Historic Sites

Kirkoswald Parish Church

Kirk Road, Kirkoswald, Ayrshire, KA19 8HZ

Phone number: 01655 770239


Kirkoswald may seem like any other small village parish church, but when looking at its past it is truly a remarkable place, significant in Scottish History.

It is believed that, in 1777, while working with Lord Cassillis, his client at Culzean Castle, Robert Adam came across the church during construction and recommended changes, giving the “New” Parish Church building its Palladian-style details.

The belfry contains a Dutch bell dated 1677 that was taken from the older, pre-reformation church in the village.

President Eisenhower of the USA has attended regular services making it the only church in Britain to have an American President as a parishioner.

Though the “New” Parish Church hosts a remarkable past, the Old Parish Church and Graveyard contains strong links to two of Scotland’s most iconic figures.

It is believed to be the place where Robert the Bruce was baptised, the baptismal font can still be found today in the old graveyard.

Furthermore it is the resting place of some of the famous poet Robert Burns’ family members from his maternal side. It is also the resting place of some of the characters from his writings, including Souter Johnnie, Kirkton Jean and Douglas Graham of Shanter, the inspiration for Tam o Shanter. The famous poet himself lived in Kirkoswald for a time when he was seventeen.