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Loch Doon Castle

The remains of Loch Doon Castle are located on the western shore of the Loch Doon Reservoir, 7 miles (11 km) south of Dalmellington, East Ayrshire. Built in the 13th Century by the Bruce Earls of Carrick, this fine Norman courtyard castle once lay on an islet in Loch Doon. Its eleven-sided curtain-wall - a form dictated by the shape of the island - enclosed a range of buildings including a 16th-century tower-house.

It was seized by the English but retaken in 1314 and was one of David II's six strongholds which held out against Edward Balliol. It later passed to the Kennedys, but c.1446 was besieged and eventually surrendered to a force sent by William 8th Earl of Douglas, who was trying to take control of the area. In 1510, with Loch Doon back in Kennedy hands, besieged and captured by Sir William Crawford of Lochmores, having been set afire. It was restored and re-occupied only to be abandoned in the 17th century.

The ruins were dismantled and moved to their present site in 1935 following the Marquis of Ailsa's plan to create a reservoir from the loch as part of the Galloway Hydro-Electric scheme. When the water level in the loch is low it is still possible to see the island on which the castle once stood, together with its original foundations.

The castle is now maintained by Historic Environment Scotland.


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