|Scottish Gaelic: Cille Chonaill|
Kirkconnel shown within Dumfries and Galloway
|OS grid reference|
|Council area||Dumfries and Galloway|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale|
Kirkconnel (Gaelic: Cille Chonaill) is a small parish and town in Dumfries and Galloway, southwestern Scotland. It is located on the A76 near the head of Nithsdale. Kirkconnel led a more quiet existence than neighboring towns like Sanquhar. Principally it has been a farming community. There are few buildings of any significance. The name comes from The Church of Saint Conal. In 1850 the village had only a single street 400 yards long. Next to Kirkconnel is a separate village called Kelloholm.
It is also wrongly associated with the ballad Helen of Kirconnel.
The early church and settlement were situated at the foot of Kirkland Hill on the drove road from Ayrshire to Lanarkshire, which followed the steep incline beside the Glenaylmer Burn. Whether Saint Conal was an Irish monk or the son of a local shepherd befriended and educated by Glasgow’s Saint Mungo, Christianity came early to this part of Nithsdale. A Celtic cross, erected in 1880 by the Duke of Buccleuch at the instigation of the minister, the Rev. John Donaldson, marks the reputed burial place of Saint Conal. From the neighborhood of the cross, on a clear day, can be seen the churches at Kirkconnel, Sanquhar and Kirkbride, all associated with Saint Conal.
St Conal's Church is one of the oldest church sites in Southern Scotland with archaeological remains dating to the 9th century and the present foundations of a church dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries.
Life changed dramatically for this small town in the 1890s when a coal pit was opened at Fauldheld. Coal had always been mined in the district before, but never in large quantities. From then on coal dominated the life of the little town. The coal industry moved away in recent decades, and with it much of the population.
- Kris Haddow - playwright and performer (born Kris Clark)
- Willie Ferguson - footballer with Chelsea F.C. and Queen of the South F.C.
- "Kirkconnel, Main St, Queensberry (On Main Street)". Kirkconnel, Main St, Queensberry (On Main Street). transport direct. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
- Willie Ferguson career profile
Kirkconnel, A Pictorial History, Kirkconnel Parish Heritage Society.