History of Pant Farm

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. Hence, the date above the porch on the farmhouse.

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 Visionas the ‘aged Judge–dispensing good’.

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).

Sir William Miller, Bart., (1755-1846), afterwards Lord Glenlee, was the only son of Lord President Sir Thomas Miller (b. 1717-1789). Sir William died in Brown Square, Edinburgh, but was buried in Stair Church- yard, Ayrshire beside the Stair Inn. He was “Barskimming’s Guid Knight” of the Heron Election Ballad. He was succeeded by his grand-son, Sir William Miller, 3rdBaronet (b. 1815, d.1861). The 4thBaronet was Sir Thomas Macdonald Miller (1846-1875).

Old Barskimming House is reached by crossing a bridge built in 1788. Old Barskimming was built in 1882 by Sir William Frederick Miller, 5thBaronet (1868-1948), after an older building had been burned to the ground. During the Miller family’s time at Barskimming, Pant Farm was part of the estate.

Thereafter, the house was leased by Archibald Buchanan, managing partner of the Catrine Cotton Mills, and not long afterwards there commenced the long tenancy by the Misses Anderson.

During this tenancy the estate changed hands, the ownership passing from the family of Lord Glenlee to Mr John Meikle of Lochlibo (1876-1913) and then to Mr Robert Jack Dunlop at the time of World War I in 1914.

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. There is a plan of the house prior to the current renovation showing these rooms in the Farmhouse.

Pant farm was tenanted to a number of farmers:

  • The Mair family (in 1850s and 1860s)
  • The Ramsey family, for around 70 years, from late 1860s to early 1940s.
  • The Rennie family, for 20 years, from 1941 to 1961

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.

Robert Dunlop bought Barskimming in 1914, and following his death on 11 September 1938, Pant Farm passed to the Galbraith family and then David Galbraith, William’s father. Will is now the current owner and farmer of Burnbrae and Pant Farms.

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.