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Kay Park

Extending to 12.1 ha (30 acres) to the northeast of the centre of Kilmarnock in East Ayrshire, Kay Park was gifted to the people of the town by local insurance broker Alexander Kay in 1879. The park slopes steeply to the east from a ridge above the Kilmarnock Water, down to an artificial lake that served as a boating pond until 1999. The park includes a network of paths and tree-lined avenues, together with a children's playground.

The unusual Burns Monument Centre was built in honour of the bard in 1879 and re-opened as a family and local history centre in 2008 following a fire and major restoration. A Corinthian column marks the location where 6000 people rallied to the cause of Parliamentary reform in 1816, with several of the speakers being jailed, their names remembered in the inscription on the plinth of the monument, which was unveiled by Lord Roseberry in 1885. The column once featured a statue of liberty but this was blown down during a storm in 1936.


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