Kirkmichael is a village in the parish of this name and District of Carrick, some 76 miles from Edinburgh, 22 from Kilmarnock, 14 from Girvan, 10 South of Ayr, the like distance East of Dalmellington, 8 North by East of Dailly, 4 from Stralton, 31/2 from Maybole. It is pleasently situated in a valley, on the road from Newton Stewart to Glasgow - 36 miles from the former and 44 from the latter.
The Directory of Ayrshire, 1837 by Pigot & Co.
- "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.
"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 Kirkmichael.
"The original parish church of Kirkmichael was dedicated, as the name indicates, to Saint Michael, and was granted to the prior and canons of Whithorn, in Galloway, by John de Gemilstoun. After the church became Crown property, it was granted by the King to the Bishop of Galloway, and was subsequently transferred to the University of Glasgow, but was restored to the same bishop in 1661. The old church continued until 1787, at which time the present church was built. It is of a type similar to other rural churches of the period.
The old burying ground has a monument to the memory of Gilbert M'Adam, who was sentenced to banishment for nonconformity. After his return from exile, while attending a prayer meeting in the district, the house was surrounded by a company of soldiers under the command of Sir Alexander Kennedy, Laird of CuIzean, and Gilbert, in trying to effect his escape, was shot by the soldiers. The Rev. R. Lawson, in referring to the memorial stone, says, "this monument has the small original slab hewn by 'Old Mortality' inserted in its side, with the persecutor's name (the laird of CuIzean and Ballochimil) first erased and then inserted again." An interesting circumstance connected with this stone is that one morning, the name of the persecutor was found to have been erased by one or other of his friends, but the erasure was speedily filled in again. One of the oldest tombstones of Ayrshire is to be seen in this churchyard. It is one of these large square slabs lying flat on the ground, known in olden times as thruchstanes. The inscription reads thus: "Hfir Lyis Quintine Muir of Gud Memore and Agnis Blair His spouise 1506". The manse of Kirkmichael is noted in history as the birthplace of the Lawries, from whom were descended the Lawries of Loudoun.
The parish of Kirkmichael is located in the former Carrick district of south Ayrshire. The parish includes the villages of Crosshill and Blairquhan as well as the central village of Kirkmichael that lies 3 miles ESE of Maybole. The parish includes the distinguished residences of Cassilis Castle, Cloncaid Castle and Skeldon House.
The place name Kirkmichael is derived from the Gaelic 'cathair meaghail' literally meaning 'the fortified outpost of warning'.
An 1837 description of Kirkmichael, including a listing of the key personalities of the town, is given in this extract from Pigot's Directory for Ayrshire. The transcript was provided by Keith Muirhead <firstname.lastname@example.org> from the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.
- The transcription of the section for Kirkmichael from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.