The Village of Kirkoswald, Ayrshire, Scotland
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The village of Kirkoswald is located 4 miles south-west of Maybole. It is well known as the village where Robert Burns attended school with Maybole notable William Niven. It is also here that we find the cottage of  Souter Johnnie in which the 18th-century life of a cobbler is presented. Buried in the Kirkoswald churchyard are John Davidson and Douglas Graham, memorialised as Souter Johnnie and Tam o' Shanter in the poem of Robert Burns. Click here for maps  Kirkoswald on Undiscovered Scotland website  Kirkoswald Parish Church

Google now has the Street View available for Kirkoswald. 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 Kirkoswald from a virtual perspective easier than ever before. Give it a drive!

Kirkoswald Parish Church serving Maidens, Kirkoswald and Turnberry built in 1777. Photos contributed by Yvonne Morrison

Kirkoswald Primary School class from 1966, with teacher Miss Kathleen Byers. The school closed in 1988. The pupils will now be in their early 40s, and hopefully won't mind being branded `history'! In their day, the school had a healthy roll of more than 50 pupils. But that had plummeted to just nine in June, 1988, when the school bell sounded for the last time. Full story and large photo here.

Kirkoswald school site with photos taken in 2000.

Irene Beadle contributed this  photograph of the class of 1938 Kirkoswald Primary School. Her father John Law is in the back row, fifth from the left.   Larger image

Souter Johnnie's Cottage is the home of John Davidson, the village shoemaker who was immortalised in the poem of Robert Burns Tam o' Shanter. The cottage has many period artefacts, Burns' relics and in the garden are life-sized figures of Tam, Souter, the innkeeper and his wife.

Information for Kirkoswald coming soon.

Kirkoswald Lang Syne: Sitting yae nicht by my cosy fire en', My thochts wander back to my boyhood again, Back to the village I mind when a boy Wi' the ladies and lassies that joined in ilk ploy; Its fifty lang years, or maybe twa mair, My brither and I from the Auld Toon o' Ayr, Wha lang had agreed when summer cam roon, To spen' oor vacations awa' frae the toon..  Contributed by Irene Beadle. more

    Dear Madam:

It is with the very deepest regret and sympathy that I have to confirm the news, which you have no doubt received by telegraph, of the death of your son, 1st Liet. George Squires, who was at the time attached to this School for a Course of Instruction in Aerial Fighting and Gunnery. I beg to give you the following brief particulars of the fatal accident and of the funeral arrangements. On Saturday May 18th, at 10:30 in the morning the machine of 1/Lt.G.Squiree, who was carrying out practice in certain fighting evolutions, was seen to circle slowly and begin descending, the descent taking place apparently normally until the machine dived at a steep angle and crashed to the ground.Read the rest of the story here

Ann Nicholson has transcribed some of the Kirkoswald Kirk Session Records. Kirkoswald parish is on the border of Maybole parish to the south. Many of those named in the Kirk sessions had close ties to families in Maybole. The Minute Book of the High Court concerns Janet Bryan from Kilwinning who was indicted on 2 Oct 1860 for child murder and mentions family and neighbours names.

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ASSESSMENT ROLL for Year Ending Whitsunday 1849. Roll of persons liable in payment of Assessment imposed in accordance with Acts 8 & 9 Vict. Caput XXXIV First mode pointed out by the said Act for the support of the poor in the parish of Kirkoswald from the 15th day of May 1848 to the 15th day of May 1849 at the rate of Expense per pound under deduction of 12 per cent on land and 25 per cent on houses.

Kirkoswald Churchyard is not so picturesque as Kirkmichael churchyard, but has its own share of quiet beauty too. The church itself is very old, having served the parish for ages; but in 1777 a new church was built on higher ground. It was in this church (August, 1562) old Abbot Kennedy preached those sermons against the Reformation which brought John Knox down upon him, and led to the famous Debate at Maybole. Old photo of the churchyard Click here for more photos

KIRKOSWALD Ayrshire Directory - 1837 - by Pigot & Co
Is a small and picturesque old village, in the parish of its name, and district of Carrick, 13 miles s from Ayr, and 4 from Maybole; situate on a line of road from Portpatrick to Glasgow - 90 miles from the former, and 48 (by the new road) from the latter town. The parish is highly interesting, as containing within its limits several objects of great attraction for the stranger and tourist.

Second Statistical Account - Parish of Kirkoswald - 1842
The parish is situate in that district of Ayrshire called Carrick. Prior to 1652, it was of considerably larger extent than at present. At that time, the parish of Barr was disjoined from Girvan, Dailly, and Colmonell. The sea-coast of the parish from north to south is six English miles in extent; the greater part of which is a sandy beach, with a beautiful and rich carpet of grass, to the very sea-mark.

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Main Street 1926 large image  larger

Old photo of the Churchyard

Communion token dated 1777.
 Minister Matthew Biggar, 1752 - 1806

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