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Rowallan Castle summer tours

9 July 2008

A series of daily guided summer tours of Rowallan Old Castle will take place between 16 and 25 July.

Set in rolling Ayrshire countryside this extraordinary Renaissance building was home to the Muirs, one of the area’s most influential families for more than 400 years.

By the 17th century the family were renowned for their cultural interests as writers, historians and composers.

Indeed the earliest surviving lute music in Scotland was written at Rowallan Old Castle.

The building itself is equally fascinating, and visitors can see evidence of how it evolved from the 13th to the 18th centuries.

Peter Yeoman, Historic Scotland Head of Cultural Resources, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer these daily tours of what it is one of Ayrshire’s hidden gems.

“More than that Rowallan Old Castle, is an important part of Scotland’s national heritage, as a rare example of a well preserved house of the middle ranking nobility.

“Parties will be shown round by an expert guide who will offer them a host of fascinating insights into the history of the castle and the remarkable people who lived there.”

The castle features at least seven identifiable architectural styles.

Excavations on the site have also revealed evidence of prehistoric settlement and burial.  

Historic Scotland has just reinstalled a display on the archaeological finds made during the excavation, with objects on loan from East Ayrshire Council.

For further information please contact Tracy Smyth by phone on 07826 902191 or email



  • Historic Scotland will be providing daily public access to Rowallan Old Castle for a 10-day period from 16-25 July inclusive.  Opening hours will be 10.00am-12.00noon and 2.00-4.00pm, last entry 3.30pm. Charges: adult £3.70, child £1.85, concessions £3.00, includes a free guided tour at 11.00am and 3.00pm daily.

  • There is no parking at the castle or within the surrounding estate. Please park safely on the road between Fenwick and Kilmaurs, with consideration to other road users. Walk through the main timber gates to the estate and up the tarmac drive to the castle. Do bear in mind that this is a working estate, with development currently in progress, so be careful of traffic movement.

  • Rowallan Old Castle is a Renaissance courtyard house of the 16th and 17th century, set in a majestic landscape.  It incorporates a long history of building by the Muirs, charting changing styles of castellated and domestic architecture from the 13th to the 18th century.  The Castle was inextricably linked with the Muir family throughout its long history.

  • The finds will be at the castle until September and can be seen on the regular monthly tours as well as during the daily openings for more information visit our website at

  • Historic Scotland’s mission is to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

For further information

Rebecca Hamilton
Marketing and Media Manager
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8685 / 07788 923871