The Village of Kirkmichael, Ayrshire, Scotland
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Click here to see more photos of Kirkmichael.

Kirkmichael is situated on the Dyrock Burn 3 miles east of Maybole. Although a village with a long history and character of its own it has many ties with Maybole and its people. Listed below are links to some of pages on Maybole's site relating to Kirkmichael and links to other sites of interest. Click here for more photos. Click here for maps. Kirkmichael on Undiscovered Scotland: Kirkmichael Also see

Google now has the Street View available for Kirkmichael. Walk or drive the streets, pan up and down, zoom in or out or place a figure on a map to go directly to a location. These functions and more make getting around Straiton from a virtual perspective easier than ever before.    Give it a drive!

I have a very lovely painting of the Kirkmichael church and gate done (I think) around 1906 by an artist that could be JS (but might be TS Bell). It's all very faint. I'd love to know more about the artist or the history of this very pretty artwork. My mother says it originally was in a farmhouse at Cargill in Perth, although it was framed in Glasgow. more

John McDonald was born at Lochfoot, Dumfries. He served in the first World War with the Army Service Corps from 1914 to 1919. John's granddaughter Brenda Collins has preserved several letters and photographs from his military service which give us an remarkable first hand account of the conditions under which members of the British and Greek forces served in the Salonika campaign in the Struma valley. After his service in World War I John was appointed headmaster of Kirkmichael Public School in 1919 where he served until 1941 when he as promoted to Tarbolton.
John McDonald's letters, photos from his war years and a photo of Kirkmichael school house

My AIRD ancestors came from Ayrshire. My GGG-grandfather William Aird married Mary Hunter at Kirkmichael 1806 November 14 and lived at "Mossend." I have not been able to verify the exact place and date of the birth of William Aird, but it appears he was born about 1783, possibly in Kirkmichael, but also possibly in Kilmarnock and may have been in Straiton at one point. He and his family migrated to Montreal, Canada in 1829. I estimated the year of birth 1783 from his age stated at burial in Mount Royal Cemetery in Montreal. more

Kirkmichael House undated sketch contributed by Catherine Czerkawska. Described in  1838 as - "the property of Colonel Shaw Kennedy, is an excellent and commodious family residence. Contiguous is a natural lake of five acres extent, which shows to great advantage from the house. The extensive and judicious improvements lately made on the grounds will serve to beautify a spot, in itself of great natural amenity. There are some splendid trees within the policy, and very thriving plantations throughout the estate."

"This is a lovely old picture of our late neighbour, Andrew Gebbie, on the right, Robert McCutcheon, Alex McKee and another man on the far left -  all in the old McClure Inn, many moons ago. Andrew is long dead now, but he and Alan (see sculptor below) were great friends when Alan first moved into this cottage, before we were married. Andrew used to grow tobacco and cure it in his loft!" Contributed by Catherine Czerkawska.

THE CURIOSITY CABINET A new novel by Catherine Czerkawska published by Polygon in March 2005. ISBN No 1904598420 Paperback. 256pp. Price £8.99.  “A powerful story about love and obligation… a persuasive novel, very well written”: John Burnside.When Alys revisits the beautiful Hebridean island of Garve after an absence of twenty five years, she is enchanted by the embroidered cabinet on display in her hotel. She discovers that it belongs to her childhood playmate ...more about the book.

While browsing through my memory box I found a letter (below) from my Gran to my Grandpa when she, along with my mum and uncle, was evacuated to Kirkmichael. It was written from West End Cottage which I believe still exists. There is no date but my Uncle Jim, who is the baby in the letter, was born in December 1938 so I assume it was written in 1939. I thought it may be of interest to anyone living there at the time. Read the letter.

Kirkmichael school photograph circa 1911. Contributed by Nancy Oliver and Helen Smith with the assistance of Herbert Kay. Fancy days when children went to school bare footed! John Muir, who is in the photo, and his wife who never had any children, adopted me so I am delighted that the photo emerged. Herbert Kay

It can hardly be called a book at all – there are just a few yellowing pages, bound together though some of them are coming loose, and around the edges are the marks of the bonfire that destroyed the rest of it. Sadly, this was no accidental fire. “A friend had died” said the lady who lent me the manuscript.” And somebody was clearing out her old desk. When I arrived at her house they had just thrown this on the bonfire. I nearly burned my fingers trying to rescue it, but this was all I could get out of the flames.” Astonishingly enough these few handwritten pages rescued by my neighbour turned out to date from the Kirkmichael of the early 1800s. Click here or on the image to read the full story by Catherine Czerkawska.

The policeman pictured is Tom Proudfoot who was the law in the village and  surrounding area for many years. Those were the days of the village bobby!  Tom retired in 1953 and lived into his eighties.  To the right is  Kirkmichael Drama Club! This was a play entitled "The Salmon Poachers"... Full story and more photos. Click here for the full story and more photos.

Click here to connect to writer Catherine Lucy Czerkawska's website

Catherine Czerkawska is a resident of Kirkmichael and accomplished writer. Her works include novels, plays for theatre and BBC radio, television drama, short stories, articles and creative content of all kinds.
Email: Website:

Alan Lees is a resident of Kirkmichael and one of Scotland's foremost sculptors: a true artist in wood. His work explores many themes:- religious, wildlife, Celtic, maritime and historical subjects using all kinds of native hardwoods such as lime and Scottish oak.  Email:

Click on the images to view them full size.

Click here to see a full sized photo and some of the names of these pupils.

Kirkmichael near Maybole

Kirkmichael near Maybole

Kirkmichael, Ayrshire

Kirkmichael Primary 1939

The postcard images above and photo of Kirkmichael Primary School pupils were contributed by Herbert Kay

William James Montgomery Cuninghame was born 20th of May 1834 in the parish of Maybole, county of Ayr, Scotland, the son of Sir Thomas Montgomery Cunninghhame and Charlotte Niven D Hutcheson. Just prior to his 20th birthday William J M Cuninghame enlisted on 11th March 1853 as Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own). On 20th November 1854, while serving with his regiment during the Crimean War, together with Lieutenant C T Bourchier and 200 men under the command of Lieutenant Tryon was ordered to attack several Russian rifle pits on rising ground which were really caves dug into the side of the hill. more about William Cuninghame

Samuel McGaw was born in 1837 in Kirkmichael Village, Ayrshire, the eldest son of William McGaw and his wife Sarah Thomson. Samuel was one of a family of five sons, one of whom died in infancy and three sisters all born in Kirkmichael Village. Sometime after 1853 the family moved to Kilmarnock where the father was employed as a labourer in the Railway Works. At twenty years of age on the 15th August 1857 Samuel enlisted in the 42nd Royal Highlanders in Glasgow, his trade at that time was given as mason and he was described as having blue eyes; fresh complexion and fair hair. more about Samuel McGaw.

In memory of  Private Robert Caldwell
"Kir'michael auld Kir'michael It nearly gars me greet, To hear that dear name spoken In lonely lane or street. Though I should make my hame In earth's remotest pairt The thoght of auld Kir'michael Will charm and warm my heart." by Robert Caldwell.
Private R CALDWELL  296060, 12th (Ayr and Lanark Yeomanry) Bn., Royal Scots Fusiliers died on Thursday 30th August 1917. Read the touching poem and view the photos of his young soldier and his grave.  Contributed by Herbert Kay.

FIVE SUNDAY SCHOOL TRIPPERS DROWNED. RECKLESS USE OF AN OLD BOAT.  The tragic result of a boating episode on the Carrick shore on Saturday by a party of Sunday School trippers from Kirkmichael, created great consternation all over the county when it became known on Saturday evening. Eleven persons, mostly children were involved (including a Robert Caldwell - see above), and five lives were lost, the victims being a ploughman and four children. June 1910. Contributed by Alistair Hastings.

Kirkmichael Churchyard 'The Parish Church of Kirkmichael was built a little over a century ago, and although neat enough in appearance, has no particular claim to attention. But it is different with the churchyard, which is one of the sweetest "God's acres" in this neighbourhood. It has indeed all the elements of beauty and interest in a typical Scotch burying- place.' Click on the link above to read the rest of the chapter.  From Places of Interest about Maybole by Rev. R. Lawson. 1891.

Click on the image for a full sized sketch.

I beg to introduce to you our old friend Jock Aird, the Kirkmichael Natural, as drawn for us by Mr Bryden, formerly of Coylton. Jock was born about 86 years ago, in the parish of Kirkmichael. Jock was the last of our Public Naturals. He used to be sorely tormented by the evil disposed, but he was accounted a privileged person by all else. His appearance was unique, and his behaviour was in keeping with his appearance. Rev. Lawson 1891. Click here or on the image for the rest of the story.

The New Statistical Account of the Parish of Kirkmichael - 1838
The character of the parish is hilly. On the banks of the rivers and streams, there are considerable tracts of level ground; but these bear a small proportion to what are unequal and undulating. The hill-pasture continues fresh and green, for most part of the season.

KIRKMICHAEL Ayrshire Directory by Pigot & Co 1837
Kirkmichael is a village in the parish of this name and District of Carrick, some 76 miles from Edinburgh, 22 from Kilmarnock, 14 from Girvan, 10 South of Ayr, the like distance East of Dalmellington, 8 North by East of Dailly, 4 from Stralton, 3½ from Maybole. It is pleasantly situate in a valley, on the road from Newton Stewart to Glasgow - 36 miles from the former and 44 from the latter. Click on the link above to read the rest of the description and directory of the village.

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This letter, dated  8th August 1797, is addressed to the Rev. Mr. John Ramsay, Minister of the Gospel, Kirkmichael, Near --- Maybole. The disposition of the estate and children of a Mr. Walker are the main subject but the writer, David McClure, appears to have as been a personal friend of Rev. Ramsay as well as a former resident of the town. Click on the image to the left or the link above to view full pages of the letter and a transcription.

These two letters addressed to Rev John Ramsay from Captain Thomas Alexander of Greenock were transcribed and contributed by Eunice Shanahan of Queensland, Australia. She was researching the letters for an article when she found another letter to Rev. Ramsay on the Maybole website and contacted us.
 Click on the image to the left or the link above to view full pages of the letters and a transcription.

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