Blairquhan Castle

Located a mile (1.5 km) west northwest of Straiton and 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Maybole in South Ayrshire, Blairquhan Castle is a Tudor-Gothic mansion built by the Edinburgh-based architect William Burn (1789 - 1870).

The castle was commissioned by David Hunter Blair, son of banker and Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Sir James Hunter Blair (1741-87), and built on an estate bought by his trustees following the untimely death of his father. The estate included a castle which had been a Kennedy stronghold, built in 1346 and extended in 1573. This old castle, which had become ruinous, was removed and, in 1821, the foundation stone of the new pile was laid by Sir Alexander Boswell of Auchinleck, son of biographer and traveller James Boswell (1740-95). Completed in 1824, the house is surrounded by an estate of some 800 ha (2000 acres) which was planned from 1803 by Sir David himself. He diverted the Water of Girvan to bring it closer the house and created a walled garden, glasshouse and pinetum, which includes a specimen of Giant Sequoia brought from North America in the mid 19th Century.

The 16-bedroom castle remained in the Hunter Blair family until 2012, when it was sold to Ganten, a Chinese mineral water producer for a reported £4.85 million. The house continues to be actively marketed as a venue for conferences and corporate entertainment. The majority of the estate was retained by the family and is now run from the dower house, Milton of Blairquhan.

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