'Antiquities of Scotland' Index

Alloway Kirk


THIS church stands by the river, a small distance from the bridge of Doon, on the road leading from Maybole to Ayr. About a century ago it was united to the parish of Ayr; since which time it has fallen to ruins. It is one of the eldest parishes in Scotland, and still retains these privileges: the minister of Ayr is obliged to marry and baptize in it, and also here to hold his parochial catechisings. {Catechisings were held regularly and involved the people of a district area assembling for a religious service and a thorough examination of all present in the Shorter Catechism.}. The magistrates attempted. Some time ago, to take away the bell; but were repulsed by the Alloites {Alloway residents}



{As is widely known, Francis Grose included Alloway Kirk in his 'Antiquities' on the request of Robert Burns. In return he asked Burns to write a ghost story to accompany the engraving. Link to Tam O'Shanter  -  Grose included the following header to 'Tam O'Shanter}


This church is also famous for being the place wherein the witches and warlocks used to hold their infernal meetings, or sabbaths, and prepare their magical unctions; here too they used to amuse themselves with dancing to the pipes of the muckle-horned Deel. Diverse stories of these horrid rites are still current; one of which my worthy friend Mr. Burns has here favoured me with in verse.


Where is Alloway Kirk?



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