The area in and around West Kilbride in Ayrshire Scotland is the home of four standing castles. As with many towns of Scotland, the castles are an integral part of the area’s rich history that goes back many centuries.
Built in the 15th centurury, Law castle was a gift to the Princess Mary, the oldest daughter of James the II, for her marriage to the Earl of Arran. Law Castle is comprised of five floors that are connected by a stone, spiral staircase and is available as one of Scotland’s most luxurious holiday rentals. It has been completely refurbished and is also available for wedding parties and ceremonies. The restored kitch is completely equipped for catering to the needs of wedding parties.
Portencross Castle is located near West Kilbride, is the fourth castle belonging to the Boyds. The sad history of this castle is that it was the departure point for the funeral boats carrying the kings of Scotland to their final resting place on the Isle of Iona. This castle is not open to the public but there is a public parking area nearby that is used for recreational purposes. Portencross Castle is typical of the area and era in which it was built. It has lots of history as several Stuart Kings stayed in the castle on their travels in and around the area. Unfortunately the castle is closed to the public because it is in a hazardous state of disrepair.
Crosbie Castle otherwise known as Crosbie Towers is just on the outskirts of West Kilbride. The home of Sir Ranauld Craufurd during the 13th century and was rebuilt in the 17th century after a tower was demolished. It is not inhabited today and was semi-demolished in 2007 after storm damage to the external walls of the castle. It is situated in the center of a caravan park also known as Crosbie Towers.
The last castle in the area of West Kilbride is Hunterston Castle. It was originally built in the 13th century by Hunter, Laird of Hunterston. It was strategically built at the mouth of Clyde, which is the main access by sea to Glasgow. Today, this castle still hosts clan gatherings and members of the clan from all over the world attend. The current Chieftain of Clan Hunter, is Pauline Hunter. The walled gardens of this magnificent castle are currently being restored and replanted.
There is much history in the grounds of these castles and whether you go for the history or for just to see a castle first hand, this would be a trip well worth the time and money.