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RICCARTON PARISH CHURCH
21 OLD STREET KILMARNOCK KA1 4DX
CHARITY Number SC006040
Riccarton Parish Church is situated in the parish of Riccarton towards the south end of Kilmarnock Situated on a hill, the church, with its impressive steeple, is the most conspicuous landmark at the southern end of the town. Building started in 1823 and the church opened in 1825. The roll to-day is 225.
On account of its significant architectural features, the church has received a 'B" listing category from the government, the second highest category possible, and a measure of it's historical importance architecturally.
The religious history of the parish is equally significant. It is on record that there was a chapel in Riccarton in 1229, and the Mid Kirk, several times rebuilt, stood on the sight of the graveyard across from the present church.
Buried in the graveyard across from the present church is the Rev. Alexander Moodie, minister of the Auld Kirk from 1761 until 1799, who is mentioned by Burns in his poems "The Twa Herd" "The Kirk's Alarm", and "The Holy Fair".
Robert Burns would know the Auld Kirk well, passing it regularly as he journeyed into Kilmarnock from Lochlea Farm, Tarbolton. In a historical context, the present church is built on the Moot Hill, or the "Hill of Judgement", the spot where for centuries the villagers had gathered to see justice administered. Near to the church is the site of Riccarton Castle, where lived Sir Richard Wallace, uncle of the patriot Sir William Wallace, who is reputed to have lived for a time in Riccarton with his uncle, In 1910 a chancel was added to the original building, and in 1919 the window at the rear of the chancel was replaced with a beautiful stained glass War Memorial Window depicting events of the? First World War and containing the words.
"Erected to the Glory of God. and in deep gratitude to those of our congregation and parish who fought in the Great War, 1914 -1918 and In Loving Memory of those who fell”