Castle is 1 mile north of Seamill on
the Ayrshire coast, popular for Visits
and for Walks along the Coast where there
are often Birds of Prey nesting on the
Cliffs. Postcode: KA23 9QA
Portencross Castle was built from the
early 1300s for Sir Robert Boyd of
Kilmarnock. Boyd's had fought for King
Robert the Bruce at the Battle of
Bannockburn in 1314, with the King
awarding the Boyd's a number of Estates
The Boyd's main Castle was at the
north side of Kilmarnock, named Dean
Castle with a Palace, can be visited
free of charge.
Law Castle, 3 miles inland at West
Kilbride, was built for Thomas Boyd and
his wife Princess Mary in 1476. King
James III had that Castle built as a
wedding gift to his sister.
The Boyd's used Portencross Castle and
its small Harbour for trading and
traveling to the Islands, with the Isle
of Cumbrae about 4 miles northwest, and
Isle of Arran 14 miles west.
Portencross Castle History
1000s - the lands of Portencross were
held by the de Ross family, with an early
Castle in the area known as Arneil.
1314 - the Lands of Portencross were
awarded to the Boyd's for their support
at the Battle of Bannockburn, with the
Portencross Castle seen today built from
It is unclear why the Lands were taken
from the de Ross, as the Ross Clan also
fought with The Bruce at Bannockburn.
The de Ross in the area then seemed to
have their main seat at Montgreenan Estate, 14 miles
west by Kilwinning. That estate had an
early Castle that was replaced by a
Mansion in 1817.
1476 - Law Castle was built for Thomas
Boyd and his wife Princess Mary 3 miles
east of Portencross. Their marriage into
Royalty ended in disaster, as they were
soon accused of trying to gain the
Scottish throne. See Dean Castle for more
1588 - a Ship from the Spanish Armada
sunk off Portencross.
1660s - the Boyd's of Portencross
moved to a Mansion House in the area.
1700s - Portencross Village was mainly
made up of fishermen and farm
1735 - Dean Castle fell into to ruin
after being damaged by fire.
1737 - the Boyd's gave up control of
Portencross Castle, with local fishermen
then using the Castle. There were around
30 fishing boats at Portencross around
1739 - Portencross Castle was unroofed
during a storm, leading to it falling
1740 - Divers retrieve Brass Cannon
from the Spanish Armada Shipwreck at
1946 - Dean Castle had been completely
restored to serve as a tourist
1980 - the last of the fishermen
retired at Portencross.
1995 - Portencross Castle was
designated as a Scheduled Ancient
2004 - Portencross Castle was featured
in the BBC program Restoration as a local
community group tried to raise funds to
have it restored.
2005 - Law Castle was
restored to serve as a Holiday
2009 - Friends of Portencross Castle
began the restoration of Portencross
Castle to serve as a Tourist