South Ayrshire's historical roots run deep into Scotland's heritage. The first session of the Scottish Parliament after the Battle of Bannockburn was held in Ayr in 1315, giving the town a unique connection to the recently re-established Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Beyond this, men such as King Robert the Bruce, Robert Burns and John McAdam, have all played their part in Scotland's culture, arts and technology and helped make South Ayrshire the place it is today.
The School itself is situated south of the river, just to the west of the A77. Originally the land was farm land and at some point was used for mining, as there was an iron foundry nearby, as well as an old quarry. There was also a dye works and fever hospital in the vicinity. Very close by, the Kyle Union poorhouse in Ayr was built in 1857-60 on Holmston Road, with the first Governor and Matron being appointed in April 1860. The buildings provided accommodation for 150 inmates.
In 1903, the General Superintendent of Poorhouses expressed concern about overcrowding at Kyle, particularly in the sick wards. A nurse at Kyle had to attend to 37 patients suffering from serious acute diseases such as pneumonia, pleurisy, phthisis and cancer, together with chronic cases of paralysis and senile decay, the latter often being "wet cases". National standards at the time proposed a maximum of 20 patients per nurse. Some wards provided as little as 438 cubic feet of space per patient, whereas national standards demanded a minimum of 800 cubic feet.
A Governor's house was also later added on Holmston Road at the south-west corner of the site.
After 1930, the poorhouse became known as the Kyle Home Poor Law Institution.
The former poorhouse buildings are now used as offices by South Ayrshire Council.