Ancient Monuments

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Craigneil Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Girvan and South Carrick, South Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.1274 / 55°7'38"N

Longitude: -4.9075 / 4°54'27"W

OS Eastings: 214718

OS Northings: 585305

OS Grid: NX147853

Mapcode National: GBR GH84.SZY

Mapcode Global: WH2R9.LD94

Entry Name: Craigneil Castle

Scheduled Date: 17 March 1992

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5284

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Colmonell

County: South Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Girvan and South Carrick

Traditional County: Ayrshire


The monument consists of the remains of a massive Keep which is likely to belong to the fourteenth or fifteenth century.

The castle is situated dramatically above a steep ravine overlooking Colmonell village to the NW. It incorporates the natural bedrock in its foundations. The building is rectangular in plan. Its external dimensions are 13m NE-SW by 9.2m NW-SE over walls two metres thick and about 17m high. The walls are lime-mortared random rubble. Some dressed quoins have been removed from the lower walls. There are several cracks visible in the structure. The NW angle has slipped into the ravine probably as a result of quarrying. The building appears to have had three storeys. The ground floor over a low basement (1.5m) was unvaulted. The large principal hall on the first floor was vaulted (a substantial portion of the vault remains in the SW section). The floor above probably held the bed chambers. The round headed entrance was in the S corner of the SE wall. It leads directly to a newel staircase within the S angle. There are gun slits at basement level. The two principal windows which lit the ground floor were in the NW wall. They extended from floor to ceiling, unfortunately only the S one remains. A massive round headed window

set in the SW wall dominated the main hall. The top level is inaccessible. There is a drain or garderobe leading to the outside in the ground floor of the W angle. To the SW are outlying defensive earthworks.

The area to be scheduled is rectangular and measures a maximum of 120m NE-SW by 30m NW-SE to include the castle and earthworks, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it is a good example of a massive stronghold of medieval date. It preserves evidence and has the potential to preserve further evidence, through excavation, which could add to our understanding of, defensive architecture, domestic occupation, social structure and material culture. The monument's importance is enhanced by its impressive setting within the surrounding landscape.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NX18NW 13.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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