The Barony of Blair was granted by King William of the Scots, surnamed the Lion, in the
middle of the 12th century to one Jean François, a man of Norman descent. Jean�s son
changed his name to Blair and he appears to have married a daughter of King John of
England. He was called William and held the Barony in 1260. His successor, Sir Bryce de
Blair was an adherent of Sir William Wallace and was executed by the English at the Barns
of Ayr in 1296. Sir Bryce was succeeded by his brother David, whose son, Roger, was
knighted by King Robert the Bruce for his services before and at Bannockburn. There is a
stone on the old Keep which reads "Roger de Blair and Marie Mair, his spouse". This lady
come from Rowallan and spelt her name either Muir or Mair. Her sister married King David
II, a son of Robert the Bruce. From the fourteenth century onwards the Blairs continued to
prosper at Blair and the estate descended in a direct line until 1752.

The house is difficult to date exactly. The oldest part is the quadroom tower, which was
probably built before 1200. The next pole tower or keep was built in or about 1202. There are
battlements under the high-pitched roof, over the two oldest towers but it is not known when
the high roof was added: probably in the late 17th or early 18th century.

During the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots, John Blair was faithful to the Queen. He died
during the reign of James VI. His grandson, Bryce, succeeded in 1610 and died in 1639. He
and his son, William, were both adherents of Charles I and both were knighted.

William married Margaret, daughter of the 2nd Duke of Hamilton and they left Blair when
Cromwell came to Scotland to deal with those of the Scots nobility and people who were
loyal to the House of Stuart. They returned early in the 1660s and built the south wing of the
house, whose gables show the lily of France and the initials W B and L M H. William Blair
declared for King William and was captured by the Earl of Dundee; he died a prisoner on
Skye. Her ladyship did not approve of her husband's disloyalty to the Stuarts. Their son,
William, succeeded his father and was in Government service; he married a Campbell. Their
daughter succeeded in due course and married William Scott who changed his name to Blair
on marriage. The lady died at the birth of their son, who died unmarried before his father,
who had married again and produced several sons, the eldest of whom succeeded to Blair:
Hamilton Blair was a major in the Royal Scots Greys and carried out many improvements on
the estate. His son, William, was MP for Ayrshire and planted many of the old trees still to be
seen. He opposed the Reform Bill of 1832 and subsequently lost his seat. His son, William
Fordyce Blair was a captain in the Royal Navy, and married a Miss Sprot from the Borders.
The park and policies are due to this William: he it was who opened the policies to the people
of Dalry. He built the Town Hall and subscribed largely to the rebuilding of St. Margaret�s
Church in the 1860s. He died in 1888 and was succeeded by the only surviving son, Colonel
Fredrick Gordon Blair, the father of Miss Blair. Colonel Blair married Miss Mary Baird of
Rosemount (near Ayr). Colonel and Mrs Blair modernised the house in 1893 and built a large
addition to the west of the 1668 wing.