Dramatically perched on a sheer
coastal cliff south west of Ayr is the lonely ruins of Greenan Tower. Built in
1603 by John Kennedy of Baltersan on the site of an earlier castle raised by the
Davidson family, though nothing remains of this castle.
The oblong plan Kennedy Keep capped
by roofed bartizans also had a lean-to Hall-house and 'Barmkin' wall gatehouse
with ditch added after 1603. But these remain as a few grassy rubble mounds.
Interestingly much further inland is a second ditch which must have protected
the unusually large castle-town or 'Castleton' which sprang up beside such
Keeps. This may relate to the Davidson castle, traditionally surrounded by a
wooden palisade and likely replaced by a stone wall during the time of the
Greenan wasn't as lonely as it first appears since the castle-town would have be
jammed packed full of wood n' wattle thatched roofed dwellings with storage
barns, stables, barracks, brew houses and shelters for livestock. Providing
accommodation of over 100 residents and their animals separate from John Kennedy
and his immediate household within the Keep itself. Likely Greenan was not only
a centre of domestic and military interest but commercial because of it's
position beside the sea where merchant ships regularly passed en route to Ayr to
trade various wares.
Andrew Spratt February 2001