Welcome to Kilwinning Heritage

We are a local history group in Kilwinning, Ayrshire in Scotland. This website is intended to give members and visitors information about KH and its activities, and also about Kilwinning’s rich history, which stretches back to prehistory. Please check back regularly, as we will add news and information from time to time.

Kilwinning Abbey
South Transept Kilwinning Abbey
Kilwinning Abbey

Heritage Centre

The Heritage Centre is located in the clock tower which dates from 1816 and lies in the grounds of the 12th century Tironensian Benedictine Abbey. The Tower is owned and maintained by North Ayrshire Council, and staffed by volunteer members of Kilwinning Heritage. We welcome around 1200 visitors from all over the world each year and our volunteers lead guided tours of the Tower.
Find out more about the Heritage Centre

More About Us

Kilwinning Heritage members visit to Dundonald Castle
Kilwinning Heritage members visit to Dundonald Castle

Our Tower Team welcome visitors to the Abbey Tower Heritage Centre located in the heart of the town alongside the Abbey Church.  We also have an Archive Team working on a project to discover and protect documents from Kilwinning's past. Others are working on individual research projects, and we occasionally present special exhibitions of local interest. We provide other activities such as summer visits to places of historic interest and a programme of guest speakers in the winter months.

We are always keen to hear from local people interested in history who may be willing to become a volunteer guide or to take part in our other activities.  For more information, contact us.

Read more about the Abbey’s History

Community Archive Project

We have been given a unique opportunity to discover stories from Kilwinning's past through a collection of historical legal documents. A team of volunteers are working to clean, conserve and digitally preserve an estimated 20,000 documents from the 18th, 19th and early 20th century. We hope that with appropriate funding, we will be able to open opportunities for the community to get actively involved in this exciting opportunity to get immersed in local history and share stories which help to build community pride. 

examples of archives

Visit the Heritage Centre
Free Entry

Mid-May to mid-September
Saturday & Sunday 1-3pm.
Other openings to be arranged. 

Please check our Facebook page for details.
Climb the 143 steps for stunning views from the roof.
Under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult.

Latest News

FREE online talk

Thursday 22 February at 7.00pm. Heather Upfield presents The Horse, the Stable and the Smith
Horsepower was integral to daily life in Kilwinning from the 18th century to the mid-20th century. Heather will explore the life of working horses and the many stables and smithies around our town. Book your place here. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e...  All welcome

Easter at the Abbey Tower

The Heritage Centre will re-open to visitors at the Easter weekend:

Friday 29 March 11.00-3.00

Saturday 30 March  11.00-3.00

Sunday 31 March (closed morning) open 1.00-3.00 

Monday 1 April 11.00-3.00

View all news

Donate to Kilwinning Heritage

We are always happy to receive donations. These can be made via PayPal as a one-off or recurring payment, for a value of your choosing.