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Copyright ©1999-2006
C.Garner and P.Wright

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Auchans Castle

July 24, 1999
Near Dundonald, Ayrshire
Map Ref: NS 355346

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[Ayrshire Region]
Auchans Castle : front view

Once a very fine residence Auchans is now very ruined. The interior floors have all collapsed except for part of the vaulted cellars.

Built by the Wallaces of Dundonald about 1600, Auchans started out as a rectangular tower house of three stories. A round tower in the middle of the south wall contained a turnpike stair for access between the floors.

Left:South wall

Sir William Cochrane added a wing running north from the west end shortly have his purchase of Auchans in 1638. A square staircase turret built into the resulting reentrant angle was dated 1644. This new wing was four stories high plus an attic.

In 1669 Cochrane was created Earl of Dundonald and extended the north wing another 10 meters. Two more staircase towers were added. One on the east wall and one on the NW corner. The NW tower has a corbelled-out square watchroom on top.

Auchans later passed into the hands of the Earls of Eglinton and is most well known as the home of Suzanna Kennedy of Culzean, third wife of the ninth Earl of Eglinton. The poet Allan Ramsay dedicated his opera The Gentle Sheperd to her.

Right:Interior of north wing
Apparently becoming quite eccentric in her old age it is said that she trained the rats that lived in the walls to come out and dine with her.

After her death in 1780 Auchans housed workmen's families and later fell into ruin. It has recently been reacquired by the Earl of Dundonald.

Left:Northwest corner