Culzean Castle and Country Park

Culzean Gardens

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.

Venue Type:

Castle or defences, Garden, parklands or rural site, Heritage site, Historic house or home, Architecture centre

Opening hours

Please check website for opening details before visiting.

Admission charges

Culzean Castle & Country Park
Member: Free
Adult: £15.50
Family: £38.00
1 Parent: £30.00
Concession: £11.50


  • National Trust

Additional info

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.

Culzean Castle and Country Park
KA19 8LE

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01655 884455

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.