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Auchinleck House.jpg
Auchinleck House in 2004
Auchinleck is located in East Ayrshire
Auchinleck shown within East Ayrshire
Population3,512 [1] (2001 census)
est. 3,650[2] (2006)
OS grid referenceNS548223
Council area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townCUMNOCK
Postcode districtKA18
Dialling code01290
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55°28′24″N 4°17′55″W / 55.473349°N 4.298517°W / 55.473349; -4.298517Coordinates: 55°28′24″N 4°17′55″W / 55.473349°N 4.298517°W / 55.473349; -4.298517
Auchinleck House in 2005

Auchinleck (/ˌɒxɪnˈlɛk/ OKH-in-LEK; Scots: Affleck IPA: [ˈaflɛk]/;[3] Scottish Gaelic: Achadh nan Leac[3]) is a village five miles south-east of Mauchline, and two miles north-west of Cumnock in East Ayrshire, Scotland.

Surrounding the village is Auchinleck Estate, centred on Auchinleck House, past home of the lawyer, diarist and biographer James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck.


Auchinleck is in the heart of the ancient Kyle district of Scotland. The place-name means "field of (flat) stones" in Scottish Gaelic, from achadh ('field') and leac ('slab').[4] The small locality of Auchincloich has a comparable meaning.

Although record of a community exists from as early as 1239, reliable records can really only be said to date from the arrival of the Boswell family in 1504. The barony of Auchinleck had been forfeited to the crown and was granted by James IV to his "good and faithful servant" Thomas Boswell.[5]

The Boswells proved to be assiduous in their estate husbandry, and by the early 1700s a viable village community and a thriving estate had begun to emerge from the surrounding barren moorland. The New Statistical Account of 1837 documents early mining and quarrying in the area which was to become the impetus for the region to boom. By 1881 the parish population had blossomed and was 6,681, four times what it had been in 1831[5]

Nationalisation of coal in 1947 brought investment and with the building of the Barony Power Station, which was commissioned in 1957, the future of the region seemed assured. However, within 30 years the fortunes of the area, so tied to coal, followed the spectacular demise of deep pit mining.[5] Lacking an economic source of fuel as mines closed, the power station shut down in 1989, High House pits closed in 1983, and Auchinleck village subsided into post-industrial recession. However, with the recent acquisition and subsequent development of Dumfries House in the area by H.R.H. Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, and with new building taking place in the area there are signs of 'green shoots'.


The village is home to the Junior Football club, Auchinleck Talbot, who play at the 4 000-capacity Beechwood Park.[6] Auchinleck Talbot share a fierce rivalry with near neighbours Cumnock Juniors in the West of Scotland Super League Premier Division.


Auchinleck has two primary schools (Auchinleck Primary School and St Patrick's Primary School) and one secondary school (Auchinleck Academy), with a catchment area taking in the villages of Auchinleck, Drongan, Catrine, Ochiltree, Mauchline, Muirkirk and Sorn.

Notable People[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Comparative Population Profile: Auchinleck Locality". Scotland's Census Results Online. 2001-04-29. Archived from the original on 30 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 16, 2009. Retrieved January 31, 2010.
  3. ^ a b List of railway station names in English, Scots and Gaelic Archived January 22, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Scottish Geographical Magazine. Royal Scottish Geographical Society. 1922. p. 35.
  5. ^ a b c Young, Alex F. (2005). Old Auchinleck. Catrine, Ayrhsire: Senlake Publishing. p. 3. ISBN 9781740333375.
  6. ^ Beechwood Park

External links[edit]