Cassillis House / Castle

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Cassillis House is 7 miles southeast of Ayr, by the small village of Minishant. This is a Private Castle that cannot be visited.

Cassillis Map  

Cassillis Castle was built from around 1350 for Clan Kennedy as their main seat. Their first Castle was built in the 1200s at Dunure on the coast, 10 miles west.

The image top is from the roadside between Minishant and Dalrymple, although hedging has been allowed to grow so the Castle cannot be seen from the road.

The second image is of Cassillis House / Castle from the gardens. The original Tower from the late 1300s, and a later Tower from the 1600s, were painted around 2016. The Mansion built onto the front of the Towers is from the 1600s.

This design is quite common in Scotland, as from the 1600s Scotland had become a safer place, leading to Mansions being built. Some demolished the Tower Houses, others kept them just incase any Wars broke out.

1792 - Culzean Castle on the coast 8 miles southwest was rebuilt into a large modern Castle to serve as the Kennedy's main seat in place of Cassillis.

1945 - the Kennedy's handed Culzean Castle and its vast grounds over to the National Trust for Scotland as they could no longer afford to maintain the Castle and Estate. The Kennedy's then moved back to Cassillis House and used Maybole Castle as their Town House.

2009 - the Kennedy's sold Cassillis House to founder Kate Armstrong, who spend a vast amount of money updating the Castle.

2016 - Cassillis was put up for sale for £3.9 million, much less than it cost to buy and renovate.

Behind Cassillis Castle is a deep Gorge and Burn that would have given protection around much of the early Castle.

Across the Burn is the lands of the Muir's of Achindrane, with the two Clans often at war with each other. See Culzean Castle for more on the history between the Kennedy's and Muir's.

Neighbouring Clans in Scotland were often fighting, why they lived in Tower House. Many disputes would be over things like cattle rustling and could last for hundreds of years, with tit for tat murders of prominent Clan members.

Sometimes marriage would be used to end disputes.

Kennedy Castles in the Area

1200s - Dunure Castle was the first Kennedy Castle built 10 miles west of Cassillis.

1300s - a Tower House was built for the Kennedy's at Culzean 8 miles southwest of Cassillis.

1500s - Baltersan Castle was built for the Kennedy's 5 miles southwest of Cassillis.

1500s - Maybole Castle was also built for the Kennedy's 4 miles south of Cassillis.

1603 - Greenan Castle was built for John Kennedy of Baltersan Castle 6 miles northwest of Cassillis.

1792 - Culzean Castle was enlarged to be the largest Castle of the Kennedy's 8 miles southwest of Cassillis.

There were a number of other Kennedy Castles built throughout the southwest of Scotland, most now are in ruin.

Kennedy Clan Information

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Cassillis House Photos