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Greenan Castle, Ayr

3.9
#8 of 10 in Historic Sites in South Ayrshire
Greenan Castle is a 16th-century tower house, possibly on the site of an ancient fort, around 2.5 miles south-west of Ayr in South Ayrshire, Scotland. The entrance lintel has the inscription, JK 1603 FMD, for John Kennedy of Baltersan and his third wife, Florence MacDowell, who held the lands, Greenan Mill, and salmon fishing rights on the River Doon at that time.HistoryThe lands of Greenan were forfeited by John, Earl of Ross and Lord of the Isles in 1476 for treason against James III. In 1493 James IV granted the Lands of Greenan to William Douglas, son of Archibald, Earl of Angus.Beside the tower are traces of a walled courtyard and outbuildings -- probably stables and a kitchen block, as the small tower has no kitchen within its walls. In this courtyard on the morning of 12 May 1602, Sir Thomas Kennedy of Culzean and his servant, Lancelot Kennedy, mounted their horses to ride to Edinburgh, having spent the night before with Thomas's half-brother, John Kennedy of Baltersan. Just a few miles away in the woods of St Leonards (now a suburb of Ayr), they were ambushed by Thomas Kennedy (of Drummurchie), Thomas Kennedy (brother to the Laird of Bargany), Walter Muir of Cloncaird, Thomas M'Alexander, Thomas Wallace, a boy called Gilbert Ramsay and a borderer, Williame Irrwing. Sir Thomas was murdered in retaliation for the death of the young Laird of Bargany in December, 1601 at the Battle of Brockloch, near Maybole. Years later, the Muirs of Auchindrain (father and son) were executed for their "art and part" in this murder. The story inspired Sir Walter Scott to write a short play, "An Ayrshire Tragedy".
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Greenan Castle Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
31 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • August 4, 2017
    Amazing Castle. Great views over the Ayr Coastline. Just a shame its not cared for. Whilst staying at Craig Tara decided to have a walk along the coast and found Greenan Castle.  more »
  • June 10, 2017
    Lovely little castle of the cliff edge overlooking the greenan shores and surrounding area. Night time brings many people to the castle for other adventures not related to sight seeing!  more »
  • May 25, 2017
    This is a good walk from the promenade at Ayr, you can see the castle to the south from Ayr beach . It's an easy walk along by the beach and when you get to the base of the castle on the beach then wa...  more »
Google
  • It's an easy walk along the beach from Ayr if the tide is out... best check tides. A scamble up the south side gets you to a plateau where you can view the tower better. It has an impressive view of the coast. The tower is blocked off to entry but you get a feel of the authenticity of its battlements and see why it was built to dominate the bay and that part of the coast.
  • Lovely to see the ruins and take kids for a day out a bit harder to get to this part if you don't drive tho.
  • Very nice wiev;)
  • Beautiful day for walking around the beach!!!
  • Beautifull view

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Where to stay in Ayr

The center of the city opens up to the New Bridge and Gothic Town Hall. Hotels and inns fill this central area and provide convenient access to cultural and historical attractions. The center is split by the River Ayr, which joins the sea at the harbor. Accommodations along the river or coast are near the city center and provide spectacular views.
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