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Slavery

Information on links to slavery and oppression in South Ayrshire.

We are fully committed to the general principles of fairness, equality and human rights and seeks to apply these principles in all that it does as a community leader, service provider and employer, education authority and Licensing Board by:

  • challenging and eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation wherever it can
  • being inclusive, fair minded and transparent in all that it does
  • tackling prejudice and promoting understanding and inclusion; and
  • consulting and engaging with service users and employees

These principles have a long history of gradual development, stretching back to a time when unfortunately the enslavement of human beings was considered acceptable.

During the later eighteenth century and the early decades of the nineteenth century, the Royal Burgh of Ayr was a prosperous town. The wealthy merchants who dominated the town council presided over the founding of an academy and the construction of the New Bridge and the Town Buildings, crowned by a magnificent steeple. They moved from the old town centre to fine houses in the new streets being laid out to the south. Here, villas would be built for others who had returned home after making their fortune overseas. In the countryside, new mansions took shape and estates were created and developed.

What was the origin of the wealth which underpinned all of this? Much of the prosperity of Georgian and Victorian Britain was built on the labour of slaves and the exploitation of subject peoples. Ayrshire was no exception, and this is reflected in many of its monuments, public buildings and parks, and street names.

Property

Explains how some of the buildings and public parks in the care of South Ayrshire Council have a connection to slavery, oppression and racism.

Statues and Monuments

Explores how some of the statues and monuments in the care of South Ayrshire Council can be looked upon as having some connection to slavery, oppression and racism.

Videos