NEW CUMNOCK PARISH CHURCH
AULD KIRK: 1659-1833
In 1650 the parish of divided into the two new parishes of Old Cumnock and New Cumnock. The parish of Old Cumnock was served by the existing (‘old’) church that was situated at the heart of what is now the town of Cumnock. A ‘new’ church was required to serve the parish of New Cumnock. It was built on the castle-hill in 1659 adjacent to the site of Cumnock Castle the ancient seat of the barons of Cumnock.
Helen J Steven, writing in 1899, in her invaluable ‘Cumnocks Old and New’ describes the ruined parish church as follows-
‘The little church , erected in 1659 in the parish of New Cumnock, reflects something of the brief prosperity of the time. It was only a small edifice, but the ruins which stand to this day shew it to have been built with taste and discernment and with a knowledge of art in which many of the small parishes churches built both before and after that period are utterly lacking. It is semi-cruciform in shape, with windows in the style of the Early English decorated. The windows are exceedingly fine and quite entire, with delicate pillars and open carving of mason-work. Unfortunately the architect has given but a small doorway to the church – at one time there may have been three doors according to the old custome – and that without the slightest pretension to architectural beauty. Ivy has rooted itself about the ancient edifice and is climbing up the walls. One of the beautiful windows is almost spoiled in outline by the mass of green leaves. A little pruning could be done to excellent purpose, for both the ivy and the windows are so fine that it would be an act of vandalism to destroy either, or both’.