Saturday, January 19, 2013

St Marnock's Parish Church

A large pink sandstone church with a four-stage tower constructed in 1836 and designed by the architect, James Ingram - it was actually his first major work. It stands on St. Marnock Street between the Police Station on the left and the Sheriff Court on the right. 

There is also a famous Carillon of 30 bells which was installed in the tower in memory of Peter Wills and his daughters, Maggie and Mary. It is one of only a few carillons in Scotland and is ranked 12th in the United Kingdom. The bells are found just under the roof and played on a keyboard on a lower floor.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Kilmarnock Cross

Kilmarnock Cross is the large open square in the heart of the pedestrianised town centre, surrounded by several streets and some striking buildings including the former Royal Bank of Scotland, built in 1939, which has a large green dome. (Apparently there was an ornate mosaic floor in the banking hall with a 1939 threepenny bit in the centre; I don't know whether it is still there as I haven't been inside.)

There used to be seven streets which fanned out from The Cross but, owing to a major redevelopment in 1970,  some were demolished. Many shops, the bus station and a car park were built in their place. You can also find the modern (and controversial) Burns Shopping Mall to one side.

In the centre stands the striking statue of Robert Burns and his printer, John Wilson, where a roundabout used to be in the 1970s when traffic flowed around these streets. This replaced the marble statue of Sir James Shaw which was moved to its new position in London Road near the Dick Institute.

The shops which surround The Cross, as I write this, include Holland and Barrett, Barclays Bank, Aulds Bakery and Costa Coffee.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

New Laigh Kirk

This town centre church was built in 1802, enlarged in 1831 and then completely refurbished in 1996 by W I Munro Architects, who won a Civic Trust Award for part of the town's regeneration. In 2002 a new stained glass window was added.

There are Covenanters' graves, which are historically very interesting, to be seen in the adjacent churchyard.

This church is close to The Cross in the heart of the town, standing today in a pedestrianised cobble-stoned side street. It is one of the main landmarks of Kilmarnock and I find it a very attractive building.

Church services there are currently on Sundays at 11.00am and also at 9.30am from June to August.