One of the first mentions of the village was when Patrick Dunbar of Comenagh signed the Ragman Roll of 1296. Blind Harry's poem The Actes and Deidis of the Illustre and Vallyeant Campioun Schir William Wallace placed William Wallace in and around the village four times in his heroic tales of the patriot, calling it Cumno and Dunbars' castle, which sat on Castlehill in the midst of a vast loch, as "Black Bog Castle".
Both William Wallace and Robert Bruce were hunted within the Afton's glen, where Robert Burns' "Sweet Afton" still flows gently, until it merges into the River Nith. Wallace seems to have known the surrounding area very well indeed; in fact many believe he may have spent much of his youth there. There is even a Castle William "up the glen" said to have been used as a fortress by him.
The name of the settlement changed through time, referred to as Cumnock Castle on Timothy Pont's map of Ayrshire c.1600.
In 1509, Cumnock was made a burgh of barony and a market began at Cumnock Kirk, 6 miles (9.7 km) north-west of (New) Cumnock Castle. In 1659, a new kirk was built near (New) Cumnock Castle and became known as the New Kirk of Cumnock, now called the Auld Kirk of New Cumnock. Cumnock Kirk became known as Old Cumnock and is now known as Cumnock.
Read more about this topic: New Cumnock
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