Whilst officially designated a “New Town” in 1966, the history of the town and surrounding area goes back to antiquity.
The oldest continually inhabited village in Europe dating back to the Mesolithic age is thought to lie within the boundaries of modern day Irvine and the nearby village of Dreghorn.
Beyond this, the medieval parish of Irvine was one of the most important regions in Scotland and served as the military headquarters of the Lord High Constable of Scotland and one of the earliest capitals of Scotland.
Irvine’s rich heritage is present throughout the town and there is an abundance of history around every corner. From the prehistoric “Grannie Stane” often visible during periods of low water level in the River Irvine and thought to potentially be all that remains of a stone circle, to the remains of the centuries old Seagate Castle (first built in the 12th century and rebuilt/remodelled several times since then until the “modern” 16th century fortification we see today), through to the early 20th century “Pilot House” with its unique tide signalling function at the cutting edge of technology in its time. Throughout the town there are an abundance of historical landmarks you can visit today.
This area of the website aims to bring as much information around the heritage of Irvine together in one place so that Irvine’s pivotal place in the history of Scotland can be recognised and remembered by future generations.
Over time we hope to expand this area of the site to include interesting facts and historical trails you can undertake yourself in the town. Keep checking back to find more detailed information as it becomes available.
If you have stories or images of Irvine’s past we’d love to hear from you. You can Contact Us to send us stories or multimedia to feature on the heritage section of the website. We’re interested in bring the stories of your history of Irvine to life to be remembered for years to come.