Cumnock (Cumnag in Gaelic) is a town in East Ayrshire, Scotland. The town sits at the confluence of the Glaisnock Water and the Lugar Water. There are three neighbouring housing projects which lie just outside the town boundaries, Craigens, Logan and Netherthird, with the former ironworks settlement of Lugar also just outside the town, contributing to a population of around 13,000 in the immediate locale. A new housing development, Knockroon, was granted planning permission on 9 December 2009 by East Ayrshire Council.
The name, "Cumnock" has been debated over the years and several interpretations have been offered.Com-cnoc, (hollow of the hills)
Com-oich, (meeting of the waters)
Cam-cnoc, (crooked hill)
Cumanag, (little shrine)
This part of Ayrshire has seen human settlement for over 5,000 years. There are to be found, many Bronze Age burial sites around the nearby area.
It is believed that a place of worship has existed in Cumnock's Square for over 1,100 years, though the earliest records begin in about 1275. The patron saint of Cumnock is Saint Conval. James IV created the Burgh of Cumnock.
Cumnock housed many miners, and also served as the market town for the other, smaller towns in the district, like Auchinleck, Lugar, Muirkirk, Ochiltree and New Cumnock (the original Cumnock/Comenagh/Comno/ etc.)
The town has a strong socialist heritage due to its role as a mining centre. The father of the Labour Party, James Keir Hardie, lived in the town for a large part of his life, and a statue to him sits outside the town hall. A small housing scheme in the town (Keir Hardie Hill) is named after him. The popular left-wing politician Emrys Hughes was local MP for a time in the mid-20th century, and also lived in the town.
William Wallace allegedly spent 3 months in the seat of Patrick Dunbar ((New)Cumnock or Cumno in 1296), according to the poem, The Wallace, by Blind Harry. Cumnock is also in the heart of Robert Burns country and the poet is said to have spent time there.
The town has six churches, five Protestant churches, the Congregational Church, Old Cumnock Old Parish Church, St Andrew's United Free Church, Trinity Church. West Church, and the Roman Catholic St John's Church.
Cumnock have a team in the West of Scotland Junior football league, Cumnock Juniors, who play their home matches at Townhead Park. The team is famous for their bitter rivalry with local neighbours, Auchinleck Talbot. The town also boasts an athletics park and Rugby club Cumnock RFC, as well as a modern sports centre containing fitness gym and swimming pool.Mark Bennett, Scottish international rugby player
James MacMillan, composer