New Dalquharran Castle

Girvan, United Kingdom

Dalquharran Castle is a category A listed building in South Ayrshire, Scotland, designed by Robert Adam and completed around 1790. The estate includes two 'castles', the old one abandoned around 1800 and the new one, actually a mansion, which was habitable until the 1960s. 

The estate including the old castle were bought in the late 17th century by Sir Thomas Kennedy of Kirkhill, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and occupied by his son Thomas Kennedy of Dunure. 

The castle was arranged symmetrically around a central entrance hall, with top-lit central spiral staircase similar to Culzean Castle, which Adam designed for David Kennedy from around 1776. The house has four floors, with bedchambers in the two floors. The interior was decorated in a classical style. Services were located in the basement. A round bastion turret in the south front contains a drawing room on the ground floor, with library above, with views over Girvan Water. A large oval dining room occupies the east wing on the ground floor.

When the castle was completed in 1790, Thomas Kennedy moved out of the old castle which was abandoned and stands in ruins nearby, about 300 metres southeast, closer to the river. 

To the north of the castle, Adam designed a long low stable range connected at either end to the main building by screen walls with gateways, creating a forecourt. The outbuildings were constructed in a simpler style than originally designed by Adam, possible after his death in 1792, with several small lodges arranged symmetrically around the court.

The castle was extended from 1880–1881 by Francis Thomas Romilly Kennedy, grandson of Thomas Kennedy. The property was sold by the Kennedy family in the 1930s to a timber merchant who leased the castle to the Scottish Youth Hostel Association from 1936 to 1939. It was occupied by the evacuated Glasgow Deaf and Dumb Institution during the Second World War. During the war, the estate was sold to John Stewart, a produce merchant, who occupied the new castle with his family and farmed the estate. The castle was eventually abandoned, as it was too large and expensive to maintain. The lead roof was removed in 1967 so the owners could declare it as uninhabitable and avoid paying rates.

Today the interiors are in total ruin; entry into the building was prohibited for safety reasons.



Your name


Girvan, United Kingdom
See all sites in Girvan


Founded: 1790
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

More Information


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

symbiosis (2 years ago)
Lovely hidden gem. Such a beautiful castle. Shame it hasn't been restored to its former glory. Very peaceful short walk up to the castle (15 to 29mins). We parked near the village shop in Dailly and walked to the castle. Make sure you visit both castle ruins. Ask at the local shop for directions before starting your walk. The local shop sells lovely whippy ice cream. Highly recommend you visit this place if you are in the area. It looks beautiful in summer. People with walking difficulties and very small children may find it difficult to get to in poor wet weather. Castle is currently closed off from entering due to is poor state. So you can only view at it from outside.
David Leslie (2 years ago)
Amazing place to visit. So peaceful and so easy to think about how it used to be. Well worth a visit ☺️
gemma mackenzie (2 years ago)
It was a lovely old building with dark little rooms that you could still make out where the fires and service elevators had been, nice we walk to and from the building, a few out building I think we're stables at one point. We'll worth a visit if you like exploring old buildings with nice scenery.
Kevin Isaacson (2 years ago)
This is a great modern castle to visit although you’ll need to walk up to it. Park in Dailly near the playing field and take a walk across the river bridge. It’s mainly hard ground with some great views. You’ll get to the old castle first then once you’ve had a look around you can walk up the driveway to the newer castle which was lived in until 1967. It’s a peaceful walk, or eerie if you go late evening. Both castles have signs & the newer one has fencing around it warning you of the risks. There are no tea rooms, gift shops, or tourist information so if you like those castles then this isn’t for you.
Dawn Rodd (3 years ago)
We had to walk a bit though a muddy forest to find this but when we did we were surprised. What a shame this has fallen into disrepair as it would have been absolutely stunning in all its splendour. It would be a great project to renovate if one had a stash of cash.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Doune Castle

Doune Castle was originally built in the thirteenth century, then probably damaged in the Scottish Wars of Independence, before being rebuilt in its present form in the late 14th century by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany (c. 1340–1420), the son of King Robert II of Scots, and Regent of Scotland from 1388 until his death. Duke Robert"s stronghold has survived relatively unchanged and complete, and the whole castle was traditionally thought of as the result of a single period of construction at this time. The castle passed to the crown in 1425, when Albany"s son was executed, and was used as a royal hunting lodge and dower house.

In the later 16th century, Doune became the property of the Earls of Moray. The castle saw military action during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and Glencairn"s rising in the mid-17th century, and during the Jacobite risings of the late 17th century and 18th century.