upload image

Estate Houses and Castles in South Ayrshire

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: South Ayrshire, Scotland, United Kingdommap
Profile manager: Stuart Wilson private message [send private message]
This page has been accessed 49 times.

Estate Houses and Castles in South Ayrshire

The town of Ayr is a good central starting point to explore the estate houses and castles in the region. While most historical places from hundreds of years past are now in ruins, the picturesque beauty of the architecture, and the stories of the people that once owned these wonderful resources in South Ayrshire is worth exploring on a day trip by car.


Seafield House

10 Doonfoot Rd, Ayr

Current Status: Ruins; Grounds open

Built by Sir William Arrol (1839-1913), he started as a blacksmith, then a boiler maker who then became an engineer and went on to design and build bridges such as the Tay Bridge, Forth Railway Bridge, then the Tower Bridge over the Thames in London.

His house of 35 rooms sits in ruin today on a wooded area known as Arrol Park

Rozelle House, Museum, and Galleries

Monument Road, Alloway; Just across from Belleisle Golf Course

Current Status: Open to Public

Originally sitting on property owned by the Royal Burgh of Ayr as part of the Barony of Alloway, the 96 acre property was bought by Robert Hamilton in 1754. He was co-owner of two plantations in Jamaica, one of which was called "La Rochelle' (Rozelle). Robert and his family left Jamaica in 1744 and returned to Ayrshire where he built this mansion and named it 'Rozelle" after his plantation.

Craigie House

University Avenue, Off Craigie Way, Ayr

Current Status: House not open to the public; Grounds are open

The land was originally occupied by a 13th century castle. It was owned by the Wallace family in 1468, the Hamilton family in the 1500's, then the Wallace's of Craigie in 1588. The castle was torn down in the 1700's. Situated along the River Ayr, this John Smith designed three story estate house was built about 1730. It was requisitioned for military use during World war II. A good portion of the surrounding estate land is parceled off to such educational entities as Ayr Academy, University of the West of Scotland, and Ayrshire College.

Dunure Castle (aka Kennedy Castle)

Castle Road, Dunure

Current Status: Ruins

Once the home of the Kennedy family of Dunure, later the Earls of Cassillis, and Marquess of Ailsa, the castle was built around 1340 with updates in the 15th and 16th centuries. The castle was destroyed by fire in 1650. A well preserved 'Dovecoat' lies to the north where pigeons were raised for eggs and meat. Pottery has been found dating to the 13th-17th centuries. Legend has it that the Earl in the 1550's kidnapped the laird of Crossnaguel Abbey and roasted him alive in the fireplace at Dunure Castle in attempts to get the laird to sign over his property to the Earl. The laird survived to tell the tale!

Greenan Castle

Off Greenan Road, Ayr

Current Status: Ruins

The cliff-side tower house of the 12th century lies just outside Ayr was originally built as a fort and later became the property of the Kennedy family like a lot of properties in this region.

Culzean Castle

Silver Avenue off the A719, Maybole

Current Status: Open to the public.

The crown jewel of Southwest Ayrshire was home to several generations of the Earls of Cassillis. The current configuration only dates to the 1700's as a home and not as a defensive position. Designed and personally built by the famed Scottish architect Robert Adam (1728-1792) in a style that is of the romantic and classical era with a Georgian interior. It has a grand interior oval staircase as well as an armoury of one hundred eleven swords and forty pistols. A suite is dedicated the U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower (later to be U.S. President) for his lifetime to show gratitude of the Scots for his roll as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during WW II. The 595 acre grounds is considered a country park managed by the National Trust for Scotland. Also on the grounds to the north is the original gas house used to supply heat and light to the castle. The managers house next door houses a museum and is dedicated to William Murdoch, the inventor of lighting by gas.

Carnell Estates House

Hurlford near Kilmarnock

Current Status: Operated as a Guest House

The 1840's sandstone structure currently has ten bedrooms and ten bathrooms and sits on two thousand acres of farms land. The home has been in the same family through marriage for many generations and is currently not open to the public but is available for corporate and private parties, weddings, and other venues. The ten acre walled garden is open to the public by appointment only.

Cloncaird Castle

Village of Kirkmichael near Maybole

Current Status: Privately owned with guest cottages.

A well preserved castle dating from the 16th century with updates in the succeeding centuries by various owners. The four story castle sits on 140 wooded acres of land and historical previous owners are listed as the Mure's, Kennedy's, and the Wallace's. It is now privately owned and occupied, however there are eight stand along cottages on the properties that are available for paying guests.


The National Trust for Scotland, Brochure, 1977

Darby, Mrs M.; Dunure Castle Brochure, 1977

Fry, Plantagenet Somerset; Castle of Britain and Ireland, 1977

Scott, Schomberg, Culzean Castle, 1975

Wilson, Stuart; Personal visits


  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Send a private message to the Profile Manager. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.