Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Kerelaw Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Stevenston, North Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.6483 / 55°38'54"N

Longitude: -4.7524 / 4°45'8"W

OS Eastings: 226901

OS Northings: 642858

OS Grid: NS269428

Mapcode National: GBR 35.K0PX

Mapcode Global: WH2NV.Z947

Entry Name: Kerelaw Castle

Scheduled Date: 13 January 1999

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7864

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Stevenston

County: North Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Stevenston

Traditional County: Ayrshire


The monument comprises the remains of Kerelaw Castle, the work of several different periods, which was converted to a garden folly for Kerelaw House ca.1830.

Kerelaw Castle is traditionally believed to have been in the possession of the Lockhart family from the late 12th century and is said to have been partly destroyed prior to 1488. Arrow slits and cable mouldings of pre-14th century date were noted in the mid 19th century. By 1545 Kerelaw formed an important seat of the Earls of Glencairn.

The oldest portion of the extant remains indicate a quadrangular building with central courtyard and vaulted lower floor dating to the early 16th century. Remaining architectural features include fireplaces, windows, recesses and the remains of an angle turret at the NE corner. The castle was remodelled and altered in the 19th century.

The extension at the S with its large gothic-style windows and central doorway appears to date from this period. Workers' cottages, the remains of which are now barely visible in the dense undergrowth, were created within the courtyard.

The area to be scheduled is rectangular in shape with maximum dimensions of 35m NE-SW by 40m transversely and is bounded by the surrounding security fence. The above-ground portions of this fence are excluded from this scheduling.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the remains of 16th-century castle, on the site of an earlier dwelling, which was much modified in the 19th century to form a folly. It retains considerable potential to increase our knowledge of domestic architecture over several centuries.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NS 24 SE 6.


Davis, M. C. (1992) The Castle and Mansions of Ayrshire, 292.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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