Clan Bruce

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The Bruce’s are thought to have originated from Normandy near Cherbourg. They gained lands at Annan (Southern Scotland) for their support of Scottish Kings, and later, in northern England during the peaceful years.

Robert, the 4th Lord of Annandale, married into the royal house of William the Lion, King of Scotland 1165 - 1214. That marriage gave the Bruce’s claim to the throne in years to come. Their main castle at that time was Lochmaben Castle in south Scotland by Dumfries.

Loch Doon

The 6th Robert, Lord of Annandale, married the widow Marjorie, with which he acquired the title Earl of Carrick (south of Ayr in Ayrshire) and gained castles at Loch Doon and Turnberry. Having lands in Northern England and Southern Scotland, he often chose to fight for the English in battles against Scotland.


His eldest son Robert, 7th Lord of Annandale and Earl of Carrick, was born in 1274 at Turnberry Castle (Southwest Ayrshire). Known as Robert the Bruce, he led a Scottish army to victory over the English at Bannockburn (Stirlingshire) in 1314. After a further 14 years of war, the treaty of Edinburgh was signed March 17th 1328, this allowing Bruce to become king of an independent Scotland.

Bruce died in 1329 at Cardross, probably from leprosy. He was buried in Dunfermline after the removal of his heart so it could be carried on a crusade by Sir James Douglas. The return of his heart from the crusade saw it buried at Melrose Abbey.


The Bruce line died out after Robert the Bruce’s son David II died in 1371 without leaving an heir. He was succeeded to the Scottish throne by Robert the Bruce’s grandson through the female line Robert II (Stuart). Dundonald Castle four miles east of Troon in Ayrshire was built for Robert II on his ascension to the throne.

The ruin of Loch Doon Castle was transferred from an island in the middle of the loch to the southeast bank in the early 1900s, as a dam was built that raised the water levels. The ruin now attracts many visitors.Loch Doon Castle Page.

Little remains of Turnberry Castle 12 miles south of Ayr. There is a lighthouse built on that spot with the world famous Turnberry golf course and hotel adjacent. Turnberry Castle Page.

The ruin of Dundonald Castle attracts many visitors with guided tours available. There is a visitor centre and car park at the castle.