Scottish Castles Photo Library
- Kelburn Castle, Ayrshire

Kelburn Castle

The de Boyvilles were Knights who came to Britain from Caen in Normandy with William the Conqueror in 1066. Known later as the Boyles, a branch of the family settled at Kelburn, on a commanding position overlooking the Firth of Clyde, in 1140.

Parts of Kelburn Castle date back to the 13th century and a Norman keep has been incorporated into the castle. It is claimed that it is the oldest castle in Scotland continuously inhabited by the same family. The tower house is dated 1581 and extensions were made in 1700 and 1879. The round tower houses the main stairway within the castle.

During the 17th century the Boyle's grew rich through shipping and shipbuilding. The Boyles were elevated to Earls of Glasgow in 1703, one of the last to be created under the Scottish peerage. The Earl was a strong supporter of the passing of the Act of Union in 1707 and is thought to have bribed poor Jacobite supporters to support the Bill.

By the late 20th century, estate duties and increasing maintenance costs forced the family to turn part of the extensive grounds into a country park and adventure playground for day trippers.

See also Places to Visit - Kelburn Castle for more information and illustrations.

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or go to the next castle: Kellie CastleKellie Castle

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