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

KH visit to Mauchline

About 14 members and friends enjoyed a visit to Mauchline today, hosted by Mauchline Burns Club. Amongst the treasures we had exclusive and very rare access to was the church session book which effectively legalised the relationship Burns had with Jean Armour, declaring them husband and wife, but without the actual ceremony. Burns paid one guinea as a donation for the poor, and they both signed the book. This is the only place in the world where both their signatures are together. (Half way down the left hand page)

IMG 1541a

News from the Tower

Welcome to our new website. We hope you enjoy exploring it. There's lots more information as well as a Shop page. We are currently busy at weekends at the Tower Heritage Centre. 

Note that group / school visits are welcome at other times and can be arranged by contacting us

We are now on Twitter as well as Facebook. Just search for ‘Kilwinning Heritage’ or visit @KilwinningH

View all news