Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future

Something old, something new - Rowallan Castles are a beautiful union of Scottish castle styles

Situated in rural Ayrshire near the town of Kilmaurs are two unique castles.

(Old) Rowallan Castle is a Renaissance Palace which stands upon a rocky knoll.

Rowallan plan (1)
Plan of (Old) Rowallan Castle showing the footprint of an even earlier tower to the right

Building commenced with a hall house which was later converted into a tower. This, in turn, was replaced by the unique façade which dominates the site today. This is not for defence but for show and illustrates the transition from fortress to palace.

The entrance is given emphasis by being situated between two drum towers dated 1562 which lead to a courtyard with domestic buildings arranged around two sides. A 14/15th-century tower, of two ruined storeys, occupies the remaining space.

Rowallan old
(Old) Rowallan Castle's unique 'showy' façade

Historic Scotland guardianship was rescinded to allow Rowallan Castle to be converted into a dwelling as part of a major transformation of the estate. This is to be welcomed, for now Rowallan Castle has a purpose and a secure future.

(New) Rowallan Castle is a major house in the baronial style by the Scottish architect Robert Lorimer. Built in 1901 – and despite being incomplete – it echoes the old Scots style to perfection.

Rowallan new
Rowallan Castle's new Baronial reincarnation designed by Robert Lorimer

This is the ultimate expression of the Scottish castle.

Article by SCA member Brian McGarrigle.

Added: 07 Jun 2016 Updated: 16 Oct 2018
Related articles (20)
  Member Comments

? You are not currently signed in. Please sign in below.Comment Rules

Add your comment

We'd love to hear your views. If you are a Scottish Castles Association member, please sign in below and share them with us.

(required field)
Please verify that you are not a robot.
Comments found: (0)

Presently, there are no comments posted for this record!

back to topTop

Our corporate members...

Visit our Skills and Trades Section