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Loch Doon Castle

Loch Doon Castle is an eleven-sided, curtain-walled castle designed to defend its original island site at the southern end of Loch Doon. The stonework is outstanding and its beautifully hewn blocks of ashlar have stood the test of time.

The original castle dates from the 13th or 14th century, but it is believed that a much earlier settlement was sited on a small island to the south end of Loch Doon. In 1826, nine ancient canoes containing an oak war-club and a battle-axe were discovered nearby and some of the relics can be seen at the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow. It is believed that portcullis gates, which protected the castle, still lie submerged after being thrown into the loch during an attack.

There is a local legend that Loch Doon Castle gave shelter to Robert the Bruce, as he was often in the surrounding district. History later records that the castle was owned by the Kennedy family and was taken from them by William Crauford of Lefnoris in 1511. The castle was largely destroyed in the reign of James V (1513 - 1542).

In the 1930s, the level of the loch was raised in connection with the Galloway hydro-electric scheme. The castle island became submerged, but the outer shell of the castle was dismantled and re-erected about 1935 on the shore near Craigmulloch Farm, where it can still be seen today. When the level of the loch is very low, it is possible to see the top of the castle island and some of the remaining stones of Loch Doon Castle.

Visitors to the area can enjoy free fishing on the loch, cycle trails, outstanding scenery and hills to challenge experienced walkers. 

Contact Information

East Ayrshire Leisure Trust
Telephone: 01563 554300