Stewarton is believed to have been founded in the 12th century. Since then, it has expanded in size with the population increasing, and new businesses starting up frequently. The population currently sits at around 6,500. It’s known by locals as the Bonnet Toun. As far back as the 16th century, Stewarton was involved in making the Scottish head gear, the bonnet hats, and this is where it gets it’s name of the Bonnet Toun.
Stewarton High Street in the mid 1950’s.
In Stewarton today, there’s still a few historical places or buildings. One of the most well-known is the Annick Water Viaduct, located on the A735. It was built in 1868, and the rail was added in 1870. A second historical place is the Corsehill Castle. It ages back as far as the 12th century and sits on the west of the Clerkland Burn. Today, the remains are still standing.
Stewarton has regular transport; buses going to and from local towns such as Kilmaurs, Kilmarnock and Irvine, and a train service going to Glasgow, as well as Kilmarnock. Within the town, there’s plenty of local businesses; from hairdressers to cafés, shops to beauty salons and more. When you look around, there really is more than you expect for a tiny town. Out with the main street and around the town lies acres of grasslands.
Apart from all the fields around the town, another nature landscape is Lainshaw Woods. The woods is a popular place for walkers, with a few routes around. It’s maintained to a good standard with a clear pathway, benches around the route, and the River Annick flows throughout and beside the walkway.
During the day, there’s a choice of things to do and places to visit. There’s a local library full of books, a tennis court up at Corsehillbank street, multiple hairdressers and barbers, places to eat – some which are cafés or takeaways, a couple of beauty salons, the Stewarton Sports Centre, where you can find the astroturf and the gym, local shops and the allotments, which can be found on the road out to Irvine.
In the evening when places begin to close, there are a few clubs. Rainbows, Brownies and Guides take place on week nights and are for girls aged between 5 and 14 years old. They take part in a variety of activities, depending on their age. Some activities include games, crafts and badge work. For boys aged between 5-18 years old, there’s the Boys Brigade, who do a mixture of sports, first aid, camping and much more. There’s also Stewarton Annick, the town’s own football team. If none of those take your fancy, there’s more clubs such as badminton, chess, drama and more!
Whenever I go out and about in Stewarton, I like to visit many places to eat with friends or family. During the day for lunch, or even just a cup of coffee, I like Candy Chase. The food is always extremely tasty, and the home baking is delicious as well. There’s a wide selection to choose from too. Another place with good food is the Coffee Pot. I highly recommend their food as it is really enjoyable. In the evening, a takeaway shop with tasty food is the Village Balti House. From pizzas to pakora, there’s plenty to choose from, and their prices are reasonably cheap.
On Thursday’s at 2pm, there’s the Open Door at St. Columbus Church Hall. It happens weekly and is open to anyone. During it, there’s entertainment of some sort, which may include singing, dancing etc. There’s time for tea, coffee and cakes too, then ends at 4pm.
As small as Stewarton is, there’s something for everyone, no matter the age.