Colum Cille: The Cunningham Tartan

Cunningham Tartan

The Official Tartan of Colum Cille Pipes & Drums

The Colum Cille Pipes and Drums is proud to wear the Cunningham Tartan in honor of one of the band's major benefactors, Mr. Harold Cunningham.

Harold Cunningham presented with Tartan


In the year 1050, the Head of Chief of the Cunningham family of England traveled to Scotland where he aided the Scottish Prince Malcolm, Son of King Duncan of Scotland who was killed by MacBeth in 1040. MacBeth also pursued Prince Malcolm and as a result Malcolm was hidden by the Cunningham Chief in a barn under some hay to escape MacBeth. MacBeth was King until 1057, but was defeated by Prince Malcolm at the Battle of Dunismore near Perth. MacBeth was later killed at Lusmphaven.

When Malcom became King Malcolm III of Scotland, he rewarded the Cunningham's with a significant armorial emblem consisting of a Black Hay Fork centered on a Silver Shield and bearing the motto "OVER FORK OVER".

"Over Fork Over"

The family Cunningham take their name from the district of Cunningham in northern Ayrshire. The land of Kilmaurs of that area was granted in 1162 by Hugo de Moreville, Constable of Scotland to a Flemish (French) vassal named Warnebald and it is from his descendants that the Cunningham family originate.

When Haahon the IV, King of Norway, brought his fleet to the Scottish coast in 1263 to assert his sovereignty over the Western Isles, Harvey de Cunningham of Kilmaurs was among those who helped to repel Haahon at the Battle of Largs in 1263. As a result, Harvey de Cunningham was awarded the lands of Kilmaurs by confirmation from Alexander II.

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