Kilmarnock: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...


More interesting facts on Kilmarnock

Include this on your site/blog:

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 55°36′40″N 4°29′45″W / 55.61106°N 4.49571°W / 55.61106; -4.49571

Kilmarnock
Scottish Gaelic: Cill Mheàrnaig
Scots: Kilmarnock, Killie
KilmarnockJohnFinnieStreet.jpg
The view seen from the northern entrance of Howard Park, looking north with Kilmarnock railway station in the distance.
Kilmarnock is located in Scotland
Kilmarnock

 Kilmarnock shown within Scotland
Population 44,734 (2001 Census)
OS grid reference NS429381
Council area East Ayrshire
Lieutenancy area Ayrshire
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town KILMARNOCK
Postcode district KA1-KA3
Dialling code 01563
Police Strathclyde
Fire Strathclyde
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Kilmarnock and Loudoun
Scottish Parliament Kilmarnock and Loudoun
Central Scotland
Website http://www.east-ayrshire.gov.uk/
List of places: UK • Scotland •

Kilmarnock (Scottish Gaelic: Cill Mheàrnaig) is a large burgh in East Ayrshire, Scotland, with a population of 44,734.[1] It is roughly equidistant between Glasgow and Ayr, and is the second largest town in Ayrshire.[2] The River Irvine runs through its eastern section, and the Kilmarnock Water passes through it, giving rise to the name 'Bank Street'.[3]

Contents

History

Associated Congregation of Kilmarnock Communion Cup, dated 1778.

The name comes from the Gaelic cill (church), and the name of Saint Marnoch or Mernoc who is also remembered in the name of Portmarnock in Ireland, and Inchmarnock. It may come from the three Gaelic elements mo, 'my', Ernán (name of the saint) and the diminutive ag, giving Church of My Little Ernán. It is believed by some that the saint founded a church there in the 7th century. There are 12 Church of Scotland congregations in the town, plus other denominations. In 2005, the Reverend David W. Lacy, minister of the town's Henderson Church, was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

The core of the early town appears to have lain around what is now the Laigh Kirk (Low Church), although the oldest parts of the current building are no earlier than the 17th century, extending north and northwest. In 1668[citation needed] the town was largely destroyed by an accidental fire. About 120 families lost most of their possessions and were forced to live destitute in the fields surrounding the town. These tradespeople had no other way of making a living and had already been driven to the edge of poverty by having troops stationed with them as part of the anti-Covenanter measures. Parish churches throughout Scotland collected money for the relief of these homeless citizens.[4]

Map of Kilmarnock town centre in 1819.
Kilmarnock Cross in 1849.

A comparatively modest settlement until the industrial revolution, Kilmarnock extended considerably from around 1800[citation needed] onwards. This resulted in formal, planned developments such as King Street, Portland Street, Saint Marnock Street, and latterly John Finnie Street; the latter often suggested as one of the finest Victorian planned streets in Scotland.

Geography

Areas of Kilmarnock include:

  • Altonhill
  • Annanhill
  • Barnweill
  • Beansburn
  • Bellfield
  • Benwell
  • Bonnyton
  • Byker
  • Caprington
  • Cowgate
  • Cruddas Park
  • Elswick
  • Fawdon
  • Fisher Grange
  • Gargieston
  • Gosforth
  • Grange Estate
  • Hillhead
  • Horse Long Estate
  • Howard Grange
  • Loanhead
  • Longpark
  • Kenton
  • Kirkstyle
  • New Farm Loch
  • Onthank
  • Riccarton
  • Shortlees
  • Southcraig
  • Springhill
  • Townholm
  • Wardneuk
  • Wallsend
  • Wellpark

Economy

Kilmarnock's traditional industries were based around textiles and heavy engineering: e.g. locomotives (Andrew Barclay and Sons) from 1837 through 1970, and valves (Glenfield and Kennedy), which are still in production. Now trading as Glenfield Valves.[citation needed]; and carpets (manufactured by BMK) from the early 1900s.

Advertisements

BMK Carpets

The carpets manufactured in Kilmarnock were internationally known for their quality and intricacy since the late 1800s.[citation needed] Many locations around the world chose to install BMK carpets. Famously, RMS Titanic was carpeted using carpets manufactured by Stoddard Carpets, the parent company and successor to BMK.[citation needed] Primarily due to a move by the UK market towards laminated and hard-wood flooring, but also partially due to a long decline in the industry in the area as well as cheaper, but noticeably less hard-wearing foreign competition, carpet-making finally ceased in Kilmarnock in early 2005.

Archibald Finnie and his family lived at Springhill House (now a nursing home) near the Grange Academy. They owned many coal mines, pits and other companies in Springside and other places. John Finnie Street is named after one of the family. Shoes were also a major product for some time, with Saxone having a factory in the town on the site of where the Galleon leisure centre now stands.

Railway Manufacturing

Kilmarnock had one of the earliest tram railways in the world, running to Troon over the (recently restored) Laigh Milton viaduct. The Glasgow and South Western Railway also set up their works here, producing nearly 400 locomotives by the time it was absorbed by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in 1923. Some work continued, but heavy repairs were sent to St. Rollox. Locomotive repairs finished in 1952, and the works closed in 1959. Nevertheless locomotives are still made by Hunslett-Barclay, as well as the maintenance of existing diesel and electric multiple units.

From 1946 tractors were also built in Kilmarnock, with a large Massey-Harris factory present on the outskirts of the town. It later became Massey-Ferguson, before closing in 1978. Glenfield and Kennedy still survives albeit with a fraction of its former workforce, which at its height numbered in the thousands.

Johnnie Walker

Kilmarnock is home to the world famous Johnnie Walker brand of Scotch whisky. However the owner of Johnnie Walker, Diageo, has announced that they will be closing the bottling plant in the town by the end of 2011—thus ending a 189 year link with the whisky brand and the town.[5][6] In September 2009, owner Diageo confirmed the plant in Kilmarnock would close, despite local protests.[7]

Regeneration

Portland Street, 2006.
Dean Castle Gatehouse.
The September 11th memorial plaque at the Dean Castle.

The textile and manufacturing sectors across Scotland suffered significant decline in the postwar period, and in particular from the 1960s, in the face of greater foreign competition. Kilmarnock was no exception, with the closure or significant reduction of many of its traditional large employers: Glenfield and Kennedy, Massey Ferguson, BMK, and Saxone. Although significant attempts have been made to halt this decline and attract new employers, Kilmarnock saw a continuing net loss of jobs in the five years to 2005.

Although traditionally a main shopping area for most of the surrounding districts, patterns have changed over the last 20 years; traditional centres such as Ayr have been joined by new developments at Braehead and East Kilbride.

This difficult economic climate is most visible in the town centre, the eastern part of which has been extensively redeveloped, with important historic buildings such as King Street Church and the Town Hall being demolished, and Duke Street (the link from Kilmarnock Cross to the Palace Theatre and out to the London Road) built over.

More recently Portland Street, which formed the northerly part of the main shopping area, lay abandoned for many years due to a decline in retail trade and in the face of possible comprehensive redevelopment. The street has now been redeveloped, but has not yet regained its former degree of popularity, with a Gala Bingo and a J.D. Wetherspoons taking up much of one side of the street and the rest largely occupied by chain stores.

In 2004, the Rough Guide to Scotland described the town as "shabby and depressed, saddled with some terrible shopping centres and a grim one-way system".[citation needed] The town, however, contains several parks such as Howard Park, Dean Park, and Kay Park, and residential areas including London Road, Dundonald Road, McLelland Drive, and Howard Park Drive. The town also boasts a collection of gift shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants within the very desirable Bank Street area, whilst offering retail options within its retail parks at Queen's Drive and Glencairn Square.

According to the local press in November 2007, the new SNP council have drawn up a Top Ten Hit List on 'eyesore' buildings in the town, and their owners and have revealed plans to crack down hard on property owners who have left their buildings fall into disrepair. A plan of action is being carried out to get something done with each of these sites. Many of the buildings in disrepair are irreplaceable listed buildings such as the former ABC cinema (previously the King's Theatre) on Titchfield Street.[citation needed] Plans to improve the derelict building at the top of John Finnie Street that was destroyed by a fire in the early 1990s have been submitted to the council to include a new 4 star hotel, a nightclub and new shops and cafes. Work is estimated to be completed in 2011.

Dean Castle Palace.

A four-star hotel recently opened next to Rugby Park, the home of Kilmarnock F.C., and new restaurants, such as Merchants and the award winning Jefferson Restaurant have opened in the town centre.

Regeneration activities have been discussed for Kilmarnock town centre; in early 2006, an application to Historic Scotland's Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme was successful, and as of July 2006 an application under the Heritage Lottery Fund's Townscape Heritage Initiative Scheme was pending. Work has pretty much finished on a quality housing development on the gapsite of the former Kilmarnock Infirmary north of the town centre.[citation needed]

In the past there have been major efforts to improve the quality of life for residents in the town's worst housing estates, especially in parts of Shortlees, Longpark and Onthank. Though the physical rehabilitation of housing in these areas has partly tackled the underlying problems of social exclusion, Onthank is arguably that most successful area of regeneration in question.[citation needed]

Much new quality housing has been constructed on the northern fringes of the town, in order to service the demand for commuter housing. With a journey time of 20 minutes from Kilmarnock to Glasgow (roughly half that of the existing train service), the M77 motorway has transformed the link between Glasgow and Kilmarnock. The upgrading of the A77 route to Glasgow to the M77 motorway in 2005 has made Kilmarnock more accessible for commuters, and recent house price increases have reflected this.[8]

Landmarks

The Dick Institute.
Henderson Church.

Transport

The Kilmarnock railway viaduct.
The partial 'suspension' bridge over the Dean Ford, at the Kilmarnock Water.

In 1812, the famous Kilmarnock and Troon Railway opened, mainly to carry coal from the area to the harbour at Troon, but also carrying passengers.

In 1904, Kilmarnock had its own tramway system built. The name of the company was Kilmarnock Corporation Tramways. An electric power station was built in the south bank of the River Irvine at Riccarton. Overhead power lines and tram lines were laid. With continued upgrading and expansion, the tram network at its peak went from Ayr Road in Riccarton at its southerly point, to Knockinlaw Road in Beansburn in the North. At Kilmarnock Cross, the line had an easterly spur that stretched along London Road, through Crookedholm and finally terminating at Hurlford. There had been proposed extensions along Portland Road, up John Finnie Street, West Langlands Street and eventually towards Crosshouse, but by this time, increasing costs and the far more flexible motor bus had made inroads and the trams ceased operation in 1926 during the General Strike. The council decided not to restart the service and the infrastructure was soon dismantled. Today the town is served by Kilmarnock railway station.

Kilmarnock has excellent road links to Glasgow with the M77 motorway now completed from Fenwick to its junction with the M8 at the Kingston Bridge. A new south side motorway will connect this point to the M74 near Calderpark when the latest phase of development is complete, eliminating some of the heavy traffic currently travelling on the A71 through Hurlford, Galston, Newmilns, Darvel and Strathaven to join the M74 at Stonehouse.

Kilmarnock lies on the intersection of 3 main roads: the A71 which runs from Edinburgh to (Irvine), the A76 from Dumfries to Kilmarnock, and the A77/M77 from Stranraer to Glasgow, showing the significance of its location as an early market town.

Education

Kilmarnock College.

Kilmarnock has 1 college; 17 schools; 13 primary and four secondary. There is also a college in the town, Kilmarnock College, formerly Kilmarnock Technical College. The schools are managed by East Ayrshire Council.

College

  • Kilmarnock College

Secondary schools

The new school was rebuilt in the playingfields of the former building and opened in April 2008 - also includes the newly formed St Andrews Primary School
The new school was rebuilt on the playing fields of the former building and opened in August 2008

Primary schools

Kirkstyle Primary School.
Hillhead Primary School.
  • Saint Andrews R.C. Primary
St Andrews opened in August 2008 when the former St Columba's and St Matthew's Primary schools merged and is based in the grounds of the newly built St Joseph's Academy in New Farm Loch.
  • Mount Carmel R.C. Primary
  • Loanhead Primary
Founded c.1903 and located at Elmbank Drive. Around 120 pupils, aged 4-11, are educated under the direction of the headteacher Mrs Smith who succeeded Mrs Jan Cuningham.
  • Hillhead Primary
  • Kirkstyle Primary
Fairly new, located on top of a Coal Mine at Carron Avenue. Headteacher Dianne McKinnon who succeeded Elizabeth Devlin after she retired in July.
  • Bellfield Primary
  • Shortlees Primary
  • Silverwood Primary
  • New Farm Primary
  • Annanhill Primary
  • Gargieston Primary
  • Onthank Primary

Sports

The Dean Ford over the Kilmarnock Water at the Dean Country Park.

The town is host to a football club named Kilmarnock F.C., the oldest professional club in Scotland. Their home ground is the curiously named Rugby Park. The irregular etymology of the ground is that when founded, the club played both football and rugby. The club has the largest supporter base of any team outwith Scotland's four major cities. Rugby Park was also one of the first football grounds in Scotland to have floodlights installed. In recent years the stadium has been modernised, firstly to bring it in line with the all-seating regulations, then rebuilt totally to make a new ground. It has also hosted international football matches as well as music concerts, the most recent one was when Elton John performed here in June 2005.

The town also regularly plays host to professional wrestling shows, promoted by the British Championship Wrestling promotion.

There are two golf courses in the town, Annanhill Golf Course and Caprington Golf Course, which has both an 18 hole course and a nine hole course. Both these courses are council owned and run by East Ayrshire Council.

The local leisure complexes include the Galleon Centre: with a 25 metre swimming pool, baby pool, ice rink, squash courts, sauna, gym, games hall, bar area, bowling green and the New Northwest Centre (formerly the Hunter Centre) which contains an up-to-date community gym and various local medical facilities.

Culture

A leisurely stroll around the town will reveal many fine buildings. Kilmarnock boasts a large number of listed buildings. The Dick Institute, opened in April 1901, was severely damaged by fire only eight years after it opened. Some of the museums collections were lost in the fire. It reopened two years after the fire in 1911. The Dick Institute was used as an Auxiliary Hospital in 1917 during World War One.It is now shared by the Arts and Museums Service, and the Libraries, Registration and Information Service. The two Art Galleries and three Museum Galleries house permanent and temporary displays of Fine Art, Contemporary Art and Craft, Local and Industrial History and Natural Sciences. The Lending Library, Audio Library, Junior Library, Reference Library, and Learning Centre are all housed on the ground floor.

The first collection of work by Scottish poet Robert Burns, Poems, chiefly in the Scottish dialect was published here in 1786. It was published at the current site of the Burn's Mall, dedicated to his work. This edition is known as the Kilmarnock Edition.

Two areas of Kilmarnock, Ellerslie and Riccarton, are associated with William Wallace and his father. Claims have been made that this is the true origin of his birthplace, and recently these have been largely substantiated. The claim that Wallace was born in Elderslie near Paisley no longer seems tenable.[citation needed]

John Bowring, renowned polyglot and fourth governor of Hong Kong, was Member of Parliament for Kilmarnock in 1835.

In the castle of Kilmarnock, Dean Castle, there is an exhibition of armour and weapons, and the Van Raalte collection of musical instruments.

Notable people

James Johnston member of Scottish rock band Biffy Clyro is from Kilmarnock

Twin towns

Kilmarnock - as part of East Ayrshire Council - is twinned with six cites and has received awards from the Council of Europe for its work in twinning.[18][19]

See also

References

  1. ^ Brinkhoff (2007).
  2. ^ "Mid-2006 Population Estimates for Localities in Scotland". http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/publications-and-data/settlements-and-localities/mid-2006-population-estimates-for-localities-in-scotland/list-of-tables.html. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  3. ^ Smellie (1898).
  4. ^ Chamber, Robert (1885). Domestic Annals of Scotland. Edinburgh : W & R Chambers. p. 316.
  5. ^ "Diageo warn of further cuts as it prepares for jobs battle". http://www.theherald.co.uk/search/display.var.2518335.0.diageo_warns_of_further_cuts_as_it_prepares_for_jobs_battle.php. 
  6. ^ Press Association. "Johnnie Walker whisky to end 189-year link with Kilmarnock | Business | guardian.co.uk". Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/jul/01/johnnie-walker-closure-kilmarnock. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  7. ^ "Diageo confirms Kilmarnock and Glasgow plants will close | Scotland | STV News". News.stv.tv. 2009-09-09. http://news.stv.tv/scotland/121733-diageo-confirms-kilmarnock-and-glasgow-plants-will-close/. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  8. ^ "Huge rise in Scots house prices". BBC News. 2004-07-10. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/3881237.stm. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  9. ^ "Architecture Kilmarnock". http://www.futuremuseum.co.uk/Default.aspx?Id=436&mode=object&item=2335. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  10. ^ "Dean Castle". http://www.futuremuseum.co.uk/Default.aspx?Id=17. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  11. ^ "Kay Park". http://www.east-ayrshire.gov.uk/comser/tourism/places_kay_park.asp. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  12. ^ "Kilmarnock Football Club roots". http://www.killiefc.com/Web%20Pages/killie_history%20begining.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  13. ^ "Lady's Walk - Howard Park". http://www.corbett5.freeserve.co.uk/auldkillie.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  14. ^ "Sandbed Street Bridge - The oldest surviving bridge in Kilmarnock". http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:YNMfZpSU8HEJ:www.east-ayrshire.gov.uk/devser/documents/jfscaa.pdf+%22Sandbed+Street+Bridge%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=uk&lr=lang_en. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  15. ^ "The Palace Theatre, Kilmarnock". http://www.futuremuseum.co.uk/Default.aspx?Id=418&mode=collection. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  16. ^ "Who's Who in Glasgow in 1909: WILLIAM FINDLAY [ebook chapter] / George Eyre-Todd, 1909". Gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk. http://gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/eyrwho/eyrwho0605.htm. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  17. ^ "''Literary Encyclopedia'': William McIlvanney". Litencyc.com. 2002-06-30. http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5019. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  18. ^ "Town Twinning". East Ayrshire Council. http://www.east-ayrshire.gov.uk/corpres/twinning/town_twinning.asp. Retrieved 2008-09-16. "East Ayrshire is twinned with five European towns...In September 1980 Kilmarnock & Loudoun District Council (now part of East Ayrshire Council) was presented with the Council of Europe Flag of Honour; this was followed in August 1989 by the Plaque of Honour which is second only to the Europe Prize itself. Both are now kept within the council's offices in Kilmarnock." 
  19. ^ "TTA". http://teigntwin.co.uk/atoz/twins-k.htm. 

Bibliography

  • Beattie, Frank (1994) Greetings from Kilmarnock, Ochiltree : R. Stenlake, ISBN 1-87207-441-3
  • Beattie, Frank ((2003) Kilmarnock Memories, Sutton Publishing, ISBN 0-7509-3236-8
  • Brinkhoff , T. (2007) City Population: Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Scotland, Online statistics [accessed 8 July 2007]
  • Malkin, John (1989) Pictorial History of Kilmarnock, Darvel : Alloway, ISBN 0-907526-42-X
  • Smellie, Thomas (1898) Sketches of Old Kilmarnock, Section II, limited edition of 250 copies, Kilmarnock : Dunlop & Drennan

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Kilmarnock is in South West Scotland and is the home of "Johnnie Walker", the world famous brand of whisky. Its is also associated with the poetry of Scotland's national bard, Robert Burns as his first collection of poems -the famous "First Edition"- was printed in the town. The town's Dean Castle is the home of the "World Burns Federation".

Get in

It is around 7-8 miles away from the coastal towns of Irvine and Ayr.

Kilmarnock can be accessed via the A77 from the north and south or alternatively, the M77 from the north. The town also has a local rail station which can be access from the north or south (Glasgow - north, Carlisle - south).

Get around

Stagecoach buses run services into most of the town's areas on a regular basis until around 11pm at night. Regular buses also run to Glasgow, Irvine, Ayr, Stewarton and various other outlaying villages and towns.

  • "Dean Castle Country Park"
  • "Johnnie Walker's Bottling plant" - Hill Street
  • "The Dick Institute - Library and Museum" - London Road

Buy

King street is the main shopping street and is populated with the usual mix of stores you'd expect to find in a town this size. The town is also host to several retail parks just on the edge of the town centre; Queens Drive Retail Park & Glencairn Retail Park being two of them. These retail parks contain larger versions of the usual chain stores, supermarkets and retailers.

  • "Merchants" - Is located just behind Tesco's off King Street (Queen street).It was recently named one of Tam Cowan's top picks in his resurant guide in the Daily Record.
  • "First Edition" in Bank Street serves a delicious meal at reasonable prices. Very nice atmosphere as well!
  • "September 31" on Bank Street serves the best in locally sourced produce. Affordable, casual, gourmet food.
  • "Mamitas" in Bank Street serves delicious food and coffee. Great service and a very friendly atmosphere.

Drink

Kilmarnock has many pubs and restaurants to choose from. Most pubs screen live football matches and serve basic pub grub until around 8pm, but don't count on anything more sophisticated than pie and chips.

  • "Fanny by Gaslight" on West George Street
  • "The Goldberry" on Bank Street
  • "The Hunting Lodge" at Glencairn Square (Former winner of the Tennents "Best Pint in Scotland" competition)
  • "The Bellfield Tavern" at Welbeck Street
  • "The Auld Hoose" on Titchfield Street
  • "Paris Match" just off King Street, behind Tesco
  • "The Howard" at Glencairn Square (where you will get more than a pie and chips for lunch)
  • "September 31" on Bank Street serves a massive range of malt and blended whiskeys as well as a huge variety of spirits and liqueurs

Sleep

Kilmarnock has a wide mix of accommodation from homely B&Bs/guest houses, to high class hotels.

Stay Safe

If in town alone at late night it is best to try and avoid the Burns Mall shopping centre as this has been the site of brutally violent attacks & indeed murders in the past. It would be wise to stay in a group as most of the unsavoury characters that frequent the town cetnre looking for trouble will tend to avoid you if you outnumber them. If in any doubt the police station is in the town centre on St Marnock Street. The same advice also applys to the Howard Park.

This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

KILMARNOCK, a municipal and police burgh of Ayrshire, Scotland, on Kilmarnock Water, a tributary of the Irvine, 24 m. S.W. of Glasgow by the Glasgow & South-Western railway. Pop. (1901), 35,091. Among the chief buildings are the town hall, court-house, corn-exchange (with the Albert Tower, iio ft. high), observatory, academy, corporation art gallery, institute (containing a free library and a museum), Kay schools, School of Science and Art, Athenaeum, theatre, infirmary, Agricultural Hall, and Philosophical Institution. The grounds of Kilmarnock House, presented to the town in 1893, were laid out as a public park. In Kay Park (484 acres), purchased from the duke of Portland for 90co, stands the Burns Memorial, consisting of two storeys and a tower, and containing a museum in which have been placed many important MSS. of the poet and the McKie library of Burns's books. The marble statue of the poet, by W. G. Stevenson, stands on a terrace on the southern face. A Reformers' monument was unveiled in Kay Park in 1885. Kilmarnock rose into importance in the 17th century by its production of striped woollen "Kilmarnock cowls" and broad blue bonnets, and afterwards acquired a great name for its Brussels, Turkey and Scottish carpets. Tweeds, blankets, shawls, tartans, lace curtains, cottons and winceys are also produced. The boot and shoe trade is prosperous, and there are extensive engineering and hydraulic machinery works. But the iron industry is prominent, the town being situated in the midst of a rich mineral region. Here, too, are the workshops of the Glasgow & South-Western railway company. Kilmarnock is famous for its dairy produce, and every October holds the largest cheese-show in Scotland. The neighbourhood abounds in freestone and coal. The burgh, which is governed by a provost and council, unites with Dumbarton, Port Glasgow, Renfrew and Rutherglen in returning one member to parliament. Alexander Smith, the poet (1830-1867), whose father was a lace-pattern designer, and Sir James Shaw (1764-1843), lord mayor of London in 1806, to whom a statue was erected in the town in 1848, were natives of Kilmarnock. It dates from the 15th century, and in 1591 was made a burgh of barony under the Boyds, the ruling house of the district. The last Boyd who bore the title of Lord Kilmarnock was beheaded on Tower Hill, London, in 1746, for his share in the Jacobite rising. The first edition of Robert Burns's poems was published here in 1786.


<< Kilmallock

Kilmaurs >>


Simple English

Kilmarnock
Gaelic - Cill Mheàrnaig
Scots - Kilmarnock, Killie

Population 43,588 (2001 Census)
OS grid reference NS429381
Council area East Ayrshire
Lieutenancy area Ayrshire
Constituent country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town KILMARNOCK
Postcode district KA1-KA3
Dialling code 01563
Police Strathclyde
Fire Strathclyde
Ambulance Scottish
Scottish Parliament Kilmarnock and Loudoun
Central Scotland
UK Parliament Kilmarnock and Loudoun
European Parliament Scotland
Website: http://www.east-ayrshire.gov.uk/
List of places: UK • Scotland
Coordinates: 55°36′40″N 4°29′45″W / 55.61106°N 4.49571°W / 55.61106; -4.49571

Kilmarnock (Scottish Gaelic: Cill Mheàrnaig; locally known as Killie) is a large burgh in East Ayrshire, Scotland, with a population of 44,170.[1] It is located roughly between Glasgow and Ayr, and is the second largest town in Ayrshire.[2] The River Irvine runs through its eastern section, and the Kilmarnock Water passes through it, giving rise to the name 'Bank Street'.[3]

Contents

History

The name comes from the Gaelic cill (cell), and the name of Saint Marnoch or Mernoc who is also remembered in the name of Portmarnock in Ireland, and Inchmarnock. It may come from the three Gaelic elements mo, 'my', Ernán (name of the saint) and the diminutive ag, giving Church of My Little Ernán. It is believed by some that the saint founded a church there in the 7th century. There are 12 Church of Scotland congregations in the town, plus other denominations. In 2005, the Reverend David W. Lacy, minister of the town's Henderson Church, was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

The core of the early town appears to have lain around what is now the Laigh Kirk (Low Church), although the oldest parts of the current building are no earlier than the 17th century, extending north and northwest. A comparatively modest settlement until the industrial revolution, Kilmarnock extended considerably from around 1800 onwards. This resulted in formal, planned developments such as King Street, Portland Street, Saint Marnock Street, and latterly John Finnie Street; the latter often suggested as one of the finest Victorian planned streets in Scotland.

Geography

Areas of Kilmarnock include:

  • Altonhill
  • Annanhill
  • Barnweill
  • Beansburn
  • Bellfield
  • Bonnyton
  • Caprington
  • Fisher Grange
  • Gargieston
  • Gosforth
  • Grange Estate
  • Hillhead
  • Howard Grange
  • Loanhead
  • Longpark
  • Kenton
  • Kirkstyle
  • New Farm Loch
  • Onthank
  • Riccarton
  • Shortlees
  • Southcraig
  • Townholm
  • Wardneuk
  • Wellpark

Economy

Kilmarnock's traditional industries were based around textiles and heavy engineering: e.g. locomotives (Andrew Barclay and Sons) from 1837 through 1970, and valves (Glenfield and Kennedy), which are still in production[needs proof]; and carpets (manufactured by BMK) from the early 1900s.

The carpets manufactured in Kilmarnock were internationally known for their quality and intricacy since the late 1800s.[needs proof] Many locations around the world chose to install BMK carpets. Famously, RMS Titanic was carpeted using carpets manufactured by Stoddard Carpets, the parent company and successor to BMK.[needs proof] Primarily due to a move by the UK market towards laminated and hard-wood flooring, but also partially due to a long decline in the industry in the area as well as cheaper, but noticeably less hard-wearing foreign competition, carpet-making finally ceased in Kilmarnock in early 2005.

Archibald Finnie and his family lived at Springhill House (now a nursing home) near the Grange Academy. They owned many coal mines, pits and other companies in Springside and other places. John Finnie Street is named after one of the family. Shoes were also a major product for some time, with Saxone having a factory in the town on the site of where the Galleon leisure centre now stands.

Kilmarnock had one of the earliest tram railways in the world, running to Troon over the (recently restored) Laigh Milton viaduct. The Glasgow and South Western Railway also set up their works here, producing nearly 400 locomotives by the time it was absorbed by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in 1923. Some work continued, but heavy repairs were sent to St. Rollox. Locomotive repairs finished in 1952, and the works closed in 1959. Nevertheless locomotives are still made by Hunslett-Barclay, as well as the maintenance of existing diesel and electric multiple units.

From 1946 tractors were also built in Kilmarnock, with a large Massey-Harris factory present on the outskirts of the town. It later became Massey-Ferguson, before closing in 1980. Glenfield and Kennedy still survives albeit with a fraction of its former workforce, which at its height numbered in the thousands. Kilmarnock however is still home to the world famous Johnnie Walker's brand Scotch whisky. On the outskirts of the town is Scotland's first privately run prison, HM Prison Kilmarnock.

Regeneration

The textile and manufacturing sectors across Scotland suffered significant decline in the postwar period, and in particular from the 1960s, in the face of greater foreign competition. Kilmarnock was no exception, with the closure or significant reduction of many of its traditional large employers: Glenfield and Kennedy, Massey Ferguson, BMK, and Saxone. Although significant attempts have been made to halt this decline and attract new employers, Kilmarnock saw a continuing net loss of jobs in the five years to 2005.

Although traditionally a main shopping area for most of the surrounding districts, patterns have changed over the last 20 years; traditional centres such as Ayr have been joined by new developments at Braehead and East Kilbride.

This difficult economic climate is most visible in the town centre, the eastern part of which has been extensively redeveloped, with important historic buildings such as King Street Church and the Town Hall being demolished, and Duke Street (the link from Kilmarnock Cross to the Palace Theatre and out to the London Road) built over.

More recently Portland Street, which formed the northerly part of the main shopping area, lay abandoned for many years due to a decline in retail trade and in the face of possible comprehensive redevelopment. The street has now been redeveloped, but has not yet regained its former degree of popularity, with a Gala Bingo and a J.D. Wetherspoons taking up much of one side of the street and the rest largely occupied by chain stores.

In 2004, the Rough Guide to Scotland described the town as "shabby and depressed, saddled with some terrible shopping centres and a grim one-way system".[needs proof] The town, however, contains several parks such as Howard Park, Dean Park, and Kay Park, and residential areas including London Road, Dundonald Road, McLelland Drive, and Howard Park Drive. The town also boasts a collection of gift shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants within the very desirable Bank Street area, whilst offering retail options within its retail parks at Queen's Drive and Glencairn Square.

According to the local press in November 2007, the new SNP council have drawn up a Top Ten Hit List on 'eyesore' buildings in the town, and their owners and have revealed plans to crack down hard on property owners who have left their buildings fall into disrepair. A plan of action is being carried out to get something done with each of these sites. Many of the buildings in disrepair are irreplaceable listed buildings such as the former ABC cinema (previously the King's Theatre) on Titchfield Street.[needs proof]


A four-star hotel recently opened next to Rugby Park, the home of Kilmarnock F.C., and new restaurants, such as Merchants and the award winning Jefferson Restaurant have opened in the town centre.

Regeneration activities have been discussed for Kilmarnock town centre; in early 2006, an application to Historic Scotland's Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme was successful, and as of July 2006 an application under the Heritage Lottery Fund's Townscape Heritage Initiative Scheme was pending. Work has pretty much finished on a quality housing development on the gapsite of the former Kilmarnock Infirmary north of the town centre.[needs proof]

In the past there have been major efforts to improve the quality of life for residents in the town's worst housing estates, especially in parts of Shortlees, Longpark and Onthank. Though the physical rehabilitation of housing in these areas has partly tackled the underlying problems of social exclusion, Onthank is arguably that most successful area of regeneration in question.[needs proof]

Much new quality housing has been constructed on the northern fringes of the town, in order to service the demand for commuter housing. With a journey time of 20 minutes from Kilmarnock to Glasgow (roughly half that of the existing train service), the M77 motorway has transformed the link between Glasgow and Kilmarnock. The upgrading of the A77 route to Glasgow to the M77 motorway in 2005 has made Kilmarnock more accessible for commuters, and recent house price increases have reflected this.[4]

Landmarks

  • John Walker; burial place at the kirk yard of Saint Andrew's Glencairn Church.
  • The Dick Institute.
  • Kilmarnock War Memorial; Elmbank Avenue (1926-1927), B-listed, architect James Miller.[5]
  • Dean Castle; the original keep dates from around 1350, and the palace from around 1460.[6]
  • Burns Monument; from 1879.
  • Dean Park.
  • Kay Park; the 30-acre (120,000 m2) park was purchased, laid out, and gifted to the town by Alexander Kay. It opened in 1879 and is the home of the Burns Monument.[7]
  • Howard Park Kilmarnock; previously 'Barbadoes Green', to where the roots of Kilmarnock Football Club can be traced back.[8] "Lady's Walk in Howard Park commemorates the grief-stricken walks taken by the young widow of The Earl of Kilmarnock who was sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered in London in 1746, later commuted to beheading. His widow died a year after his execution.[9]
  • Kilmarnock railway viaduct; built between 1843 and 1850.
  • Kilmarnock railway station; from 1846.
  • The Laigh Kirk and Kirkyard.
  • Sandbed Street Bridge; circa 1762; the oldest surviving bridge in Kilmarnock.[10]
  • Palace Theatre; the imposing Corn Exchange, whose red-sandstone Italianate tower, by James Ingram, dominates the cross at London Road and Green Street, was opened on 16 September 1863 as a multi-use concert hall.[11]
  • Kings Hotel.
  • George Hotel.
  • Bank Street.
  • John Finnie Street; from 1864.
  • King Street; from 1804.
  • Clydesdale Bank; from 1975.
  • Kilmarnock Cross.

Transport

In 1812, the famous Kilmarnock and Troon Railway opened, mainly to carry coal from the area to the harbour at Troon, but also carrying passengers.

In 1904, Kilmarnock had its own tramway system built. The name of the company was Kilmarnock Corporation Tramways. An electric power station was built in the south bank of the River Irvine at Riccarton. Overhead power lines and tram lines were laid. With continued upgrading and expansion, the tram network at its peak went from Ayr Road in Riccarton at its southerly point, to Knockinlaw Road in Beansburn in the North. At Kilmarnock Cross, the line had an easterly spur that stretched along London Road, through Crookedholm and finally terminating at Hurlford. There had been proposed extensions along Portland Road, up John Finnie Street, West Langlands Street and eventually towards Crosshouse, but by this time, increasing costs and the far more flexible motor bus had made inroads and the trams ceased operation in 1926 during the General Strike. The council decided not to restart the service and the infrastructure was soon dismantled. Today the town is served by Kilmarnock railway station.

Kilmarnock has excellent road links to Glasgow with the M77 motorway now extending as far as Fenwick.

Kilmarnock lies on the main road between Edinburgh, Livingston, South Lanarkshire, and Ayrshire (Irvine).

Education

Kilmarnock has 17 schools; 13 primary and four secondary. There is also a college in the town, Kilmarnock College, formerly Kilmarnock Technical College. The schools are managed by East Ayrshire Council.

Secondary schools

  • Kilmarnock Academy
  • Saint Joseph's R.C. Academy
  • Grange Academy
  • James Hamilton Academy

Primary schools

  • Saint Andrews R.C. Primary
  • Mount Carmel R.C. Primary
  • Loanhead Primary
Founded c.1903 and located at Elmbank Drive. Around 120 pupils, aged 4-11, are educated under the direction of the headteacher Mrs Smith who succeeded Mrs Jan Cuningham.
  • Hillhead Primary
  • Kirkstyle Primary
Fairly new, located on top of a Coal Mine at Carron Avenue. Headteacher Dianne McKinnon who succeeded Elizabeth Devlin after she retired in July.
  • Bellfield Primary
  • Shortlees Primary
  • Silverwood Primary
  • New Farm Primary
  • Annanhill Primary
  • Gargieston Primary
  • Onthank Primary

Sports

The town is host to a football club named Kilmarnock F.C., the oldest professional club in Scotland. Their home ground is the curiously named Rugby Park. The reason for the name of the ground is that when founded, the club played both football and rugby. The club has the largest supporter base of any team outwith Scotland's four major cities. Rugby Park was also one of the first football grounds in Scotland to have floodlights installed. In recent years the stadium has been modernised, firstly to bring it in line with the all-seating regulations, then rebuilt totally to make a new ground. It has also hosted international football matches as well as music concerts, the most recent one was when Elton John performed here in June 2005. Derek Olgavie is also a regular appearance in the Palace Theatre.

The town also regularly plays host to professional wrestling shows, promoted by the British Championship Wrestling promotion.

There are two golf courses in the town, Annanhill Golf Course and Caprington Golf Course, which has both an 18 hole course and a nine hole course. Both these courses are council owned and run by East Ayrshire Council.

The local leisure complexes include the Galleon Centre: with a 25 metre swimming pool, baby pool, ice rink, squash courts, sauna, gym, games hall, bar area, bowling green and the New Northwest Centre (formerly the Hunter Centre) which contains an up-to-date community gym and various local medical facilities.

A leisurely stroll around the town will reveal many fine buildings. Kilmarnock boasts a large number of listed buildings. The Dick Institute, opened in April 1901, was severely damaged by fire only eight years after it opened. Some of the museums collections were lost in the fire. It reopened two years after the fire in 1911. The Dick Institute was used as an Auxiliary Hospital in 1917 during World War One.It is now shared by the Arts and Museums Service, and the Libraries, Registration and Information Service. The two Art Galleries and three Museum Galleries house permanent and temporary displays of Fine Art, Contemporary Art and Craft, Local and Industrial History and Natural Sciences. The Lending Library, Audio Library, Junior Library, Reference Library, and Learning Centre are all housed on the ground floor.

Culture

The first collection of work by Scottish poet Robert Burns, Poems, chiefly in the Scottish dialect was published here in 1786. It was published at the current site of the Burn's Mall, dedicated to his work. This edition is known as the Kilmarnock Edition.

Two areas of Kilmarnock, Ellerslie and Riccarton, are associated with William Wallace and his father. Claims have been made that this is the true origin of his birthplace, and recently these have been largely substantiated. The claim that Wallace was born in Elderslie near Paisley no longer seems tenable.[needs proof]John Bowring, renowned polyglot and fourth governor of Hong Kong, was Member of Parliament for Kilmarnock in 1835.

In the castle of Kilmarnock, Dean Castle, there is an exhibition of armour and weapons, and the Van Raalte collection of musical instruments.

Notable people

  • Ian Deans; notable Scottish-Canadian NDP politician representing Hamilton, Ontario.
  • William and John Sloane; founders of W. & J. Sloane in New York City.
  • Margaret McDowall; member of the Scottish swimming team and silver medal winner at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.
  • Hugh McIlvanney; sports journalist.
  • William McIlvanney; writer, born 1936.[12]
  • Sir John Boyd Orr; biologist, politician and Nobel Peace Prize-winner.
  • Robert Dunsmuir; Hudson's Bay Company coal miner and then coal baron, richest man in western Canada and builder of Victoria's Craigdarroch Castle; born at Hurlford, southeast of Kilmarnock.
  • Scottish Canadian comedian Colin Mochrie (of "Whose Line is it Anyway?" fame) spent the first several years of his life in Kilmarnock (born 1957, emigrated 1964).
  • Malcolm Wallace; father of Scotland's hero, William Wallace, was born in Riccarton.
  • Malky McCormick; cartoonist.
  • Jamie Allan Kerr; master craftsman.
  • Lindsay McKenzie; actress.
  • The Very Rev Dr David Lacy; minister of Henderson Church in Kilmarnock and Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 2005.
  • The Rev William Hewitt; Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 2009, born in Kilmarnock.
  • Doctor William Findlay (pen name George Umber); author.[13]
  • Des Browne, Baron Browne of Ladyton; former MP, UK defence minister, and Secretary of State for Scotland
  • John Kelso Hunter (Scottish Painter); Oil Painter and Author in 19th Century.

Twin towns

Kilmarnock - as part of East Ayrshire Council - is twinned with five European cites and has received awards from the Council of Europe for its work in twinning[14].

References

Notes

  1. Brinkhoff (2007).
  2. "Mid-2006 Population Estimates for Localities in Scotland". http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/publications-and-data/settlements-and-localities/mid-2006-population-estimates-for-localities-in-scotland/list-of-tables.html. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  3. Smellie (1898).
  4. "Huge rise in Scots house prices". http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/3881237.stm. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  5. "Architecture Kilmarnock". http://www.futuremuseum.co.uk/Default.aspx?Id=436&mode=object&item=2335. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  6. "Dean Castle". http://www.futuremuseum.co.uk/Default.aspx?Id=17. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  7. "Kay Park". http://www.east-ayrshire.gov.uk/comser/tourism/places_kay_park.asp. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  8. "Kilmarnock Football Club roots". http://www.killiefc.com/Web%20Pages/killie_history%20begining.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  9. "Lady's Walk - Howard Park". http://www.corbett5.freeserve.co.uk/auldkillie.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  10. "Sandbed Street Bridge - The oldest surviving bridge in Kilmarnock". http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:YNMfZpSU8HEJ:www.east-ayrshire.gov.uk/devser/documents/jfscaa.pdf+%22Sandbed+Street+Bridge%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=uk&lr=lang_en. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  11. "The Palace Theatre, Kilmarnock". http://www.futuremuseum.co.uk/Default.aspx?Id=418&mode=collection. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  12. Literary Encyclopedia: William McIlvanney
  13. Who's Who in Glasgow in 1909: WILLIAM FINDLAY [ebook chapter] / George Eyre-Todd, 1909
  14. "Town Twinning". East Ayrshire Council. http://www.east-ayrshire.gov.uk/corpres/twinning/town_twinning.asp. Retrieved 2008-09-16. "East Ayrshire is twinned with five European towns...In September 1980 Kilmarnock & Loudoun District Council (now part of East Ayrshire Council) was presented with the Council of Europe Flag of Honour; this was followed in August 1989 by the Plaque of Honour which is second only to the Europe Prize itself. Both are now kept within the council's offices in Kilmarnock." 

Bibliography

Other websites


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message