Cumnock and Holmhead

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Incorporated into : 1975 Cumnock and Doon Valley (1996 East Ayrshire)

Arms (crest) of Cumnock and Holmhead

Official blazon

Per chevron: in chief per pale Gules and Argent, a demi­ lion rampant issuant counterchanged Argent and Azure; in base Or, a cushion Gules; all within a bordure per pale Argent and Gules charged with eight roses counterchanged barbed and seeded Vert.

And in an Escrol below the Shield which is ensigned of a mural coronet Gules masoned Argent as befitting a Burgh of Barony this Motto "Prompt in Progress".


The arms were granted on August 18, 1959.

Cumnock and Holmhead were united to form a Police Burgh in 1866. Cumnock was created a Burgh of Barony in favour of James Dunbar of Cumnock in 1509 and was raised to a Burgh of Regality in favour of Charles, Lord Crichton, in 1680; the Cumnock Dunbars had married into the Crichton family in the seventeenth century.

The arms refer to the Dunbar and Crichton connections. Surrounded by a bordure of eight roses, recalling a similar feature in the Dunbar arms, they show a demi-lion rampant which is half silver on a red field (for Dunbar) and half blue on a silver field (for Crichton).
In base is the red cushion of Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray and Lieutenant of King Robert I, which was quartered on a gold field by the Dunbars of Cumnock and by their present representatives, the Dunbars of Westfield in Moray. Agnes, Randolph's daughter, married Patrick, Earl of March and Dunbar, and brought the Earldom of Moray into the Dunbar family.

The motto echoes the "In Promptu" used by the Chief of the Name of Dunbar, Dunbar of Mochrum.

seal of Cumnock and Holmhead

Seal of the burgh as used in the 1890s

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Literature: Image provided by the council; Urquhart, 1979