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 1500 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

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 us.

Read more about the Abbey’s History


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.

Latest News

We need you!


2020 marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day and to celebrate the occasion we are creating a commemorative video which will feature photos and stories from local Kilwinning Veterans. 

We need members of the Kilwinning community, past and present, to submit photos of their ancestors in uniform detailing what job they did, home or away. These will then all be collated into a photo reel and edited into a short video. The video will also feature 4/5 stories from Kilwinning which we are looking for people to submit as well! (Terms & conditions apply.) 

Please enter submissions via the email address and you will receive an email with the submission policy and someone will be in touch ASAP after that.

New book launched


A new book has been launched about James Blair and the clock and watchmakers of Kilwinning. The history of clockmaking in the town spans 300 years and has been researched by Heather Upfield revealing some surprising results. Timepiece tells the story of town clocks, town bells, and beautiful longcase clocks which have survived until today. Priced only £3,  Timepiece  will be on sale at Kilwinning Library and the Abbey Tower. It is also available to buy online here.

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.