Home to almost 3,000 people, Newmilns is the oldest inland Burgh in Ayrshire. Here's a little information about our little part of 'The Valley'.
The Heart of Ayrshire
Newmilns and Greenholm is a small Burgh in East Ayrshire, Scotland and lies on the A71, around seven miles east of Kilmarnock and twenty-five miles south-west of Glasgow with a population of around 3,000. The name Newmilns originated from the many mills which sprang up along the River Irvine but these have now vanished, the last being Pate's Mill on Brown Street which was situated across from the old railway station, where the current Vesuvius offices are today.
Situated along a two-mile stretch at the narrowest part of the Irvine Valley, Newmilns is located between its neighbouring towns of Darvel and Galston and forms an area known as the Upper Irvine Valley (locally referred to as The Valley). Situated 250 feet above sea level it sits mainly on the right bank of the River Irvine.
Newmilns became a Free Burgh of Barony in 1490 and the town held quincentenary celebrations in 1990. The Burgh exists in two parts - Newmilns lies to the north of the river, whilst Greenholm lies to the south. The river also divides the parishes of Loudoun and Galston, which is why the Burgh, although generally referred to as Newmilns, has retained both names.
Previously an industrial town with a pre-war population of 5,000, it is now mainly a commuter town following the loss of the lace mills and other major employers in the town such as Vesuvius production plant and the Bleachfield. Sadly, only two lace mills remain in operation - Morton, Young & Borland, which is, in fact, the last producer of Scottish madras in the world and Haddow, Aird & Crerar in Brown Street.