Kerelaw Castle is said to have been held by the Lockharts from Richard de Morville, Constable of Scotland, as far back as 1191, after Stephen Lockhart or Loccard obtained a grant of land in Ayrshire. The castle and barony were eventually passed on to the Campbells of Loudoun and later to the Cunninghames (or Cunninghams/Cuninghames) of Kilmaurs. It was in the Cunninghame's possession in 1488 that the castle was sacked and burned by the 2nd Lord Montgomerie, during the well documented and long-term feud between these two prominent Ayrshire families.

Kerelaw was rebuilt sometime after 1488 and is reported to have contained a number of carved coats of arms of the Scottish nobility, taken from Kilwinning Abbey, Nine fishermen from Saltcoats were granted leases in 1545 in return for carrying the Earl's furniture to Finlayston on the Clyde every spring from the Creek of Saltcoats and bringing it back again in the autumn when the family returned to Kerelaw for the winter months. A half barrel of herrings was also to be furnished yearly to the Earl.

Kerelaw Castle is now a ruin, with three walls surviving in various states of decay. Gothic windows still adorn the southern wall, believed to have been inspired by those at Kilwinning Abbey.



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Founded: c. 1191
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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3.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Sam Campbell (11 months ago)
Lovly apart from Toni Grimly
Tripp Pollard (20 months ago)
Disappointing to say the least. It’s a gorgeous piece of history, but the way in which the surrounding area was developed really takes away from the castle. Difficult to access, located right beside a residential neighborhood, and vandalized through graffiti with some trash strewn around, it’s a shame that it isn’t nicer. If homes had been built further away then it’s possible that it could have been left open to public access, but sadly, this isn’t the case. The only reason why I still rate it at 3 stars is due to the absolutely stunning river and neat little bridge located behind the castle. It’s a really great place to hang out and to walk along, so I recommend a visit if only for a brief spell of taking photos followed by hanging around the river.
Lynn Ball (2 years ago)
Found it with Google maps, nice short walk round the fencing that was there. Don't be put off when you drive into a housing estate. But carry on to end of road and there is parking.
Jh Hj (2 years ago)
Good walking around
macedonboy (2 years ago)
Ruined castle on the outskirts of Stevenston. Interesting to visit as part of the town heritage trail of the village. The area is largely fenced off, which is just as well because the castle is in an advanced state of decay although three of the walls survive. The best preserved part of the walls is the southern wall which still displays the Gothic windows.
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