THE POTATO was introduced for growing in Scotland through a garden in Irvine, according to a ground-breaking historian from the town.

AJ Morton claims to have unearthed evidence that shows the humble tattie started its life in Scotland in the Irvine District, probably in Bourtreehill, back in the eighteenth century.

He said the roots of the first home-grown Scottish spuds can be traced back to 1733, when the Earl of Eglinton would occasionally have them at his supper.

He said: "It seems our town can be credited with the introduction of potato for growing - but it's important to draw a distinction between this and the introduction of the potato altogether." See the Times for the full story.