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"Colmonell, coast par. and vil., S. Ayrshire, on river Stinchar, 4¾ m. SW. of Pinwherry sta. and 10½ m. SW. of Girvan, 47,969 ac. (479 water), pop. 2191; P.O., T.O."

John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887


  • "Highways and Byways in Galloway and Carrick" by C.H. Dick, published MacMillan & Son, 1938.

  • "Ayrshire Nights Entertainment: A Descriptive Guide to the History, Traditions, Antiquities of the County of Ayr" by John MacIntosh of Galston, Ayrshire, published in 1894, by John Menzies & Co. of Kilmarnock, Dunlop and Drennan.


The main burial ground surrounds the parish church built in 1772 on the site of earlier churches. There is also a 20th century Colmonell Cemetery.

"Pre-1855 Gravestone Inscriptions; an index for Carrick, Ayrshire" edited by Alison Mitchell, and published in Edinburgh in 1988 by the Scottish Genealogy Society covers the parish of Colmonell and the small old cemetery at Barrhill.

Colmonell, Church of Scotland

You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Colmonell area or see them printed on a map.

Church History

There have been several churches in the parish, not all of which have survived until the late 20th century. These included:

  • The present Parish Church of Colmonell, which was built in 1772 in the site of earlier churches which had been in existence since at least 1179.
  • There was a medieval chapel dedicated to St Donan (Kildonan) at Barrhill, serving the residents of the Duisk valley.
  • A "quod sacra" church (chapel of ease in Colmomell) that was built at Arnsheen in 1845 and was formally disjoined from the parish of Colmonell in 1872.
  • The Free Church at Colmonell founded in 1844 and rebuilt in 1898.
  • The Free Church at Barrhill founded in 1850.
  • The General Associate Synod (Anti-Burgher) which was established at Ford in 1755 and a new church built in 1800. In 1827, this became the Original Secession Church, but in 1853 its Minister, Dr Laing, and congregation joined the Free Church.
  • A Reformed Presbyterian Church created in the early 19th century, which existed at Poundland until 1898, when its congregation too joined the Free Church.

Description and Travel

Originally known as Kilcolmonell, Colmonell is a large and very rural parish which lies in the south of the county, between Ballantrae to the south and Girvan and Barr to its north. The parish includes the villages of Colmonell, Lendalfoot, Ford, Kildonan and Barrhill. The parish is also the site of ruins of Knockdolian, Carleton and Craigneil Castles.

On the coast under Bennane Head, is found a large well-lit cave which is known as Sawney Bean's Cave. It was home to the legendary Bean family whose infamy was to have been cannibals. The legend, told in a number of popular ballads and tales, has it that they preyed on travellers on the road running above the cave.

To the east of the parish is the county boundary with the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright and the Parish of Minigaff.

You can see pictures of Colmonell which are provided by:


Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Colmonell has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

Ask for a calculation of the distance from Colmonell to another place.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NX144857 (Lat/Lon: 55.130829, -4.912848), Colmonell which are provided by: