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Kilbirnie (Gaelic Cill Bhraonaigh) is a small town of 7280 (2001 census) inhabitants situated in North Ayrshire on the west coast of Scotland. Historically, the town built up around the flax and weaving industries before iron and steelmaking took over in the 19th and early 20th centuries.


Kilbirnie derived its name from the parish church and the church obtained its name from the saint to whom it was dedicated; the celtic Cil, pronounced Kil, signifying a church, being prefixed to the name of the saint; St Birinie, or Birinus, is said to have been a bishop and confessor who converted the West Saxons. He died at Dorchester in 650 AD and was commemorated on the 3rd of December. In the vicinity of the church of Kilbirnie, a village has arisen during late times. In 1740, there were only three houses; but, by means of manufactures, it grew to be a village of 80 houses which were inhabited by about 300 people in 1791. In 1821, the village of Kilbirnie contained about 800 people, thanks to the impulse given to the locality by the Ayr and Glasgow railway, and the vicinity of numerous ironworks. Since Kilbirnie was not a large town before the 1840s, there is not much written history except for the farms in the area. However, documentation from the witch trials does name William Semple (or Sempill) as being arrested for being a witch. The documentation does not state if he was burned or not.


opened its blast furnaces around 1841 which caused a massive influx...
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