Kyle (or Coila, poetically) is a former comital district of Scotland which stretched across parts of modern day East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire. It is said to be named after Coel Hen, a king of the Britons, who was reputedly killed in battle in this area and is said to be buried in a cairn near Mauchline.
Kyle was the central of the three districts in the sheriffdom of Ayr, which was divided naturally by its three primary rivers all running in a generally westward direction to flow into the firth of Clyde. The River Irvine formed the northern boundary of Kyle with Cunninghame; the River Doon established its southern boundary with Carrick. Additionally, Kyle itself was sub-divided into two parts. To the north of the River Ayr was "Kyle Stewart"1(sometimes called "Stewart Kyle"2 or "Walter's Kyle" 34), lands held by the Fitzalan's since the 11th century (the future Stewart Kings of Scotland). To the south was "Kyle Regis" or "King's Kyle",2 lands historically retained by the monarch under royal authority from the royal castle at Ayr (On May 16, 1975 Ayr County Council officially disbanded these old districts and burghs).
Kyle was eventually combined with Cunninghame and Carrick into the county of the Shire of Ayr during reorganisation due to Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889, this Act established a uniform system of county councils and town councils in Scotland and restructured many of Scotland’s areas.
From 1975 to 1996 Kyle and Carrick was the name of a local government district in Strathclyde region, although the larger part of historic Kyle formed Cumnock and Doon Valley district. In 1996 Kyle and Carrick was constituted as a Unitary Authority, but renamed South Ayrshire.
Near Cumnock, at the confluence of Guelt and Glenmuir Waters, lie the ruins of the 15th century Kyle Castle.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ayrshire". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
- Douglas, William Scott (1874). In Ayrshire; a descriptive picture of the County of Ayr, with relative notes on interesting local subjects, chiefly derived during a recent personal tour. Kilmarnock M'Kie & Drennan. p. 2.
- Murray, David (1924). Early burgh organization in Scotland: as illustrated in the history of Glasgow and of some neighbouring burghs 2. Maclehose, Jackson & Co. p. 58.
- Barrow, G. W. S. (2003). The kingdom of the Scots: government, church and society from the eleventh to the fourteenth century (2, illustrated ed.). Edinburgh University Press. p. 321. ISBN 0-7486-1803-1.