Rev Timothy Pont (c. 1560 – c. 1627) was a Scottish minister, cartographer and topographer. He was the first to produce a detailed map of Scotland. Pont's maps are among the earliest surviving to show a European country in minute detail, from an actual survey.
He was the elder son of Robert Pont, a Church of Scotland minister in Edinburgh and Lord of Session (judge), by his first wife, Catherine, daughter of Masterton of Grange.
He matriculated as student of St. Leonard's College, St. Andrews, in 1580, and obtained the degree of M.A. in 1584. He spent the late 1580s and the 1590s travelling throughout Scotland. Between 1601 and 1610 he was the minister of Dunnet Parish Church in Caithness. He took a year's leave in 1608 to map Scotland. He was continued 7 December 1610; but he resigned some time before 1614, when the name of William Smith appears as minister of the parish. On 25 July 1609 Pont had a Royal grant of two thousand acres (8 km²) in connection with the scheme for the plantation of Ulster, the price being 400l.
Pont was an accomplished mathematician, and the first projector of a Scottish atlas. In connection with the project he made a complete survey of all the shires and islands of the kingdom, visiting remote districts, and making drawings on the spot. A contemporary described how Pont "personally surveyed...and added such cursory observations on the monuments of antiquity...as were proper for the furnishing out of future descriptions."He died having almost completed his task.
The originals of his maps, which are preserved in the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, are characterised by neatness and accuracy. Pont's manuscript maps are key historical documents for their time, of importance in the fields of place-names, settlements, and other studies. Many of the maps have miniature drawings of major buildings (such as castles and abbeys), obviously sketched from life. Though on a small scale and not entirely accurate, these give an idea of the appearance of many buildings that have been altered or have disappeared completely.
James VI gave instructions that they should be purchased from his heirs and prepared for publication, but on account of the disorders of the time they were nearly forgotten. Sir John Scot of Scotstarvet prevailed on Robert Gordon of Straloch to undertake their revision with a view to publication. The task of revision was completed by Gordon's son, James Gordon, parson of Rothiemay, and they were published in Joan Blaeu's Atlas Novus , vol. v. Amsterdam, 1654 (reissued in 1662 in vol. vi). The 'Topographical Account of the District of Cunninghame, Ayrshire, compiled about the Year 1600 by Mr. Timothy Pont,' was published in 1850; and was reproduced under the title 'Cunninghame topographized, by Timothy Pont, A.M., 1604–1608; with Continuations and Illustrative Notices by the late James Dobie of Crummock, F.S.A. Scot., edited by his son, John Shedden Dobie,' Glasgow, 1876. Robert Sibbald based much of his work on Pont's.
Perceton is a medieval settlement and old country estate in North Ayrshire, Scotland, near the town of Irvine. The ruined church in Perceton is one of the oldest buildings in the Irvine district. The earliest legible gravestone dates from 1698, though older stone coffins will certainly still rest deep within the small hillock on which the chapel and graveyard sit.
The old Barony and castle of Corsehill lay within the feudal Baillerie of Cunninghame, near Stewarton, now East Ayrshire, Scotland.
Lugton is a small village or hamlet in East Ayrshire, Scotland with a population of 80 people. The A736 road runs through on its way from Glasgow, 15 miles (24.1 km) to the north, to Irvine in North Ayrshire. Uplawmoor is the first settlement on this 'Lochlibo Road' to the north and Burnhouse is to the south. The settlement lies on the Lugton Water which forms the boundary between East Ayrshire and East Renfrewshire as well as that of the parishes of Dunlop and Beith.
Kerelaw Castle is a castle ruin. It is situated on the coast of North Ayrshire, Scotland in the town of Stevenston.
Hessilhead is in Beith, North Ayrshire, Scotland. Hessilhead used to be called Hazlehead or Hasslehead. The lands were part of the Lordship of Giffen, and the Barony of Hessilhead, within the Baillerie of Cunninghame and the Parish of Beith. The castle was situated at grid reference.
Auchenharvie Castle is a ruined castle near Torranyard on the A 736 Glasgow to Irvine road. Burnhouse lies to the north and Irvine to the south. It lies in North Ayrshire, Scotland.
The hamlet of Auchentiber is in North Ayrshire, Parish of Kilwinning, Scotland. Auchentiber is four miles northeast of Kilwinning on the Lochlibo Road, 2+1⁄4 mi (3.5 km) from the hamlet of Burnhouse and 2+1⁄2 mi (4 km) from the village of Barrmill. Grid Ref. NS3647. Some new housing has been built, but the settlement is still very much a hamlet. The settlement is on the Lugton Water, which runs into the River Garnock after running through Montgreenan and Eglinton Country Park in Irvine.
Cleeves Cove or Blair Cove is a solutional cave system on the Dusk Water in North Ayrshire, Scotland, close to the town of Dalry.
Fergushill is a small community in North Ayrshire, Parish of Kilwinning, Scotland. The Barony of Fergushill was held by the Fergushill family of that Ilk and the area has a complex history.
Montgreenan is an estate in North Ayrshire, Parish of Kilwinning, Scotland. The Lugton Water runs through the policies and farmland of Montgreenan. Nearby are the hamlets of Torranyard and Auchentiber.
Caldwell is a mansion and old estate with the remains of a castle nearby. These lands lie close to the Lugton Water and the villages of Uplawmoor in East Renfrewshire and Lugton in East Ayrshire.
The Castle and Barony of Robertland is located near Stewarton, off the B769 road, in the old district of Cunninghame, Parish of Stewarton, and now part of East Ayrshire, Scotland.
The Lands of Pitcon, previously Potconnel now form a small estate of around 100 acres in the Parish of Dalry, North Ayrshire in the old Barony of Dalry. The present category B listed Georgian mansion house dating from 1787, replaces an older castellated dwelling. Pitcon lies on the outskirts of Drakemyres, now a suburb of Dalry, close to the confluence of the Rye Water, River Garnock, and the Mains Burn, standing on a low knoll. Such a marshy area would have provided a degree of protection to the old castle.
The remains of the old castle of Kersland lie about 1.5 miles to the north-east of the town of Dalry in North Ayrshire, Scotland, in the old Barony of Kersland. The River Garnock lies nearby.
Towerlands or Tourlands was a small estate of 70 to 80 acres of good quality land in the parish of Irvine and the old barony of Kilmaurs, North Ayrshire, Scotland, situated near the more extensive property of Bourtreehill, the lands of which surrounded it on three sides. The name suggests that a medieval stone or wood 'tower' structure of some sort existed, but no record of this appears to exist.
The Lands of Tour and Kirkland (NS416406) formed a small estate close to the old Kirktoun and St Maurs-Glencairn collegiate church about 1 km south-east of Kilmaurs, East Ayrshire, Parish of Kilmaurs, Scotland. The word 'Tour' in Scots refers to a 'tower' and 'kirk' to a parish church.
Dalmusternock (NS455417) was a dower house built and occupied by William Mure after his marriage and prior to inheriting the family seat of Rowallan Castle. The property is located near Fenwick, in the Barony of Rowallan, lying 3 miles north of Kilmarnock and 18 miles south of Glasgow, Parish of Fenwick, East Ayrshire, Scotland. The estate is recorded as Dalmunsternoch circa 1654; Dalmasternock circa 1747; Dalmusterknok 1775
The Lands of Blacklaw formed a small property of five merks worth, in the Lordship of Stewarton at the eastern extremity of Strathannick, between the hamlet of Kingsford in East Ayrshire and the East Renfrewshire boundary, Scotland. It was first recorded in 1484 in the Acta Auditorum. Black Law is a prominent whinstone crag lying above Blacklaw Hill Farm.
The book commonly known as Blaeu Atlas of Scotland, the fifth volume of Theatrum Orbis Terrarum Sive Atlas Novus, is the first known atlas of Scotland and Ireland. It was compiled by Joan Blaeu, and contains 49 engraved maps and 154 pages of descriptive text written in Latin; it was first published in 1654. Most of the maps were made by Timothy Pont, a Scottish cartographer. Those maps, made between 1583 and 1596, were collected, edited, and augmented with other maps by John Scot, Lord Scotstarvit, a Scottish laird.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : "Pont, Timothy". Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.