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.
The Heritage Centre is located in the clock tower
which dates from 1816 and lies in the grounds of the 12th century
Benedictine Abbey. The Tower is owned and maintained by North Ayrshire
staffed by volunteer members of Kilwinning Heritage. We welcome around
1500 visitors from all over the world each year and our volunteers lead
guided tours of the Tower.
Our aim is “to stimulate public interest in, and to encourage the conservation of the heritage, history and character of the area of the town and its surroundings, to encourage the preservation, development and improvement of features of historic interest and general public amenity”.
Our main activity is staffing the Abbey Tower Heritage Centre located in the heart of the town alongside the Old Parish Church.
We also have other activities such as summer visits to
places of historic interest near and far and guest lecturers and
speakers in the winter months.
As well as
greeting visitors to our Heritage Centre, we are always keen to hear
from local people interested in history and who may be willing to become
a volunteer guide. For more information, contact
KH is actively involved in a programme of small-scale archaeology projects in the local area. If you are interested in becoming involved, contact us. Full details of our projects and findings can be found on the Archaeology page
Visit the Heritage Centre Free Entry
Mid-May to mid-September Friday, Saturday & Sunday 1-3. 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.
Free online talks
We continue our series of talks via Zoom. All welcome. Thursday 8 April 7.00-8.00pm Hugh Watson - The story of John Finnie Street, Kilmarnock Book your place here
Tuesday 20 April 7.00-8.00pm Roger Griffith - The King's Road The final journey of ancient Scottish kings, through Kilwinning, to their burial place on Iona, investigating the local legend of the ‘Kings Road’ and the sea journey from Portencross to Iona for burial, with a Roman road and harbour, Viking road, cholera pit, loch, crannogs, hidden treasure from Kilwinning Abbey and an airstrip along the way. Book your place here
Free information leaflets
Free leaflets available on request. Contact us and tell us what you would like, and we'll email them to you.