A magnificent example of a Renaissance palace, Auchans Castle stands near the Ayrshire town of Dundonald. It is in total ruin and fenced off for public safety.
The plan is unusual in many respects. A date of 1644 is given - very late in the day and in the midst of the civil war. No, there was an earlier nucleus of which the stair tower with its balustraded viewing platform was added in that year. It carries all the attributes that make Scottish fortified houses so fascinating: vaulting; crow steps; square turret corbelled from the round; string courses and dormers. The whole once harled and standing within walled parkland.
Auchans Castle was abandoned as a dwelling in the late 18th century but was still roofed as late as 1921. From then until the present day the story has been one of neglect and ruin.
Auchans Castle will host an SCA visit in 2016.
Article by SCA member Brian McGarrigle.