Riccarton parish is a small parish in central Ayrshire, centered on the former village of Riccarton, just south of Kilmarnock. Riccarton has effectively been absorbed into Kilmarnock, partly through the growth of council housing estates, and later by the improvements to the A71 road which effectively made the old village centre a large traffic island.
The current Parish Church was built in 1823, on a piece of land known as 'The Seat of Judgement', or moothill. It is a plain, but substantial looking edifice, adorned with a spire. The old churchyard which occupies a site on the other side of the road, is the burial place of the Cuninghames of Caprington, and the Campbells of Treesbanks, descendants of the noble house of Cessnock.
The parish includes the site of Riccarton Castle (in Fleming Street) where Malcolm Wallace, father of William Wallace, Guardian of Scotland, was reputed to have been born. The parish also boasts Caprington Castle, a 19th century pastiche.
An 1837 description of Kilmarnock, Riccarton, and Kilmaurs, including a listing of the key personalities of the towns, 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 Riccarton from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.