The New Cumnock Mural , at the Mary Morrison Memorial Garden
History of the Parish
of New Cumnock
by Robert Guthrie

The New Cumnock Mural , at the Mary Morrison Memorial Garden
Evidence of Middle Stone Age (mesolithic) sites c. 10000 BC- c.4000 BC have been
found in Ayrshire in the coastal lands of Ardeer and Shewalton in the north and near
Ballantrae in the south. Included in the finds are flint tools (microliths), arrows and
harpoons and middens of shells and bones. These hunter -fisher gatherers, eeked out a
living off the shorelines, seldom venturing inland.

New Stone Age (neolithic) immigrants reached these shores c.4000 BC - c.3000 BC,
bringing with them the technology to make stone axes and hammers, allowing them to
clear the woodlands, cultivate the land and keep domesticated animals such as sheep and
cattle. Intermingling with the indigenous population these farmers would also continue to
hunt and fish. No trace can be found of neolithic settlements in Ayrshire but a number of
burial places have been identified, including two on the hills of the parish of Ballantrae.

Bronze Age Urn
Nith Lodge
The Bronze Age c.2500 BC - c. 750 BC witnessed the
decline of stone-based tools and implements at the
expense of bronze, a metal made, as if by magic, from
copper and tin. Not only did bronze tools gradually
replace those of stone, but bronze jewellery and
weapons were shaped by skilled craftsmen, and sought
after as high status objects. Stone circles continued to be
erected, some perhaps to host astronomical rituals and
others as cemeteries. For this new age saw a new and
changing approaches to honouring their dead. More
than 130 Bronze Age burial places, many with Bronze
Age artefacts have been discovered throughout Ayrshire,
including several within the parish of New Cumnock.
Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland