Glengarnock Castle is one of the ancient ruined fortifications of Ayrshire. Its keep is located on a remote rocky promontory overlooking the River Garnock about 2 miles north of the town of Kilbirnie in North Ayrshire. There is no clear account of when this was erected or by whom, but it may have been built by the Cunningham (or Cunninghame) family or by the Riddels who preceded them. 

In the 12th and 13th centuries, the lands here were held for the King by the De Morville family, hereditary Great Constables of Scotland. A castle may have been built here by them; a convenient site in relation to the abbey they founded at Kilwinning. The Barony of Glengarnock then passed to the Riddels and the Cunninghames. The Cunninghames retained the castle until the early 17th century and by the 18th century it had been abandoned. The Honourable Patrick Lindsay of Kilbirnie Place purchased the castle and estate of Glengarnock in 1677 from Richard Cuninghame, the last of the Cuninghames of Garnock. In 1707 both baronies were united in the Barony of Kilbirnie, with Kilbirnie Place as the principal dwelling.

The castle is an example of a keep with courtyard attached and dates from the period 1400-1542, with various later buildings in the courtyard.



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Kilbirnie, United Kingdom
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Founded: 15th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ingrid Peebles (8 months ago)
A hidden gem.
Craig Macmillan (17 months ago)
Nice ruin......ruined by the locals. Nice enough ruined castle, nice walk and great views. Only thing to ruin it was the local youth using it as a cmpsite and toilet, see photo, good to see they take an interest in local history.......not!
G M (18 months ago)
Been a long time since I have been to seen this but use to me a place that always intrigued me.
Tim Pies (18 months ago)
By definition it’s remote and hard to get’s a castle. These reviews saying how it’s “hard to park” and “a long walk”, seriously? This isn’t Alton Towers. Nestled in a lovely valley is the Glengarnock Castle. Dating from the 15th century (before car parking was considered when building a castle) this castle feels remote and steeped in history. Well worth the 10 minute walk from the road. Granted, parking is limited but park on the road consciously allowing tractors to pass and you’ll be fine.
Monika Ordon (2 years ago)
Lovely place, beautiful views all around. Fairly easy to get to. It is sitting on a steep slope and you approach from the east. Please note there is nowhere to park anywhere near the castle and you will have to walk up the hill through fields used by livestock. We had to leash our dog as there were sheep everywhere, but the kids loved being so close to animals. And we met a very friendly horse as well ? It was a lovely day out and we are looking forward to going back there again soon.
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