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Kilwinning is an ancient and thriving little manufacturing town, in the parish of it's name, and district of Cunningham; 24 miles from Glasgow, 3 miles  NW of Irvine, 4 miles NE of Saltcoats, the like distance S of Dalry, 10 miles  NW of Kilmarnock and 5 miles from Ardrossan; situate on rising ground about 2 miles from the sea; stretching westward from the right bank of the Garnock, and approached through long ambrageous paths, skirted by beautiful fields.
    It consists chiefly of one street and bye-lanes, with a few rows of modern houses. The weaving and manufacture of gauzes, muslins, shawls, etc are carried on, to an important extent, for the Glasgow and Paisley markets, to which they are conveyed by local agents. The agricultural produce of the parish is likewise considerable; and coals, which are obtained in abundance are conveyed by a railway passing from east to west across the parish. The only remarkable objects are, the picturesque ruins of the ancient abbey founded by the Hugh de Morville in 1140; and the beautiful tower of the church, to which its style of architecture bears no resemblance; this tower cost, exclusive of the old materials, the sum of 2,000 pounds, raised by subscription and to which the late Earl of Eglintoun was a liberal contributor. The present Earl has a fine mansion in the neighbourhood, called Eglintoun castle.
   Kilwinning was the first place in Scotland where free masonry was established; it is said to have been introduced by the foreign architect who was employed in erecting the monastery here. Besides the distinction acquired from its ancient masonic lodge, it is also remarkable for being the seat of a company of archers, ascertained to have existed as early as the year 1488; and the society at the present day is most respectable.
   Fairs are held on the 1st of February, new style; and on the first Wednesday after the 19th of October, old style.
From the Ayrshire Directory by Pigot and Co.
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Kilwinning, Ayrshire
Map of Kilwinning
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