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Castle Levan

Situated within landscaped grounds overlooking the gorge carved by a stream which descends from the hills to the southwest of Gourock (Inverclyde), Castle Levan is located a quarter-mile (0.5 km) southwest of McInroy's Point and 1½ miles (2.5 km) west southwest of Gourock town centre and gives its name to the residential suburb within which it lies.

Built by the Morton family c.1457, this B-listed tower house was significantly extended in the early 16th century to form the L-plan it exhibits today. It was sold to the Semples in 1547 and acquired by the Shaw Stewart family of Inverkip in 1649. Castle Levan was restored 1980-87, under the supervision of Edinburgh-based architect Ian Begg, as a family home and also now offers bed-and-breakfast accommodation to visitors.

The castle comprises three storeys and a garret. The entrance leads into the vaulted basement that once contained kitchens and cellars. A turnpike staircase leads up to the Great Hall, which features two walk-in window recesses and a broad hearth. The pine ceiling was reclaimed from a 17th century thread mill in Johnstone and has been decorated in a 16th century style by Norman Edgar, President of the Glasgow Art Club. Two other stairs rise within the thickness of the walls. On the same level, but in the opposite wing, is a dining kitchen with a restored sandstone arch leading to a modern kitchen with an Aga and marble worktops, complemented by marble splashbacks reclaimed from a Helensburgh grocery store.

Bedrooms are to be found on the second floor, with a further bedroom, bathroom and library within the garret on the level above, together with a parapet walkway.

The castle is said to be haunted by a White Lady, thought to be a Marion Montgomery who murdered her tenants. When her husband returned, he was horrified to hear what had happened and imprisoned her in the castle, starving her to death.


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