About us


The Abbey Tower opens to the public

The Heritage Centre opens its doors for the summer season on Friday 18 May.  Visitors will be welcomed by volunteers from Kilwinning Heritage who offer guided tours of the 201-year-old clock tower. On display on the ground floor are photographs and items from the town's history, matchstick models, Masonic items and information about Eglinton Castle, as well as a very rare Weavers' Banner, used at a 19th century protest rally. A special exhibition of letters from the front and a Death Plaque of a local man mark the centenary of the end of World War I.        On the upper floors, visitors will have the opportunity to see the original 1816 working clock mechanism as well as a close-up of the town bells. The views from the roof are amongst the best in Ayrshire, and well worth the effort of climbing the 143 steps. On a clear day, the Ayrshire coast and Firth of Clyde can be seen from Troon to Arran, and the Garnock valley with the Dalry hills form a spectacular backdrop to the nearer views over the town.

The Abbey Tower is open until mid-September on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1 - 3pm. FREE ENTRY (Under 16s must be accompanied by a responsible adult)

Do you fancy joining the Tower Team in 2018? You need to enjoy meeting people, and have a couple of spare hours on occasional Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays from May to September. You don't need any knowledge, as training will be provided. We'd prefer volunteers who are able to take visitors up to the roof. Interested?
Please contact us for more information.


We have been saddened by the death of Jim Kennedy, a founder member of Kilwinning Heritage as well as several previous historical societies in the town. Jim's wealth of knowledge and deep insights into the local area will be profoundly missed. A true friend of Kilwinning.

Who are we?

We are Kilwinning's local history and archaeology society. We aim to stimulate a public interest in conservation, history and heritage of our town and the local area by promoting, exploring and celebrating the history of the Kilwinning area.

What do we do?

• Heritage Centre: we run a small museum in the Abbey Tower, and our volunteers provide visitors with guided tours of the Tower and Abbey precincts. We welcome around 1200 visitors per year from all over the world, school and youth groups as well as adult interest groups. The Abbey Tower is open from mid-May to mid-September on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1-3pm. Open at other times for group visits by arrangement. Free entry.

• Archaeology: Since our very successful Community Archaeology Project in Kilwinning Abbey in 2010-12, we have held small-scale self funded archaeological digs in the local area every year, providing people with experience and training in archaeology techniques. If digging up the past is your thing, then you’ll get plenty of professional help and guidance in Kilwinning Heritage.

• We have a programme of lectures and visits to places of historical interest. If you have a passion for the past, if you know a lot already or if you’re a beginner, then KH is for you.

• We provide talks to other groups and societies, and deliver workshops in local schools. Contact us for more details or to book a speaker.


Membership costs just £5 a year (under 18s free). The benefits of membership include news updates, invitations to talks, conferences and special events. In 2017 we have 70 members of all ages and backgrounds. Whatever your interest or experience, we welcome you to our Society and hope that you enjoy it as much as we do! For a membership form, please contact us .

Public talks

Our popular programme of speakers attracts audiences of 20-35. All are free and open to the public. We offer a wide variety of topics of historical interest.


We work with local schools, providing workshops and follow-up class visits to the Abbey. In 2016 we worked with 6 schools, and welcomed visits by 215 young people from school and youth organisations. Contact us for information kh.2011@hotmail.co.uk 


Who collects your data?

KH is responsible for collecting and storing your data from your membership subscription form.

What data does KH collect and how is it used?

Through membership subscription forms, KH collects your name, address, telephone numbers and email address (if you choose to be contacted by email). This data is used to send you news updates, invitations to meetings, information about volunteer rotas, requests for assistance with events and links to items of local or historical interest.

Who has access to your data?

KH will never share, swap or sell you data to any other organisation.

How will we communicate with you?

KH will send emails, either directly through our provider (hotmail.co.uk) or or by using Mailchimp, a simple and secure email marketing tool. We will contact members by post and/or telephone when necessary.

How to update or unsubscribe from KH

Indicate to any Committee member that you no longer wish to be contacted (details on membership card) or contact the Secretary to update contact details.

15 May 2018