Culzean Castle

Culzean Castle, situated on the coast of South Ayrshire and just twelve miles from Ayr itself, is one of Scotland’s most treasured attractions.

History

The castle has a long, interesting history. Originally, in the 1400s, it was known as Colf Castle and House of Cove. Its name was derived from the caves located below it. In the 1600s, the castle became Cullean Castle and in the 18th Century was given its present name.

 

In 1569, the Earl of Cassillis gave his brother the Culzean estate. Thomas Kennedy expanded the house around 1590. By the 17th Century, Culzean had been transformed into a family residence and gardens and terraces were added at this time.

 

It wasn’t until the 18th Century however that Culzean became much more than a tower house. The Kennedy family wanted to create a trophy home for themselves and set about converting it into a neoclassical mansion.

 

The Castle today reflects the many changes that it underwent in previous centuries, including the initial additions to the medieval tower house, to its transformation into a very grand Scottish house. The National Trust for Scotland has carefully restored the castle over the years and it can be enjoyed today in all its splendour.


Culzean Castle
Culzean Castle

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Inside Culzean Castle

The Kennedy family, related to Robert the Bruce, commissioned the renowned architect Robert Adam to design a grand house and today visitors enter the doors on the site of the original entrance. Adams’ fanlight still hangs over the doorway.

 

Edinburgh Architects Wardrop and Reid were drafted into the design process in 1877 and they created a porch to give a grand entrance, as well as a practical shelter from the Scottish sea breeze. Wardrop and Reid designed offices for the Marquess on either side of the porch, in sympathy with Adam’s original style.

 

Culzean Castle houses an impressive armoury collection, second only to that of Windsor Castle. Arms from the Tower of London, including pistols and swords, were bought by the 12th Earl and transported to Scotland in twelve chests to add to the collection.