In 1913 Thomas McKerrel and James Brown of the Ayrshire Miners' Union submitted a report on the 'Housing
Conditions in the Ayrshire Miners' Rows to the Royal Commission on Housing (Scotland)'
. The Ayrshire
Archaelogical and Natural History Society (AANHS) published a facsimile of this report in 1979 and in his notes
John Strawhorn captures the thrust of this critical survey through 'And human spirit will always triumph against
Included in this report were the Miners' Rows of Connelpark, Craigbank and Burnfoot in the parish of
New Cumnock.
Connelpark, New Cumnock circa 1900
Connelpark, Courtesy of Donald McIver
J.L.Carvel in 'The New Cumnock Coal-Field' gives the following definition of the Miners Rows in New Cumnock,

'These early houses were generally built in rows to save materials and space and huddled together near
collieries. They consisted mainly of a "but-and-a-ben" - that was a tiny house of two rooms that were kitchen
and bedroom. A few yards from the door were the outhouses containing a dry-closet, shared probably by half
a dozen or more families, and the supply of coal which was provided as part of the collier's earnings.
Sometimes there was a little strip of garden'
'And human spirit will always
triumph against adversity'
The 1881 Census Records provide an opportunity to put some names to the families of the Miners Rows. These
records show the success of the coal companies in attracting new labour to work in this developing coal-field, for very
few of the miners or their spouses are recorded as being born in New Cumnock. People were attracted from other parts
of Ayrhsire, as well as from the neighboring counties of Lanarkshire, Dumfriesshire, Kirkcudbrightshire,Wigtonshire,
Renfrewshire and from further afield Sutherland, England and Ireland. The communities were well established by this time
and a good proportion of the children were New Cumnock born. Closer examination of some of individual records
revealed that children from the same large family were often born in different towns, illustrating that even then miners and
their families had to get 'own their bikes' !
Photographs of the Miners Rows were kindly provided by Donald McIver .

The aerial photographs are shown by kind permission of the Royal Commission on the
Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS)
Copyright Licence : Visitors to this web-site are granted permission to accessthis
Crown Copyright material on condition that they must not copy, distribute, sell or
publish the material without first requesting written permission from RCAHMS

Sources and Acknowledgements
'The New Cumnock Coal-Field', Privately Printed 1946 , J.L.Carvel
'Ayrshire Miners' Rows 1913' , AANHS, with notes by John Strawhorn
'New Cumnock Long Ago and Faraway' by George Sanderson
'New Cumnock Far and Away ' by George Sanderson
'A Stroll through the Historic Past of New Cumnock' by Donald McIver
Please visit the Miners' Rows at
Burnfoot Row
Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.
Burnfoot Row
Burnfoot Row
Burnfoot Row
The New Cumnock Mural , at the Mary Morrison Memorial Garden
History of the Parish
of New Cumnock
by Robert Guthrie

The Miners' Rows