Kelburn Castle Set to Reopen

Kelburn Castle

Kelburn Castle

The seat of Clan Boyle, also known as the ‘graffiti castle’, is set to reopen after a five year £500,000 renovation. Kelburn Castle near Largs, North Ayrshire was closed in 2009 following a fire in the roof. Extensive renovations have now been finished and it is to reopen at the start of April as a venue for weddings, parties and corporate events.

The work is part of a £2.4 million investment in the Kelburn Estate to increase visitor numbers to the country park and was funded by the sale of 18 acres of land at the rear of the estate to a housing developer. Log cabins and teepees are also planned on the estate to add to a caravan park already on the grounds.

The current Earl of Glasgow, Patrick Boyle, said: “This is the biggest investment in Kelburn Castle and Estate for a century and will consolidate its status as a significant tourism and hospitality facility.

“We have some very exciting plans for the castle, which now must be the safest in Scotland, as well as for the estate which we are confident will help to make it one of the best tourist attractions, not only in Ayrshire but in the whole country.”

The Boyle family have been in possession of the lands of Kelburn since the 12th century. The tower house was built in the late 16th century, while the north west was built in 1722 and the north east in 1880.

Graffiti in Progress at Kelburn - 2007

Graffiti in Progress at Kelburn – 2007

Kelburn Castle is covered with a psychedelic series of interwoven cartoons painted by a group of Brazilian graffiti artists in 2007. Despite protests, it was announced in 2012 that the mural is to be removed after engineers discovered the cement coating on which it is painted is causing damage to the original castle walls, but work has yet to start.

The mural is a popular feature and was previously named as one of the world’s top 10 examples of street art, on a par with Banksy’s work in Los Angeles and the Favela Morro Da Providjncia in Rio de Janeiro.


About Nadine Lee

Originally from New Zealand, Nadine is a documentary researcher now based in the north east of Scotland.

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