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Take a tour of a historic Ayrshire hidden gem - Rowallan Old Castle

12 April 2010

Bookings are now being taken for weekend guided tours of one of Ayrshire’s historic treasures – Rowallan Old Castle.  There are still places available for this Saturday, 17th April, and monthly tours right through the summer.

This fine Renaissance property set amidst beautiful countryside was, for more than 400 years, home to the Muirs, one of the area’s most important and influential families.  Visitors to Rowallan Old Castle will be able to hear about its long history and see evidence of the Muirs’ changing tastes through the castle’s evolution from the 13th to the 18th centuries, illustrating many of the developments in architecture through the ages.

Pre-booking for the guided tours of this fascinating property is essential. Call Tracy Smyth of Historic Scotland on 0131 550 7603 or e-mail  There are two tours, each lasting an hour and a half, at 10.30am and 1pm, for each of the following dates:
  • Saturday 17 April
  • Saturday 15 May
  • Saturday 19 June
  • Saturday 24 July
  • Saturday 21 August
  • Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 September

As there are no parking facilities for visitors at Rowallan Old Castle and development in progress on the Estate, those who have booked to join a tour will firstly meet at Dean Castle Visitor Centre.  Following coffee and biscuits and an introductory briefing, they will then be taken by bus to the gatehouse of the Rowallan Estate, from where they will walk up the driveway to the castle itself.  The walk should take around 10 minutes and although the ground is level, stout shoes are recommended.  Although the site is accessible for children, the nature of the tour around this historic site makes it more suitable for those over 10 years of age.  Space for each tour is limited to 20 people.  

The cost of the guided tour (including refreshments and bus) is £3.70 for adults, £3.00 for concessions (visitors over 60 and the unemployed) and £2.20 for children, with no charge for under 5’s.

Peter Yeoman, Historic Scotland Head of Cultural Resources, said: “Rowallan Old Castle is an excellent example of a well-preserved Renaissance courtyard house so it’s an important part of the heritage of both Ayrshire and of Scotland.

“We are delighted to be able to offer special tours of this fascinating historic property and to give visitors an insight into its past and that of the remarkable people who lived there through the centuries.”


  • Rowallan Old Castle is an imposing property set in beautiful rolling parkland. Its construction style and architectural features show its development through time, from the 13th to the 18th centuries.
  • Excavations on the site have revealed evidence of prehistoric settlement and burial.  Historic Scotland has installed a display on the archaeological finds made during excavations, with objects on loan from East Ayrshire Council.
  • Please note that access to the Rowallan Estate is by prior arrangement only and guided tours must be pre-booked.  
  • Over 345 outstanding heritage properties and sites throughout Scotland are in the care of Historic Scotland.  Ranging from prehistoric dwellings to medieval castles, and from cathedrals to industrial buildings, these include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country. Among the most popular are Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles, Skara Brae, and the Border Abbeys.  For further details visit:
  • Historic Scotland’s mission is to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.
  • Historic Scotland’s current ‘Make Your Own History’ membership promotion is offering 15 months’ membership for the price of 12 when membership – enabling unlimited access to over 75 heritage attractions -  is purchased by direct debit.  Family membership costs less than £7 a month.  For more information on the ‘Make Your Own History’ membership offer, visit:
  • - search for Make Your Own History

For further information

Ellen Drummond Ferroni
0131 668 8685 / 07801 820757