Latest update: 19-October-2018

Welcome to the AANHS website!

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Click the link on this page …

Thursday 25th: ‘Duping The Luftwaffe – Bomber Decoys of WWII’ by Niall Logan.

Niall Logan held a personal chair in Systematic Bacteriology at Glasgow Caledonian University, and in 2018 was awarded the Bergey Medal in recognition of outstanding and life-long contributions to the field of bacterial classification and identification. He has been a keen amateur of vernacular architecture for many years, and has restored his 18th-century farmhouse over 37 years. On retirement in 2014 he became Chairman of the Scottish Vernacular Buildings Working Group, and is also a trustee of the Auchindrain Township Museum near Inveraray. Although it wasn’t his career, his first love was archaeology, and he has now found his way back to it. In 2013 he co-founded the Baldernock Local History Group, and devotes much of his time to researching the local history of his parish, by landscape archaeology and archive study, ranging from the post-medieval onwards.
7.30, Ayr Town Hall as usual.

We hope you will select from our “Programme” page and come along to some or all of our presentations. Non-members are welcome, but we hope you will join the AANHS if you are a regular, to benefit fully from what the Society has to offer. The “Members’ Page”, which will be available to members via a password, will contain particularly valuable material, and will be built up during the coming season. A note about our latest publication is below.

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 (1) and (2): A wide range of out-of-print articles to download and enjoy at your leisure. Plenty of interesting reading here.
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: Next Committee Meeting is on Thursday 23rd August, usual place, usual time.
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 AANHS is about to publish its latest Monographs, a Collection of three articles in one volume. One of these is ‘Kilwinning Revisited’ by Margaret H. B. Sanderson. This author wrote a much earlier Monograph relating to Kilwinning, entitled ‘Kilwinning at the Time of the Reformation and its first Minister William Kirkpatrick’. You might like to read this before going on to ‘Kilwinning Revisited’ (the author wishes to say that some points made in 1972 have been overtaken by the advance of time!) Click the link below:


This publication is at the printers and will be available soon.

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.