About us

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 


The Abbey Tower is now closed for the winter and will re-open at Easter 2018. Extensive refurbishment is planned during the winter. Watch out for big changes!

Our fantastic volunteers have offered guided tours of the Tower to over 1400 visitors this year. 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.

You're invited to join us for our next talk of the season. Kilwinning Old Parish church (Abbey Church) has some fascinating stained glass. Local man Jim Muir has researched into the stories behind these windows. See you on Monday 12 March 2018 at 7.30pm .