive 3 issues for only £5. The Ailsa Craig Exhibition Onion is a large World Record sized onion that has a unique mildly sweet flavor that is delicious in many dishes! [36] Robert Burns's maternal uncle, Samuel Burns was involved in the solan goose trade. Its prominence is due to the microgranite's hardness, making it more resistant to erosion than the surrounding Permian and Triassic sedimentary rocks into which it was intruded. Both foghorns were decommissioned in 1966 and a Tyfon fog signal was used until 1987 when improvements in ship navigation made it also redundant. An old favourite, producing masses of fine-flavoured, mid-red fruits. In 1887 a ten-year-old boy died whilst collecting eggs at the West Craigs. The feral billy goats were wont to interfere with these nanny goats and this was another reason for their demise. Ailsa Craig onion seeds produce large, globe-shaped onion with golden, straw-coloured skin and produces weighty onions perfect for the show bench. As of 2004[update], 60–70% of all curling stones in use were made from granite from the island[60] and it is one of only two sources for all stones in the sport, the other being the Trefor Granite Quarry in Wales.[61]. The quality, large, globe shaped bulbs have a rich, golden, straw coloured skin and an excellent mild flavour. Livestock, No reported toxicity to Lawson in the 1890s records that a young lady once fell over the cliff near Craig Na'an; however, her Victorian style garments caught the wind like a parachute and she escaped with her life and some broken bones that soon knit back together. How to propagate Tomato 'Ailsa Craig' Cuttings. Space seedlings 60 cm apart and water thoroughly. A good all purpose variety producing medium sized fruit of exceptionally fine flavour and good deep colour.A good all-purpose cordon variety producing medium-sized fruit of exceptionally fine flavour and good deep colour. The billy goats were shot for sport in the 19th century and no longer survive; only a mounted head of one remains at the McKechnie Institute in Girvan. Ailsa Craig, along with neighbouring Arran, is part of the North Atlantic Igneous Province, a widespread system of magmatic rocks formed during the initial stages of the opening of the North Atlantic Ocean. Rats were probably introduced via shipwrecks; supposedly, a coal boat that sank offshore was the first culprit[71] and caused great harm to the nesting bird populations, with the puffins proving vulnerable to the extent of extinction as breeding birds. Named after a small rocky island off of the west central Scottish coast near Girvan in Ayrshire, the 'Ailsa Craig' tomato embodies the ruggedness of the region. A number of features and places on the island have acquired names, Gaelic in most cases, such as Craigna'an (cliff of birds); Trammins (place of Elder trees); Balvar (big round cliff); Garryloo (rough hill) and Ashydoo (black hill). If you need any more information on growing this variety, click here to go to our main tomato page. Wagons or bogies were winched up to the substantial stone crusher and gravity was used to deliver the different grades of road stone to the waggons below that were then hauled by horses to the Quarry Pier via a line that ran in front of the lighthouse buildings and took a tight right-angled bend to run up the substantial stone-built incline to the storage area in preparation for delivery via sea to the mainland. Ailsa Craig is an island of 99 hectares in the outer Firth of Clyde, 16 kilometres west of mainland Scotland, upon which "blue hone" microgranite has long been quarried to make curling stones. In about 1587 the prominent Catholic, Lord Maxwell, landed on Ailsa while attempting to escape his pursuers and finding a fishing boat he attempted to reach Crossraguel Abbey but was captured. Blue Hone has very low water absorption, which prevents the action of repeatedly freezing water from eroding the stone. The castle has two vaulted storeys and an oven is located in a cellar with evidence of a spiral stairway that once ran to the top of the tower. There are indications of an adjoining building that ran to the north. [33], The island seems to have been a part of the Barony of Knockgarron that lay in the Parish of Dailly and the then holder, Duncan of Turnberry, Earl of Carrick established the abbey of Crossraguel and endowed it with the island of Ailsa Craig to "provide for their table". A type of Spanish onion, Ailsa Craig (Allium cepa “Ailsa Craig”) crossed the Atlantic from England to reach the U.S. The compressed air cylinders that held the required store of air are still prominent features, especially at the Trammins foghorn. This page was last edited on 1 January 2021, at 08:56. The microgranite is itself intruded by a series of olivine dolerite dykes. [20], In 1590 the shipping of the Clyde was disrupted by pirates who were said to be Highlanders, quha lyis about Ailsay.[35]. Horses, No reported toxicity to Ailsa Craig Yellow Summer Onion Allium cepa (110 days) Open-pollinated. Prolific and tasty. [5] The island is part of the administrative district of South Ayrshire, in the ancient parish of Dailly. [67], The mammal fauna included rabbits, and at one time goats, whilst pigs were bred here as food for the inhabitants. [49], The Lighthouse was built between 1883 and 1886 by Thomas Stevenson; it is owned by the Northern Lighthouse Board.[19]. Spread: 50cm (20"). Use fresh or for short-term storage. [52], The gasworks are still a prominent feature on the island and the cable-powered tramway was partly built to haul wagons full of coal up to it from the North Port. They had the Sweet Onion we were looking for, Ailsa Craig. Cover the roots and then water. The Northern Lighthouse Board's tramway had a section worked via a powered cableway that hauled wagons up from the North Port and later from the new jetty. Tomato Technically a fruit, but also Britain’s favourite summer vegetable! The last "harvest" of Ailsa Craig granite by Kays took place in 2013, after a hiatus of 11 years; 2,000 tonnes were harvested, sufficient to fill anticipated orders until at least 2020. The 'Horse Well' was located behind the gasworks; the 'Castle Well' stands above Ailsa Castle and then finally the Garry Loch sits higher up and once supplied water to the tenant's cottage. These enormous slightly oval pale straw-colored globes are sweet, mildly pungent and store but a short while. Purdie, David; McCue Kirsteen and Carruthers, Gerrard. [19][50] Ailsa Craig and its lighthouse feature extensively in Peter Hill's book Stargazing: Memoirs of a Young Lighthouse Keeper. The Ailsa Craig Granite Company was never a financially sound business and effectively closed in 1928. However, the main developer died, and the project was abandoned, with the area used instead as a walled kitchen garden until the gasworks was built. ... £3.50 for potatoes and fruit plants . After a long campaign using pioneering techniques, the rats were eradicated in 1991, and now puffins are once again raising young on the island with many other benefits accruing to both the fauna and the flora. [8] In May 2011 it was announced that the island was for sale; originally given an asking price of £2,500,000, as of March 2013, the current asking price was for offers over £1,500,000. [39] In 1597 another Catholic supporter, Hugh Barclay of Ladyland, took possession of Ailsa Craig which he was intent on using as a place of safety for Catholics to practise their faith, for provisioning and stopping off point for a Spanish invasion which would re-establish the Catholic faith in Scotland and a storehouse for provisioning the Catholic Earl of Tyrone in Ireland. [8][21][22] Reports in December 2013 claimed an unnamed environmental trust had placed a formal bid,[23] while in April 2014 the National Trust for Scotland was reported to be considering a bid. Ailsa Craig produced two types of granite for curling, Blue Hone and Ailsa Craig Common Green. Where: Find: Sort by. Ailsa Craig is a very popular favourite which is a tried and tested variety renowned for its flavour. Lycopersicon 'Ailsa Craig' is known for attracting bees. [72] It is thought that the puffins recolonised Ailsa Craig from Glunimore and Sheep Islands. Taking into account postage it is probably cheapest and easiest to buy them from your local garden centre. 85 days, indeterminate — The regular leaf, indeterminate vines of 'Yellow Ailsa Craig' plants bear fruit that are globe-shaped, juicy, sweet, weigh two to three ounces each on average, and are as its name implies, yellow in color. Place in a deep trench, 5-6 inches apart. People. Attractive to [19] Apart from 2 hectares (4.9 acres) sold to the Northern Lighthouse Board in 1883,[20] the island currently belongs to The 9th Marquess of Ailsa. [44], The island had two chapels and Thomas Pennant who visited Ailsa Craig in 1772 recorded that the ruins of a small chapel were located near the landing place[45] and that another chapel (which he did not visit) was located on the summit of the island and was probably used by seamen to pray for safe voyages and returns. From the team at Gardeners' World Magazine. [65] This visitor also rather quaintly mentions that he was surprised to find three species of "reptiles" by which he meant molluscs, namely a naked black slug, the garden snail Cornu aspersum and one of the common striped snails of the genus Cepaea. [7], The microgranite's unusual composition and crystalline texture make it particularly hard and resistant to impact, making the island's rock a favoured material for the manufacture of curling stones. Birds, Does not attract Ailsa Craig (/ˈeɪlsə/; Scots: Ailsae Craig; Scottish Gaelic: Creag Ealasaid) is an island of 99 hectares (240 acres) in the outer Firth of Clyde, 16 kilometres (10 miles) west of mainland Scotland, upon which "blue hone" microgranite has long been quarried to make curling stones. [17] Boulders of distinctive Ailsa Craig microgranite known as erratics were transported by glaciers as far afield as Donegal and Pembrokeshire. 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