Reconstruction of Greenan Castle
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Reconstruction of Greenan Castle

Artist: Andrew Spratt

Custodian of Dirleton Castle.

These images are the copyright of Mr. Spratt who has generously given permission to display them here. For more about Andrew Spratt click here. For a complete index of Mr. Spratt's castles on this site click here. Click on the castle to the left to view a larger image and scroll down to read more about the castle.

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 Kennedies.

Greenan Castle as it looks today. Photo by Fred Westcott.So 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


For more about Greenan Castle see   Another older sketch of the caste can be seen here.