Museums

The Heritage Centre will be closed to the public until further notice to allow for vital improvement works.

Email naheritage@north-ayrshire.gov.ukor call 01294 464174 with any enquiries. 

Entry to all our museums is free.

Heritage Centre

Built in 1776, the former parish church in Saltcoats, houses our principal museum collection.

With an artefact collection of local, regional and national importance, many objects are displayed on a permanent basis along with regularly changing temporary exhibitions. The collection includes: 

  • a stone sarcophagus, thought to be one of the finest examples of Scottish medieval sculpture
  • archaeology
  • social, domestic, military and natural history
  • costume
  • fine art 
  • the Ardrossan Burgh Fire Engine, built in 1866 and used during the First World War.

Download our What's Happening magazine to browse activities taking place across North Ayrshire.

View the Heritage Service Customer Charter (Word, 356kb) to find out how we work with you to collect, record, and care for North Ayrshire’s unique cultural heritage.

Museum of the Cumbraes

Located within the magnificent Garrison House, built in 1745, in Millport on the Isle of Cumbrae. Objects on display highlight the island's history and include: the Goldie ethnography collection, diaries of Mary Ann Wodrow, 4000 year-old stone coffins – or 'cists' – found on the Cumbraes and objects from island life.

Telephone: 01475 531191

Kilwinning Abbey Tower

Built in 1816, in the ruin of a 12th century abbey, the tower is manned by volunteers from the Kilwinning Heritage local history group. Displays include; Masonic items and a locally made longbow from the Ancient Society of Kilwinning Archers. Find out about Robert Service, the Bard of the Yukon, who once lived in the village, and investigate the history of the mediaeval abbey, before climbing the 143 tower steps to enjoy the view from the roof.

Tower opening times

Mid May to mid September
Friday, Saturday and Sunday 1pm to 3pm.

Telephone: 01294 464174

Make a donation

To donate an object to our museums please contact us for an appointment.

Future Museum

Future Museum is built around the key areas that make the south-west distinctive from the rest of Scotland – its people, industries and arts. The website provides free access to the museum collections of Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway.

Independent museums

Please note: some museums charge a small admission fee.