Its situation, general plan and literary associations suggested a comparison that gave Edinburgh the name of " the modern Athens "; but it has a homelier nickname of " Auld Reekie," from the cloud of smoke (reek) which often hangs over the low-lying quarters.
He had sixteen children, his son Patrick being the "auld Wodrow" of Burns's poem "Twa Herds."
The Auld Brig is said to date from the reign of Alexander III.
Other thriving trades include the glass-works on the shore, pottery-works in the "auld toon," dye-works and a factory for the making of electrical appliances.
The "auld clay biggin" in which Robert Burns was born on the 25th of January 1759, has been completely repaired and is now the property of the Ayr Burns's Monument trustees.