Ayrshire Towns and Parishes

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Google Map of Newmilns

Notes on the way through Ayrshire - 100 years ago


EAST of Kilmarnock. The town of NEWMILNS, the capital of the parish, is seven and a half miles east of Kilmarnock, and stands on the north bank of the Irvine, with a wing called Greenholm on the south bank, which is in the parish of Galston. It is not a new but an old town, having been made a burgh of barony in the reign of James IV

It has a terminal railway station, lace and muslin manufactories, a grain mill, lots of shops; a pas" office, with telegraph, money order, and savings bank departments; Royal and Clydesdale Banks; Established, Free, and United Presbyterian Churches; two public schools, and a working menís institute. Population in 1871, 3028; in 1881, 2860.

Its chief antiquity is an old tower, notable in the history of the Covenanters. The Established Church here will always be held venerable, in memory of the Rev. Dr. Laurie, minister of Loudoun, the first Christian minister who exerted himself in behalf of the poverty stricken and persecuted young poet Burns

The Churchyard contains several martyrsí monuments, one of them in memory of Captain John Nisbet of Hardhill, one of the toughest of the Covenant heroes. He was a descendant of Murdoch, one of the Lollards of Kyle. In early youth he was engaged in military service on the Continent; returned to Scotland in 1650, at the age of 23; accepted the Covenant with King Charles II. at Scone, and fought many battles for his persecuted Christian brethren. He was amongst the Presbyterians of Ayrshire who suffered defeat at Pentland Hills, 40 of them being killed and 130 taken prisoners. Nisbet was left lying on the field for dead, November, 1666. But the hero had more persecution to endure, and more battles to fight for his countryís freedom to worship God. Being of the same genuine Loudoun stuff as those who fought and conquered with Wallace and with Bruce at Loudoun Hill, he rallied, and found his way home; was present, with the rank of Captain, at Drumclog, where Claverhouse was defeated, June, 1679, and at Bothwell Bridge, where the Presbyterians were completely overwhelmed with numbers, and defeated with great slaughter, June 22, 1679. "Honest old John Nisbet "-as Sir William Hamilton, the Commander at Drumclog, styled him-was captured by the enemy, at Fenwick, in 1685, conveyed to Edinburgh, and executed. He met his death with great fortitude, Here is another martyrís tombstone in a kail yard. Newmilns has cultivated environs, delightfully figured with woods and rippling burns, on both sides of the river.


Map of Newmilns today

This Link takes you to the MULTIMAP website where you will find a map of the town and the surrounding area as it is today. You can zoom in and out and move around in all directions.


StreetMap of Newmilns

This Link takes you to the STREET website where you will find a street map of the town as it is today. You can zoom in and out and move around in all directions.


Old Maps of Ayrshire Place Names

This link goes directly to the OLD MAPS website for an Ayrshire Index to detailed old maps of most Ayrshire Towns around 1860. You can explore out to all sides by using the arrows at the top of the page. These maps are ideal for finding the locations of areas such as farms.


1791-99 and 1845 Statistical Accounts



Newmilns Websites


James Mair  - Newmilns Photograph Collection

Newmilns Books


Historical Aspects of Newmilns

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Pictorial History of Newmilns
James Mair

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Ayrshire Books


Help needed to source old pictures, postcards or photographs, interesting articles or the history of Newmilns. If you would like to help please contact me by email at address below.






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