Culzean Castle stands on the site of a 15th century Kennedy stronghold. The castle was completely redesigned by Robert Adam between 1777 and 1792, under the 10th Earl of Cassillis. The castle has a 565-acre country park and gardens, designed by Alexander Nasmyth. President Eisenhower stayed at the castle several times, and was said to have fallen in love with the place.
Ghosts and Legends
The Kennedy clan, who were the original owners, were a powerful Ayrshire family. A ghostly piper is said to play along Pipers Brae to herald a marriage within clan. The ghost of a woman in a Ballgown was also seen in the 1970’s.
A legend attached to the castle tells of a supernatural knight who abducts a young heiress to the castle. He tells her how he plans to kill her, but she manages to lull him to sleep and stabs him with his own dirk. This early legend has a reflection in a later one. May Kennedy from Culzean, was allegedly abducted from the castle by Sir John Cathcart.
He was supposed to be a wife murderer, who lived in and haunts the now ruined Carleton Castle. She discovered his murderous plans, and managed to push him to his death from cliffs near his home.
Directions: Just off the A719 coast road between Ayr and Turnberry.