(Old Cumnock)
East Ayrshire

An ancient market town and former mining settlement of East Ayrshire, Cumnock (originally Old Cumnock) is situated at the confluence of the River Glaisnock with the Lugar Water, 16 miles (26 km) east of Ayr. Created a burgh of barony in 1509 for the Dunbar Earls of March, it developed in the 18th Century in association with coal mining, weaving and the production of gas. Snuff boxes, pottery and farm machinery were also manufactured in Cumnock and ironstone was mined between 1873 and 1906. In the 20th Century, yarn spinning, the manufacture of shoes, farm implements, carpets and knitwear sustained the town, though unemployment was high by the 1990s. The more recent introduction of electronics industries and opencast mining maintains the industrial base of Cumnock. The town has a Health Centre and Museum (which includes a snuffbox collection); a Mercat Cross (square shaft, dating from 1509); and a Town Hall which opens onto a statue of Keir Hardie, a founder of the Labour Party, and union organiser and journalist in Cumnock.

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