Kirkconnel is a small parish town in Dumfries and Galloway, located south-west of Scotland. With mainly agrarian community, Kirkconnel led a quiet existence than neighbouring towns like Sanquhar. This town is situated on the A76 near the head of Nithsdale. You can experience a typical verdant country side in Kirkconnel..
Kirconnel, the name evolved from the Church of Saint Conal. The early church and settlement were situated at the foot of Kirkland Hill on the drove road from Ayrshire to Lanarkshire which followed the sleep incline beside the Glenaylmer Burn. There is still doubt prevailing about the background of the Saint Conal, whether he 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 is erected in 1880 by the Duke of Buccleuch at the instigation of the minister, the Rev. John Donaldson, marks the burial place of Saint Conal. On a clear day while standing by the burial place you can get a splendid view of the churches at Kirkconnel, Sanquhar and Kirkbride, all associated with Saint Conal. In 1850 the village had only a single street 400 yards long.
Soon after the invention of a coal pit at Fauldheld in 1890s, life changed dramatically in this small town. Coal had always been mined in the district before, but never in large quantities. From then on coal dominated the life of the town. But the coal industry failed to survive in the recent decades and the people who depended on coal mining for a job began to migrate from the town.