Ayrshire Towns and Parishes

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   Stevenston Ecclesiastical Timeline



Granting of charter to Kilwinning Abbey.

To the Abbot of Kilwinning Abbey belonged the tiends and patronage of Stevenston as well as Kilwinning, Irvine, Kilmarnock, Loudoun, Dalry, Kilbirnie, Beith, Dunlop, Stewarton, Dreghorn, Ardrossan, and West Kilbride, all in Ayrshire. Dumbarton and Kilmaronoch in Dunbartonshire. North and south Knapdale in Argyle and Kilmorg and Kilbride in Arran.


1449 The Obit Book of the church of St John the Baptist, Ayr shows that Richard Pethede (probably Ricardo Petit, below) was vicar of Stevenston in 1449. 



At the Reformation this system all changed and the Stevenston Church which in pre-reformation times was dedicated to St. Monach or St. Monk was destroyed, probably at the same time as Kilwinning Abbey. The present High Kirk church was probably built on the same site.


1670 Stevenston Parish Church   According to Paterson, the church, extant in 1547, was rebuilt about 1670.    


1700 William Reid ordained and was minister for the next 42 years.


1742 Robert Findlay minister but only for a few months before moving to Galston


abt 1744 An Aisle added to the Parish Church


1759 James Wodrow parish minister until 1810


1811 David Landsborough  was ordained as parish minister


1832 Present High Kirk Church built. Owes it's existence to the efforts and energy of the Rev. Dr. Landsborough.



PLACES OF WORSHIP in Saltcoats and Stevenston Ayrshire Directory - 1837 - by Pigot

Established Church, Stevenston - Rev. David Landsborough

Established Church of Ardrossan and Saltcoats - Rev john Bryce

Relief Church, Rev Jas. Giffen

Secession Church, Rev David Ronald

Secession Church, Rev James Ellis

Baptist, Rev James Blair

Gaelic Church



David Landsborough attending the first Free Church General Assembly returned to find the church declared vacant by the Presbytery of Irvine. David Landsborough was one of the original 474 ministers of the Established Church who left and formed the Free Church of Scotland. The 'Disruption' as it was know. A new church was erected in Saltcoats owing to the difficulty of getting a suitable site in Stevenston.




1887 A new church opened. Since then known as the Woodside Hall.


 Source:  'The Kernal of Cunninghame' by James Clements

  Ministers in the Parish of Stevenston

Pre-reformation Ricardo Petit Nov 1427
John Blair Sep 1471
Stephen Wilkynsone 1547
James Walkar (Walker)  conformed 1562   -   died  1569


Post Reformation Archibald Craufurd 1569
Patrick Wilkinshaw 1581
Archibald Craufurd 1585
Alexander Campbell  M.A. 1603
John Bell  M.A. 1613
John Bell  M.A.  (son of above) 1641
John Cramond  M.A. 1668
David Mitchell  M.A. 1681
John Keith  M.A. 1684
Robert Stirling  M. A. 1689
William Reid 1700
Robert Finlay  D.D. 1744
Thomas McKinlay  D.D. 1746
James Wodrow  M.A.D.D. 1759
David Landsborough D.D. 1811
James Cruikshank 1843
John Fraser Grahame  B.D. 1877
Robert Joseph Kyd 1886
Alexander MacDonald M.A. 1921
J Geddes Ritchie  B.D. 1927






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