Ardstinchar Castle

A thoroughly ruined late mediaeval castle and scheduled ancient monument, Ardstinchar Castle lies on a rocky hillock at the eastern edge of the village of Ballantrae in South Ayrshire, overlooking the Ardstinchar Bridge which was built with stone taken from it after its abandonment. Built c.1440 by Hugh Kennedy of Ardstinchar, the castle was irregular in shape, with a four-storey keep and two square towers joined by walls forming a four-sided courtyard within. Outside, further protection was offered by ditches. The entrance was at the north. Mary, Queen of Scots visited the castle in 1563. The last Kennedy of Ardstinchar was murdered in 1601 but his wife resisted attempt to remove her. She died in 1605 and the estate was sold to Sir John Hamilton of Letterick, whose son became the 1st Lord Bargany. The castle was abandoned by the mid-18th century and all that remains is a fragment of the keep, standing to a height of around 15m / 50 feet, and the foundations of some of the walls.

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