'Antiquities of Scotland' Index

The Abbey of Kilwinning


THIS abbey is situated in the Bailiwick of Cunningham, one of the three districts or subdivisions of the Shire of Ayr, about three miles North of the Royal Burgh of Irving, near the Irish sea. IT was founded in the year 1140, by Hugh Morville, Constable of Scotland, for monks of the Tyronesian order, brought from Kelso; it was dedicated to St. Winning.


KING ROBERT granted to this house the lands of Hollard, near the Burgh of Irving, and twenty shillings rent annually paid by the heirs of Bailliol, for his lands in Kilmarnock. John de Meneteth, Lord of Annan and Knapdale, gave to the said monks the right of patronage and advowson of the churches of St. Mary and St Briget, in the Isle of Arran, with their lands and chapels. The charter is given at Kilwinning, the I2th of October, 1357. And A. D. 1367 Sir John Maxwell of that Ilk, gave them the patronage of the church of Leberton, with an acre of ground thereunto contiguous.


IN the reign of King Robert III. Sir William Cunningham of Kelmares, gave, in pure alms, to the monks of this house, the lands of Grange.


THE annual revenue of this abbey, at the time of the Reformation, amounted to 8403 lls. Scots; 8 bolls of wheat; 14 chalders, 1 boll, 3 ferlots, 3 pecks of bear; 67 chaldrons of oatmeal; 13 stirks ; 14 capons; 100 hens; 268 cheeses; 9 fathoms square of a peat stack, from Mussnullock Moss. This account of the yearly income of the abbey is taken from the register at Loudon, No. 279.


{Some definitions:

Chalder, Bols, ferlots and pecks are Scots dry measures of grain:
    1 chalder = 16 bolls
    1 boll = 4 ferlots
    1 ferlot = 4 pecks
    1 peck = 4 lippies

Pecks of bear:  'bear' = Barley; the six-rowed barley or the four-rowed barley, commonly the former.


'lls. Scots' are Scots pounds

A 'stirk' is a heifer or bullock, especially between one and two years old.

A 'capon' is a male chicken castrated when young to improve the quality of its flesh for food.}



THE buildings of this house, when entire, according to tradition, occupied several acres; but at present their situation cannot be exactly traced .


 Where is Kilwinning Abbey?



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