Cunninghame Poorhouse Paupers Given Fitting Memorial by the People of Ayrshire

A memorial service to commemorate those who lie in unmarked graves on the grounds of the former Cunninghame Combination Poorhouse in Irvine, took place yesterday (24th October).

The ceremony, hosted by housebuilder Dundas Estates, was attended by North Ayrshire Provost, Joan Sturgeon, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, Willie Gibson and a collection of Councillors and community representatives to give the departed a fitting resting place.
Unrecorded remains were discovered by Dundas Estates on the periphery of the pauper’s graveyard within the grounds of the former Ravenspark Hospital during the creation of its new site off the towns’ Sandy Road late in 2012. This has prompted Dundas Estates to redesign their development and to properly define the boundary of the extended graveyard.
Dundas Estates prides itself in being a responsible and ethical housebuilder, and believes it is it’s duty to show compassion to these people and provide them with a peaceful and permanent place to rest.
Attendees - led by Provost Joan Sturgeon who laid a wreath at the newly installed memorial headstone, which stands within a specially created garden on the outskirts of the Fairways View development - laid flowers to commemorate their lives.
The ceremony conducted by Rev Robert Travers of Irvine Old Parish Church and Father Willie Boyd of St Mary’s Church in Irvine gave a fitting tribute with the help of a piper who added musical accompaniment.
Bruce Dunlop, managing director of Dundas Estates welcomed guests to the service and opened proceedings. He said: “We are humbled by the response from the community in attending this memorial service for the people who have been laid to rest here.
“By all accounts, it would seem that no religious service would have been offered to these souls so I am pleased that with the support of our friends, Father Willie Boyd and Rev Robert Travers as well as the support of the Ayrshire community, we can provide this some 100 years later.
“This is a significant part of North Ayrshire’s local history so it is hoped that the memorial service that took place yesterday, will restore dignity to those who died and were unclaimed from the former Cunninghame Combination Poorhouse.”