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The Scottish Castles Association
Preserving the Past for the Future

Portencross Castle (Ayr) Past & Present


Portencross Castle in 1904

A young lady relaxes in front of Portencross Castle in 1904

Portencross Castle in 2012

Portencross Castle in 2012

Portencross is a castle that resisted attempts to find it a buyer.

It stands above a small rock harbour near to the coastal town of Saltcoats and dates from the 14th century with later additions. It had been in ruin since 1739 when it was unroofed during a storm. It consists of a massive vaulted tower with an entrance at first floor level.

Its A-listed status and the right of public access to the walls put off prospective purchasers until a local body was formed to acquire the castle, to consolidate it and to open it to the public. Expert advise was sought, a grant applied for and work commenced to make it wind and watertight.

In 2011 Portencross welcomed its first visitors and it is also available for wedding and birthday parties. Long may it flourish!


Date posted: 27 Sep 2012Last updated: 08 Dec 2014


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