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

Send Comments

Dundonald Castle

July 24, 1999
Near Irvine, Ayrshire
Map Ref: NS 364 345
prev more next

[Ayrshire Region]
Dundonald Castle

This hill was home to three different structures. The location is believed to have been occupied since 2000 B.C. A hill fort was constructed between 500 and 200 B.C. The fort was occupied until 1000 A.D. when it appears that a large fire destroyed it. Excavation showed vitrified rock (melted rock) from that period.

The first castle was a motte and baily built of wood. Nothing remains of this structure. It was probably built around 1136 by a steward of the King of Scots.

The second castle was constructed by Alexander Stewart in the 13th century. A water well still exists from that castle. It would have been enclosed in a guarding tower. Some of the protecting wall parts were incorporated into the third and final castle.

The final castle is what remains today. It was built by Robert Stewart, or King Robert II, in 1371. The castle had two great halls, one above the other. The lower hall had an arched ceiling and several chimneys to let the smoke from the fire pits out. There are small chambers at the ends of the halls for latrine closets and very small chambers.

The castle held kings until 1482 when it was sold to the Cathcarts. In 1526, it passed to the Wallaces and in ruins by the 17th century. The residence was moved to Auchans in later years.

Dundonald Castle : Second floor hall
Dundonald Castle : First floor hall