Culzean Castle, Ayrshire

Culzean (pron. Culleen) Castle stands on the site of a medieval Castle and a 16th century towerhouse, both owned by the Kennedys.  Neither of these remain in any form.

The Kennedy Earls were frequently at loggerheads with each other in these parts, Thomas Kennedy of Culzean was murdered by Lord Auchendrane here after the slaying of Kennedy of Bargany in the 1700s.

The 9th and 10th Earls of Cassillis, still members of the Kennedys who inherited the Castle after Thomas of Culzean, had the Castle completely rebuilt by Robert Adam between 1777 and 1792. It is now a massive, sprawling mansion, which seems to stand precariously on a cliff edge overlooking the sea. In fact, from the beach is probably the most impressive view of the Castle, even though you can only see the top bits.

A ghostly piper is said to appear when one of the Kennedys is about to get married (an unusual vocation, normally these apparitions appear on births and deaths!).

Be prepared to be overwhelmed by positive floods of American tourists at this Castle, which they consider to be one of the ancestral homes of their Kennedy clan.

The Castle is owned by the National Trust for Scotland and is open most of the year.

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