The members of Largs Probus Club were treated to a fascinating talk at their recent meeting starting in pre-historic times with the story of the town's Neolithic Tomb, situated within Douglas Park.

Local history expert Anne Cowgill then skipped a few millennia to bring us into the Middle Ages and the first record of a church minister in Largs in 1253.

The original parish church, just off Main Street (or High Street as it used to be called), was demolished in the early 1800s, by which time the parish of Largs, which extended from Fairlie to Skelmorlie, had been host to some 37 ministers.

Among the many curious facts presented by Anne was the story of how the stones of the demolished church were used to increase the height of the kirkyard wall, to deter the body-snatchers. Maybe Largs had its own local ‘Burke and Hares’.

Feuding families; the fearsome Sir Robert Montgomerie, transformed into a remorseful penitent; hi-jinks at the annual Colms’ Day Fair; long gone industries, especially weaving, but including the town’s own distillery; how the plague (probably typhus) swept through the area, and the story of the Prophet’s Grave.

These and many more snippets from the history of Largs and district helped to broaden the members’ knowledge of local history.

Anne drew attention to the excellent local museum, which should be re-opening by Easter, and put out a call for museum volunteers. More information and contact details can be found on the website

Largs Probus Club will next meet in the Willowbank Hotel on Wednesday, February 21 when Dr Mark Nixon will speak on the 1884 Reform Demonstration.

Future events include the AGM on February 28; Ian Fraser speaking on Romania on March 6, and Drew Cochrane speaking on Confessions of an Editor on March 13.

Retired men can attend three meetings as a guest before determining whether to become a club member.

Please use the contact form on if you wish to attend as a guest.