New Cumnock is a large parish to the east of Ayrshire which separated from the older parish of Old Cumnock in 1657. The straggling village of New Cumnock lies at the confluence of the Rivers Nith and Afton and on the A76 road. The higher areas of the parish include the beautiful and largely undiscovered Glen Afton. Like Old Cumnock, the lower area is associated with the former coal mining industry. The parish also includes the villages of Craigbank and Afton Bridgend.
The middle of New Cumnock has long been known as the 'Castle', but there remain few signs of the former castle. Part of the wall round the old graveyard was the castle wall, and it is possible to see the remains of the moat round the back of the Afton Memorial Church.
At the north of the town, the railway station has been re-opened and there are now regular services to Kilmarnock. The town was a mining community for most of the 19th and 20th centuries. Opposite Castlehill lies a memorial to the mining community in the form of a miner's safety lamp on a plinth. As well as coal mining, there were small amounts of lead, copper, graphite and antimony mined in the vicinity.
An 1837 description of New Cumnock, 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 from Queensland.
To the south of the parish is the county boundary with the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright and the Parish of Carsphairn.