Greenan Castle Ruins

Ayr, United Kingdom

Greenan Castle is a 16th-century ruined tower house, around 4 kilometres southwest of Ayr. Situated at the top of a sea cliff, it was originally a promontory fort converted into a motte-and-bailey in the 12th century. In the 15th century a tower house was built by the Lords of the Isles, which later passed into the hands of the Kennedy family.

The first known defensive structure on the site was a promontory fort, probably a fortified farmstead. Four concentric curved ditches, each around 3 metres wide, cut off the headland with the exception of a single causeway to provide access. It is not known how long this settlement was occupied, but the site was re-used in the twelfth century.

Beside the tower are traces of a walled courtyard and outbuildings, probably stables and a kitchen block, as the small tower has no kitchen within its walls.

The castle passed through various members of the clan before ending up in the hands of Thomas Kennedy, Earl of Cassillis in 1766. Around this time the residential use of the castle seems to have stopped; today the structure is a ruin.



Your name


Ayr, United Kingdom
See all sites in Ayr


Founded: 16th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

More Information


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Steam Badge (34 days ago)
An old ruin with no internal access due to safety. However the view was magnificent and a great walk.
Scott Allan (3 months ago)
Definitely recommend a visit to this castle. Park in the beach car park and take a 10 minute or so walk along the beach towards the castle for some really nice views ?
Elise Orme (8 months ago)
I would definitely recommend taking a trip up to see the castle! There’s a car park at the bottom and to get to the castle is only a 10min walk following a cycle track up a hill. It’s not accessible as the pathways are all over grown however you can still get close enough to get some great pictures. If you carry further on down the cycle track there is an opening onto a farmers field which leads to the beach which was very quiet didn’t see anyone along the way.
Joyce James (8 months ago)
We were recommended to visit the beach at Greenan Castle for its nice walks as it's a little off the beaten track. It was a lovely stretch of beach that was virtually deserted when we visited which was lovely just to walk along without being disturbed and great for mindfulness. A lovely walk with a stunning background. We didn't go up to the castle as we were led to believe that there was no entry but that didn't detract from our visit. Plenty of places to park and you can walk for quite a way across a foot bridge over the sea inlet.
Sameera Gayan (9 months ago)
Remaining of a historic castle, standing by the Ayr cost line. Entrance to the remaining part of the building sealed off (probably due to the safety of visitors and building). The building is sitting on a rock that is exposed to sea and high tides. Since the castle building is on high ground, visitors can see a scenic view of sea and Ayr city and surrounding area. Access to the building from Beach bit difficult as visitors have to walk through bushes and area fill with nettles and thistles.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

The Church of the Holy Cross

The church of the former Franciscan monastery was built probably between 1515 and 1520. It is located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Rauma. The church stands by the small stream of Raumanjoki (Rauma river).

The exact age of the Church of the Holy Cross is unknown, but it was built to serve as the monastery church of the Rauma Franciscan Friary. The monastery had been established in the early 15th century and a wooden church was built on this location around the year 1420.

The Church of the Holy Cross served the monastery until 1538, when it was abandoned for a hundred years as the Franciscan friary was disbanded in the Swedish Reformation. The church was re-established as a Lutheran church in 1640, when the nearby Church of the Holy Trinity was destroyed by fire.

The choir of the two-aisle grey granite church features medieval murals and frescoes. The white steeple of the church was built in 1816 and has served as a landmark for seafarers.