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Latest update: 27-May-2020
New publication for sale.

Welcome to this website

Any late news will be posted on our Facebook Page …
Click the link on this page … 

Our latest publication,
now available:

Plenty on Ayrshire’s history and natural history.
New page just added: “Life at the Time of Burns”.


See details of these and other maps in our online articles.


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We can’t visit the pub. So download this great history of the famous Ayr inn. Enjoy Joseph Shearer’s delightful pictures.

Shearer.Tamo’Shanter


On our website …

Coronavirus: The “Pestilence” in Ayrshire’s history.
Programme: Our talks and presentations by experts.
Held (coronavirus times excepted) usually fortnightly on Thursday evenings, 7.30, at Ayr Town Hall.
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.
Life at the Time of Burns: The complete AANHS publication of 1959, “Ayrshire at the Time of Burns”. Written by top experts and unequaled since.
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 …

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

2020 Accounts

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.