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Ardrossan Castle sits in a prominent position on castle hill above the town and is now in a ruined and dangerous condition. The castle was important during the Scottish - English wars, and was scene to an infamous event known as Wallace's Larder. An English garrison was stationed at the Castle, and Wallace arranged a decoy fire in the village. When the English went down to investigate, Wallace and his followers stormed the castle. Wallace had the entire garrison slaughtered and thrown into the dungeon hence Wallace's Larder. Wallace was later captured and executed in London in 1305.
The castle was empty during the 17th century and much of the stone structure was robbed by Cromwell's army to build a fort at Ayr.
Ghosts and Legends
The castle is said to be haunted by the ghost of Wallace, who wanders the ruins on stormy nights.
The castle is also associated with the Devil; Sir Fergus Barclay, the De'il of Ardrossan, was a horseman who was famed far and wide for his skill. The secret to his horsemanship lay in a magical bridle, given to Fergus by the Devil in exchange for his soul. Fergus managed to trick the Devil into losing his power over him. In rage the Devil attacked the castle, and is said to have left his hoof prints on one of the castle rocks.
The fortunes of Sir Fergus waned, he lost his skill in horsemanship and ended a wife murderer. He died on Arran, his body, buried on an Arran beach, was washed up by a storm on the night of his burial, and swept back to Ardrossan. He was reburied in the castle chapel.
Directions: Reached from the A78 the castle stands prominently on Castle Hill above the town