Often known as Auld Stumpy, and of great historic interest, Stumpy Tower was built in the first half of the 19th century.
Occupying a key position in Girvan town centre, it was built as the town's jail. Auld Stumpy served this purpose until the 1870s when a new jail and police station were built.
The cells of the jail were on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors of the building with a clock tower above these cells. Originally this building and others including the Town Hall were used to form a square, which formed the Market Place. Sadly, the surrounding buildings were demolished in 1908.
It is interesting to note that Auld Stumpy replaced a former jail sited on the southwest corner of the market place. This former jail, which was built in 1789, had a thatched roof through which the prisoners frequently made escape. It is recorded that the 'new' jail had a positive effect on the number of escapees and the resulting law and order within the town.
It has been suggested that the name auld Stumpy derives from the Gaelic Olladh Stiom Paidh, meaning the 'Great Circle of Justice'.
Exhibits in the Tower include a 16th century wrought iron cannon and police memorabilia.