Castle stands about a mile from the town, and is one of the most complete
specimens of a Baronial Keep we have. Some forty years ago, it was in ruins, but
the owner, Sir James Fergusson, made the old castle habitable, and now it is a
most desirable residence. It stands on a green knoll, at some little distance
off the road, and still retains a few of its ancient trees, although the large
Ash which used to adorn it, and into whose hollow heart half-a-dozen
people could stow themselves, has, at last, succumbed to Time.
Rev. William Ahercrombie, writing in 1686, says:
"Many of the pretty dwellings of the gentry here are sweet desyrable
places; but for the good building, gardens, orchards, and all other
accommodations, Kilhenzie is the chiefe, lying about a short myle south from the
towne of Mayboll." In 1429, Kilhenzie belonged to Thomas Kennedy of
Kirkoswald; afterwards it passed into the hands of the laird of Bargany;
subsequently it became the residence of the Carrick branch of the Bairds; and
finally, it became the property of the Fergussons of Kilkerran.
the old history of the Kennedys, an account is given of one of those
rough-handed deeds which were common in those days. It appears that John Baird,
of Kilhenzie, had married for his second wife a sister of the laird of Bargany.
In his absence, his son took possession of some victual left by his father with
his step-mother. She complained to her brother, the laird, who came with an
armed force, "brak the yett" of Kilhcnzie, and carried off a quantity
of grain equal in value to that taken by the son. Baird, on his side, complained
to the Earl of Cassillis, who threatened to carry fire and sword into the halls
of Bargany. But, apparently, he thought better of it, and so "jouked and
let the jaw gae by." The old historian remarks that the Earl had recently
brought home some gunpowder from Italy, which he could have used with effect;
and this indicates that about the end of the sixteenth century, powder was
rather a scarce commodity in Scotland. There are few relics to be seen now about
Kilhenzie, except one or two carved stones which evidently adorned the edifice
in the days of its former grandeur.