Kilwinning Heritage Publications

There are few small towns in Scotland whose name is more widely known than that of Kilwinning. What should be better recognised is the story of its once important abbey and in turn, its influence on the past. The medieval ruins and the 19th century tower that dominate the town attract a growing number of visitors wanting to see and learn.

The Abbey of Kilwinning by Jim Kennedy (published 2020) is the definitive guide to its history and architecture, and is a must for people who want to know more. From Saint Winning to the peak of influence of this important Scottish abbey, the story of its monks, their lives and work is told by a local historian who devoted his life to the study of ancient tales. These stones have witnessed the rise and fall of medieval Christianity, the blood feud between Montgomeries and Cunninghames and the religious turbulence of the 16th century which changed the Abbey for ever. Price £12.

The Earl and the Exciseman by Jim Kennedy (published 2020) tells the story of the violent death of Alexander, 10th Earl of Eglinton in 1769 which rocked the British establishment of the time and brought many of its leaders to a sense of fear for their personal safety, paralleled only by the activities of modern day terrorism.

Was it an accident, murder, or something even more sinister? Many odd strands that could be taken in different ways are woven into the story. The argument between the landless Exciseman and the Earl who owned one of the greatest estates in Britain are now fairly dealt with, and presented in a style that keeps the narrative alive and active until the final epilogue and beyond. Price £1.

Timepiece by Heather Upfield was reprinted in November 2020 after a sell-out first edition. This is the fascinating inside story of Kilwinning’s clocks and clockmakers, starting with the 1816 town clock built by local man, James Blair. This clock is still working and keeps the time in the Abbey Tower. Only £3.

All of these books and more are available to buy direct from the Abbey Tower, open Saturdays and Sundays 1-3pm until mid-September. (Cash only)

Also available to buy from the website. Post and packaging extra. Click to go to the Kilwinning Heritage Shop.