Show Navigation

Architecture

Kilmarnock

Laigh Kirk

Period:
19th Century
Description:

St. Mernoc was said to have first established a church in Kilmarnock in the 7th century giving the town its name. In medieval times though the Laigh Kirk was a subsidiary of Kilwinning Abbey before giving it’s allegiance to the new Protestant faith after the reformation. A slab in the wall however commemorates Robert Boyd, 4th Earl of Kilmarnock and a friend and supporter of the catholic, Mary Queen of Scots.

Kilmarnock suffered for its support for the covenanter rebels and several gravestones in the Kirkyard commemorate local men who were executed during that period: John Shields, John Ross and John Nisbet. Other gravestones of note are those of James McKinlay, a preacher known by Robert Burns and also that of the poet’s friend, the renowned sportsman, Tam Samson. The earliest parts of the existing church date from 1410, but most of the tower was built in the 16th century with the rest of the building being built at the start of the 19th century after the earlier building was demolished after a partial collapse in 1801. This incident tragically happened during a service; the congregation’s panic caused a stampede for the door resulting in the death of 29 people!

In 2000 the Laigh Kirk joined with the West High Kirk to become the Laigh West High Kirk.

 

The artist who produced this sketch was the architect Thomas Smellie. He published this sketch in his book Sketches of Old Kilmarnock.

 

Materials/Media:
book illustration
Source:
The Dick Institute
Digital Number:
EAFA217d
Creation Date:
1898
Copyright:
East Ayrshire Council