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Latest update: 15-March-2019
2019 excursions programme and next season’s talks added.

Welcome to the AANHS website

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


Social Evening!

11 April – Ayr Town Hall 7.30pm
(Blue Room, same as our usual meetings)

A group of enthusiastic musicians, most of whom are AANHS members, will be playing live with a light historical commentary on “Cliff Richard and the Shadows” and other artists of the period. For many, this will bring back memories of youth as well as giving interesting backgrounds to the music and their titles. After our presentation of about an hour we will enjoy a splendid buffet. This venue is expected to give plenty of space and good facilities.

The price will be £10 to cover the hire of the hall and the buffet.
Tickets from Merry Graham by post to Merry Graham
27 Marchmont Road, Ayr, KA7 2SB

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Our Excursions Programme for 2019

Booking Form available for download below

Wednesday 15th May. Full day visit to Paisley.

First we shall take a guided tour of Paisley Abbey which dates from the l2thC based on a Cluniac Priory. In the centuries since there has been much alteration, rebuilding, repair and restoration right up to the present to produce the fine building of today- Then on to Sma’Shot Cottages, a museum dedicated to the history of the early Paisley weavers, working long hours in their own homes. Next, we shall visit the Paisley Thread Mill Museum on the ground floor of the Mile End Mill. The small thread production business established by the Clark Brothers in 1812 expanded to meet demand, and by the end of the century a great complex of spinning and twisting mills stretched many hundreds of yards. While the Paisley Museum is closed for major redevelopment, a selection of items are relocated to the Secret Collection, the first publically accessible museum store on a UK High St. Our group will take a guided tour of this facility. Cost per person £16.50 + donations. Depart 10.00am from Heathfield Retail Park, Ayr. Return 4.30pm.

Sunday 19th May. Full day visit to Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Pitlochry.

The castle has been the home of the Atholl family for more than seven centuries and has witnessed both turbulent and peaceful times. Enlarged and adapted over the years, the castle is set in a landscape laid out in the 1 8thC which features a walled garden, a wooded grove, a ruined kirk, a red deer park and a Gothic folly. Peacocks roam freely. Blair Castle even has its own private army; the Athol] Highlanders, authorised by Queen Victoria- After lunch in the Tullibardine Restaurant, a guided tour of the Castle has been booked for our group. Cost per person £40.50. Depart 8.15am from Heathfield Retail Park, Ayr. Return 7.00pm.

One of (Monday 10— Friday 14th June). An evening visit to the Wellwood Burns Centre and Museum, Eglinton St. Irvine.

The Irvine Burns Club was founded in 1826 with at least five personal friends of Robert Burns in the founding group. The Club is one of the world’s longest continuously active Burns Clubs, and the Museum’s exhibits in quality, quantity and display are most highly commended. Donations only. Meet at Wellwood at 7pm.

Saturday 22nd June. Full day visit to Cumbria to tour Lanercost Priory.

A 13th C Augustinian monastery in a beautiful setting close to Hadrian’s Wall. It suffered frequent attacks during the long Anglo- Scottish wars. Yet there is still much to see. The east end of the noble 13th C church survives to its full height, and the Priory Church of St. Mary Magdalene occupies what was the original nave, where regular services are still held as they have been for almost 850 years. Then we move on to Hadrian’s Wall which defended the northern frontier of Roman Britain for over 250 years. At Birdoswald Roman Fort we shall discover what life was like in Roman times in the exhibition, explore the fascinating ruins and view the longest stretch of the Wall that survives today. Cost per person £38. Depart 815am Heathfield Refail Park Return 7.00pm

Booking Form (.doc)
TripsForm

Booking Form (.pdf)
TripsForm

Our Talks Programme for 2019-2020

10th October 2019

Iraia Arabaolaza, GUARD

A Roman Marching Camp in Ayr

 

24th October 2019

Hayley Douglas, Clyde Muirshel Park,

Tag’n’Track Lesser Black Back Gulls

 

14th November 2019

Graeme Cavers, AOC Archaeology

The Black Loch of Myrton

 

28th November 2019

Dr. Stephen Harrison, University of Glasgow

Viking Burial Practices in Britain and Ireland.

 

9th January 2020

Dr. Douglas G. Lockhart, Scottish Local History Forum

Better than a mere masonry monument: WW1 memorial buildings in Scotland

 

23rd January 2020

John Malden, President, Heraldry Society of Scotland

The Heraldry and State Funeral of Mary Queen of Scots

 

13th February 2020

TBC

 

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

 

12th March 2020

Dr Stephanie Johnstone

Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels, Ecology and Conservation of Red Squirrels

Our latest publication, available now:
“AYRSHIRE COLLECTIONS 2018”
£7.50 (issued free to AANHS members)

Containing: Ayr Jails by Jane Jamieson,
Killwinning Revisited by Margaret H. B. Sanderson
and A Bonnie Lass and the Heroine of a Nation by Petra Baillie
see the Publications For Sale page


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.
Members’ Section: AANHS members will be able to access this section by entering a password (which will be made available as the new season gets underway).
At present the page contains “The Royal Burgh of Ayr, volume 2”, full of interest, first published in the 1950s, but many more publications will be added in due course.
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 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

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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.