Latest update: 26-February-2020
Publications added, date of next Committee meeting, Social Evening

Notice of: Southern Uplands Mining Heritage Organisation
Foundation meeting  see below on this page

Welcome to the AANHS website

See our Facebook Page for AANHS updates.
Click the Facebook link on this page …

Our Next Talks:

For further details please see the “Programme Page”

27th February 2020


Dr. Alison Cathcart, University of Glasgow
‘The reparatioun of the said harborie is most necessaire and expedient for the honnour creditte and benefeit of the whole cuntrey’: Ayr and plantation in Ireland, c.1550-1625

Dr. Cathcart:
About me
I grew up on the edges of the Atlantic, in Derry City, but decided to look out over a different body of water while continuing with my education. I made my way, via two years in Dublin, to Aberdeen where I graduated with a BA (Hons) in History in 1996 and a PhD in History in 2001. After working for three years at the University of St Andrews I felt the average rainfall level in the east was not substantial enough so I moved back west to join the University of Strathclyde in 2005. In 2019 I was fortunate enough to be appointed to the University of Stirling where I can contemplate both water and hills.

My research has focused primarily on connections between Scotland and Ireland within a wider archipelagic context during the early modern period. I am currently finalising a monograph that explores plantation by land and sea, c.1550-c.1625, and engages with the social, political, economic, environmental, maritime and confessional factors at play. The focus is on the communities that exist at the interface of land and sea, their interaction and integration within a geographic region defined by a body of water. My interests in local communities and in maritime and environmental factors have developed and will come to the fore in my forthcoming research project that focuses on insular communities of the archipelago. In addition, I have collaborated with colleagues in fisheries and marine science to explore the sustainability of fishing in historic and contemporary contexts. This has (much to my own initial horror) stimulated a desire for greater mathematical knowledge in order to utilise regression modelling more fully within my own research.

12th March 2020
Dr Stephanie Johnstone
Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels, Ecology and Conservation of Red Squirrels


Thursday 9th April 2020
The AANHS Social Evening

Shads OiR_2


For this social, we’ve invited back the group of enthusiastic musicians, most of whom are AANHS members, from last year’s event. They have chosen a new selection of songs to play to get our feet tapping and bring back memories of our youth! Between songs, they will be saying a few words about the instruments they are playing; the origin of the instruments and how each contributes to the overall sound. After the presentation of about an hour we will enjoy a splendid buffet.

The price will be £10 to cover the hire of the hall and the buffet.
Please apply to Ian Holland by the meeting on 26 March at the latest or
by post to Ian Holland, 41 East Park Road, Ayr, KA8 9JF.

Members might be interested in the following meeting, to be held at the Museum of Lead Mining in early March:

Southern Uplands Mining Heritage Organisation
Foundation meeting
at 2pm on Saturday 7th March 2020
at The Museum of Lead Mining, Wanlockhead, Dumfriesshire, ML12 6UT
Draft Agenda
1. Welcome, introductions and apologies
2. Report on progress since 30th November 2019
3. Agree the name of the Organisation
4. Agree the objects of the Organisation
5. Agree the constitution of the Organisation
6. Discuss and appoint coordinators for geographical areas or minerals
7. Decide arrangements for future general and management committee
8. Elect Management Committee
9. Any other business
10. Date, time and location of first Annual General Meeting
To reserve a place at the meeting please e-mail: southernuplands@gmail.com
or phone: 07763 850087 Alastair Lings, Acting Chairperson

Please look through our pages …

Programme: A first rate series of talks and presentations by experts.
Held on a Thursday evening, 7.30, at Ayr Town Hall.
See the titles and dates on the Programme Page.
Publications For Sale: 
Monographs in print
and available for purchase.
Publications Online: A wide range of out-of-print articles to download and enjoy at your leisure. Plenty of interesting reading here. Arranged in alphabetical order.
Ayrshire Notes: Over 30 editions of this publication.
Ayr, 750 years:  This page contains “The Royal Burgh of Ayr, volume 2”, full of interest, first published in the 1950s.
Calendar: A broad sweep of our annual events plus the date of the next Committee Meeting.
Links: A wealth of information on linked websites about Ayrshire and its history.
How to Join: If not already a member, we hope you will join to get full benefit from the AANHS, a very well-established and respected society.
Contact: Relevant email addresses.
The Committee

The Society has over 170 members, mainly resident in Ayrshire but there are many members throughout Britain and the world. The membership also includes library and university bodies. The Society is one of the few which publishes regularly. At least one Monograph is usually issued each year, free to members, and on sale to the general public.
Meetings are held during the winter months in the Town Hall, Sandgate, Ayr. Members of the public are freely welcome to attend these meetings to see if they would like to become a member. In the summer months, trips are organised to various places of interest.

 These are some of our online monographs …


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Aims of the Society:  to …

  • promote interest in archaeology, history, natural history with particular reference to Ayrshire
  • encourage the study of these subjects and stimulate research
  • promote the conservation of the heritage of Ayrshire
  • publish regularly material relevant to the Society’s objectives
  • co-operate with appropriate organisations

The Society is affiliated to the following organisations:

  • Ayrshire Federation of Historical Societies
  • Council for Scottish Archaeology
  • British Association for Local History
  • Ayr Arts Guild


Accounts: please click this link

Accounts 2018

History of the Society

The society’s origins go back to 1877. The AANHS was founded in 1947 to promote the study of Ayrshire history and natural history.

For the history of the society prior to the founding of the AANHS see AANHS Collections 1947-1949 Second Series Volume 1.

At the instigation of R W Cochran-Patrick of Woodside, a meeting was held in the County Buildings, Ayr on 19th October 1877 to consider the formation of an Archaeological Society for the counties of Ayr and Wigtown. This was the inception of the Ayrshire and Wigtownshire Archaeological Association. The AWAA published descriptions, illustrated with plans or drawings of various prehistoric and mediaeval remains in the counties of Ayr and Wigtown; printed early charters, manuscripts, historical documents, ecclesiastical, municipal and parochial records and other material relating to the history, antiquities, topography and genealogy of the district. The first volume appeared in 1878. In 1885 the title of the society was changed to the Ayrshire and Galloway Archaeological Association to extend its scope to Kirkcudbright. This Association was wound up in 1897 at the 14th general meeting. In all, the Association published 18 volumes, including 2 at R Vans Agnew’s expense on Sir Patrick Waus.