Dunure Castle | South Ayrshire

in , by Tori Harrison, July 08, 2023

Castle number 5 for the Castle Casanovas was the absolutely stunning Dunure Castle, which is situated in Kennedy Recreation Park, yes literally within playing fields and a park. I was really surprised to find this little gem tucked away in the communities local park. I mean imagine having something so stunning and historical right on your doorstep - the jealousy! 

What also surprised me was the lengths the local community and Council have gone to to preserve her. As you'll know from reading our blog, Scotland has a tonne of castles and not all of them have been preserved or looked after because sadly there are just too many. Some are now in private ownership as homes (honestly every time we visit Scotland I do look to see if there is a castle available to buy) or wedding venues and others have been left to become derelict or shut whilst the powers that be decide what to do with them. But, the locals close to Dunure castle have really fought to preserve her and it is thanks to them that we got to see her in all her glory. 

Situated in a perfect coastal location, high up for a vantage point, sits Dunure castle. The local scenery is beautiful. I mean what a gorgeous beach and those views were just perfection. I could have spent hours just relaxing and walking around admiring the scenery. Dunure Castle was one of the first seats of the Kennedy Family, who became the largest landowners in South Ayrshire. 

Gilbert Kennedy was the fourth Earl of Cassillis. In or around 1570, he imprisoned and burnt the Commendator of Crossraguel Abbey in an attempt to force him into signing over the Abbey lands. This began a murderous feud between the friends and family of the Commendator. It was a feud that killed at least five men and probably seems minor, but was quite a thing back in the day. The lands were signed over and the Commendator was rescued by the Laird of Bargany. The matter was settled by providing the man with sufficient monies to live off in exchange for the lands, or so I am led to believe. Gilbert Kennedy was also stripped of his Earl of Cassillis for his actions. It is also understood that Mary, Queen of Scots, stayed at Dunure for 3 days during her royal tour.

The Kennedy family were also the owners of Culzean Castle, which we visited earlier in our trip to Ayrshire and have also written about on this blog previously (post linked below).

The castle itself is free to visit and our parking was also free. It took us a few minutes to walk from the car to the castle, well me a little bit longer because I was messing around trying to get the perfect Insta worthy shot... 

It took us around 30 minutes to look around the whole castle and read the history and signage helpfully provided. It was a really interesting castle to visit and the interior was in really good condition. The actual demise of the castle started in the 17th Century. By 1694, the castle was described as wholly ruined. The locals believe it was blown up or burnt down, however some people believe its demise was associated with the Civil War. The recovery of building materials could also be to blame as it was used to build the Cromwellian citadel in Ayr. There is evidence to suggest Dunure was systematically destroyed and ruined as opposed to it being ruined by natural causes or destroyed during fighting.

At present the castle has been excavated and preserved with future excavations potentially going to take place to learn more. Recent discoveries include secret tunnels and it is believed those tunnels may connect Dunure to Greenan Castle. It really is a lovely little local gem and I feel very fortunate to have visited this castle in my lifetime. 

For a free castle, this really was an absolute treat! Castle 5 has a special place in my heart and I think even Alex has started to warm to all of our castle shenanigans. 

We will be heading to the Lake District on Monday morning and there are three more castles we will hopefully be adding to our repertoire of castles. 

Until Next Time

The Castles Casanovas


Other castle posts you may like:

SHARE 0 comments

Add your comment

© The Little Life of T - By Tori Harrison - All Things Life Blogger · THEME BY WATDESIGNEXPRESS