We are a local history and archaeology group in Kilwinning, a small town with a rich history, which stretches back to prehistory.
The Abbey Tower Heritage Centre is located in the clock tower which dates from 1816 and lies in the grounds of the 12th century Tironensian Benedictine Abbey in the heart of the town. The Tower is owned and maintained by North Ayrshire Council, and staffed by volunteer members of Kilwinning Heritage. We welcome visitors from all over the world and our volunteers lead free guided tours of the Tower.
A wide variety of items is on display; from the origins of the Abbey; medieval carved stonework; photographs; a model of Eglinton Castle; information about local people and much more.
We have a collection of items relating to the Papingo Shoot, a unique event held annually by the Ancient Society of Kilwinning Archers, the oldest archery organisation in the world dating back to 1483. The display includes 19th century Papingo targets, arrows and bows.
Our members have written a number of books, on sale from our website, and we have recently added a 3D interactive virtual tour of our museum. We have produced 3 videos about the Abbey, the heritage centre and our exhibits. Links to all these are on our website. A popular programme of talks takes place over the winter months. An extensive list of free downloads is available on our website, including out-of-print books and full reports on our community archaeology projects.