This evening, I am focusing on Kilmarnock, a town with a population of about 44,000 in Ayrshire, S.W. Scotland. This town has five key facets, viz:

Dean Castle

Dean Castle, Kilmarnock, Scotland

This castle was subject of a separate blog post. In essence, the castle has its origins in the 14th century, suffered major fire damage in 1735 and was heavily restored in the 20th century. Now a visitor attraction owned by the local council.

Robert Burns Connection

Robert Burns Statue, Kilmarnock, Scotland

It was at Kilmarnock that printer/publisher John Wilson published the first edition ( ‘Kilmarnock Edition’) of a collection of poems by Robert Burns which served to establish Burns on the literary stage and, ultimately, his position as Scotland’s National Poet. The Burns connection is more fully covered in this blog post.

Johnnie Walker Connection

John Walker Statue, Kilmarock, Scotland

The famous blended whisky known as ‘Johnnie Walker’ ¬†can trace its origins to a grocery store in Kilmarnock established in 1820 by a 15 year old, John Walker. John’s experiments with whisky blended founded a business which was developed by his son into the global brand we know today. Whilst the brand lives on, the bottling and blending activities at Kilmarnock ceased in 2012.

Industrial Development

Kilmarnock Railway Viaduct, Scotland

The successor to a steam locomotive manufacturing established in 1859 continues at Kilmarnock in the form of a railway engineering business.

In 1850 the railway line from Glasgow to Kilmarnock was extended eastwards towards Carlisle via viaduct of 23 masonry arches (above).

Historic Architecture

Here can be found excellent examples of church architecture:

Laigh West High Kirk ( 17th-19th centuries)

Kilmarnock Old High Kirk ( 18th century)

Allow a full day to explore historic Kilmarnock.

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