How to find us...
SatNav: KA23 9QA
Lat: 53.800651 Long: -4.064941
OS Grid Ref: NS 17538 48921 Portencross Castle Map
11am to 4pm (last entry 3.45pm)
Weekends to end September
Every day July and August
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Portencross Castle is situated overlooking the Firth of Clyde near West Kilbride in Ayrshire. It is a scheduled ancient monument, a recognition of its national importance.
Portencross has been inhabited for thousands of years. An archaeological dig found evidence of an Iron Age settlement on Auldhill, just behind Portencross Castle. The Iron Age lasted from around 800 BC to 100 BC.
Portencross Castle was constructed in three phases starting around 1360. It was the home of a branch of the Boyds.
Portencross Castle underwent major building conservation works during 2009 and 2010 all thanks to the fund-raising efforts of the local community of Portencross and through generous donations from various organisations and the public.
Read about how it all happened.
The lands around Portencross were given to the Boyds of Kilmarnock by King Robert I as a reward for their help at the Battle of Bannockburn. A number of Royal Charters were signed at the castle and it had close links with King Robert II during that period.
After the 1600s, it was occupied by local fishermen. The roof was destroyed in a gale in January 1739. By the 20th century, the Adams of Auchenames owned the castle. It became a scheduled ancient monument in 1955.
Castle opening times
The castle will re-open after the winter closure on 5th April 2014 and will then be open daily until, and including, 20th April. After that it will be open weekends and public holidays until September, apart from July and August when it will be open daily.
Opening times are 11am-4pm, last entry 3.45. Occasionally the castle is closed for private functions, any such dates will be posted on the news/events section of this website.
On occasion, the castle will close for private events. Details of such closures will appear on the news page. Click Forthcoming Events for details.
It is possible to arrange access to the castle outwith the normal operating season. Anyone interested in a private visit, group visit or other event should contact Ann on 01294 823799. Click this link to get in touch with us.
About this website
This website has been set up by the Friends of Portencross Castle. Our aim is to build up a collection of words, images and other media to form an informative and educational online resource containing the history of Portencross Castle, both past and present.
You can help us to build this resource. We are looking for anything in connection with Portencross Castle. Perhaps you have a photograph or a poem, maybe an old postcard or a clip of film. If so, we'd love to see it! If you have, post it on Facebook or click this link to get in touch.
Sounds and pictures
The area has inspired photographers and artists over the years. John Mason of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra composed The Flower of Portencross. You can hear it played on guitar by 'Kev'.
You can also view poems and pictures by children and parents at West Kilbride Primary School.
You can see an aerial fly-over of the castle and its surrounds in this atmospheric video.