In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Kilmarnock like this:
Kilmarnock, parl. burgh, par., and manufactnring town, N. Ayrshire, on Kilmarnock Water, near its confluence with river Irvine, 7½ miles E. of Irvine, 23½ SW. of Glasgow, and 382 NW. of London by rail - par., 9444 ac., pop. 25,864; burgh, pop. 25,844; 7 Banks, 2 newspapers. Market-days, Tuesday and Friday. The town includes Riccarton suburb, in Riccarton par. Kilmarnock is an ancient place; it originated in an early church dedicated to St Marnock. In 1591 it was made a burgh of barony under the Boyds. ...
Towards the end of the 16th century the weaving of hose and bonnets was introduced, and Kilmarnock has ever since been an important manufacturing town. It has mfrs. of carpets, bonnets, tweeds and winceys, shawls and calicoes, and boots and shoes; but the staple trade now is in connection with iron, Kilmarnock standing in one of the richest mineral fields of Scotland. There are numerous foundries and engineering shops, and at Bonnieton Square, to the W. of the town, are the locomotive works of the Glasgow and South-Western Ry. Kilmarnock is situated in a district famous for its dairy produce, and its annual cheese show is the largest in Scotland. Kilmarnock House, the residence of the Boyds, Earls of Kilmarnock, is now an industrial school. On the NE. side of the town is the Kay Park, near the centre of which is the Burns Monument (1879). The first edition of Burns' poems was printed at Kilmarnock in 1786. Alexander Smith (1830-1867), the poet, was a native. The parl. limits were extended in 1885. The Kilmarnock District of Parliamentary Burghs (Kilmarnock, Dumbarton, Rutherglen, Renfrew, and Port-Glasgow) returns 1 member.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Kilmarnock has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of East Ayrshire. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Kilmarnock and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Kilmarnock in East Ayrshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 24th May 2013
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