Culzean Castle and Country Park
The first written reference to a Tower House at Culzean dates to the 1400's, although it is possible there was a building here even earlier. Then, it was known as 'Coif Castle', or the 'House of Cove', taking it's name from the caves below. This name was altered to 'Cullean Castle' in the 1600's and the present spelling adopted sometime in the 18th century.
The recorded history of Culzean properly starts in 1569 when Sir Thomas Kennedy was given the Culzean estates by his brother, the 4th Earl of Cassillis. He began building and enlarging the tower house around the 1590's. An account of 1632 describes 'THE HOUSSE OF THE COVE buildid with grate cost and expensse, some 40 zeirs agoe by Sir Thomas Kennedy of Culzeane, Tutor of Cassiles'.
As times became settled, Culzean became more of a family home. By the 17th century terraces and pleasure gardens had been constructed. Since even then Culzean was rarely lived in all year round, improvements to the house were haphazard.
In the 18th century a chain of events occurred that transformed Culzean Castle from a relatively modest tower house into a neoclassical mansion. It was not so much a sudden influx of real wealth or power that brought about this transformation but, rather, the desire to create a trophy house, a building that said, even shouted, that the Kennedy family had arrived.
What you see at Culzean Castle today is a result of many years of careful restoration by the National Trust for Scotland, that has united the different stages of Culzean's aesthetic history. It reflects the different stages of Culzean's past, from Robert Adam's additions to the medieval tower house, to its heyday as one of the grandest houses in Scotland.
Castle or defences, Garden, parklands or rural site, Heritage site, Historic house or home, Architecture centre
Please check website for opening details before visiting.
Culzean Castle & Country Park
1 Parent: £30.00
- National Trust
Home Farm Restaurant is open year round (check website for further details); there is a Visitor Centre and Shop; Walled Garden and Adventure Cove near the Swan Pond.
- 13 May 2016 10:30am-2:30pm
Ever wanted to feel a few years younger? Then head to Culzean Castle and Country Park where the kids are taking over. Forget about being an adult for a day and put yourself in the enthusiastic hands of pupils from Maidens Primary School. Watch in wonder as they show you Culzean as you've never seen it before and we guarantee you'll being feeling young at heart after seeing it through their eyes.
Included in admission price
Culzean at Night
- 14 May 2016 5:45-11pm
It's fair to say that Culzean Castle and Country Park is pretty magnificent already but this event offers you the unique opportunity of seeing Culzean at night when the landscape and architecture really come to life. Get swept away on an evening tour of high-class living in the 18th Century, discover the world's largest collections of swords and pistols in the armoury and find out Culzean's hidden connections to Robert the Bruce and President Eisenhower. Finish your night with a flourish as the Borland Ceilidh Band strike up a tune in the Home Farm and dance your cares away with an energetic and authentic Ayrshire Ceilidh. Delicious Scottish food and drink will also be available. Castle tour time slots must be booked in advance.Phew, this is one night you won't forget!
Culzean at Night is part of Museums at Night and Festival of Museums.
- Not suitable for children
Culzean Castle and Country Park