tower house
13th century

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NS 252 158
in Dunure,
5m s of Ayr
w of A719


open site


Undiscovered Scotland


Dunure Castle

The castle is in a lovely park -- full fo families out for the great weather, playing football and having picnics. The castle is open, but be careful walking around the cliffside, it's quite steep.

the castle overlooks the sea, and is crumbling into it

13th century tower house

Dunure is a 13th century keep, which was surrounded by a curtain wall and other buildings in the 15th century.

The tower is fiarly small, 14.7m x 9.3m, with 1.5m thick walls. The tower was rebuilt in the 15th century and was extended in both directions - adding a triangular "prow" on the seaward side to fill out the promontory, and with a long reisidence block to the landward side. The furthest point to the sea stands three storeys high, but the tower is only cellars and foundations, and no interior layout remains.

The castle has a 15th century housing block that contains a kitchen and cellars on the ground floor, a hall and private chambers above.

There is a cave beneath the castle, called Browney's Cave, which may have been a sally-port, or secret escape tunnel.

There is a well-preserved doocot of the beehive sort, near the castle. It had more than 200 nesting boxes and probably dates from the 15th century.

the narrow walk to the seaward tower


From the 14th century, the lands belonged to the Kennedy family (Earls of Cassilis). They lands were obtained from Glenluce Abbey by Gilbert Kennedy, the 4th Earl of Cassilis in the mid-13th century-- by fraud. He had a monk at the abbey forge the necesary documents, and then had him murdered to hide the transaction. The killer -- hired by the Kennedys -- was subsequently hanged for theft, accused by the very men who hired him.

a walking maze or concentration circle - you walk around to meditate

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