Dundonald Heritage Project

Dundonald Heritage Project

So Many Stories

Dundonald Castle harbours a great many secrets.

Through archaeology done in the 1980’s, there is evidence of Bronze and Iron Age settlements. In the 12th century, Dundonald was well fortified against the Viking Invasion and a substantial force was raised, to march to the Battle of Largs.

There was a substantial Norman fortress on the hill – a castle much larger than the current structure. This saw clashes between the Scots and English and was razed to the ground, during the Wars of Independence.

Today’s castle was built by Scottish Royalty and housed all the trappings of an important medieval household.

There are tales of prisoners, taken by the Royalist Cochrane family, during the time of the Covenanters. Many villagers talk of ghostly psalms being sung on a certain night every year!

The castle and its amazing stories inspired American horror writer, Edgar Allen Poe, when he stayed here with his foster family in the mid 19th century.

By some mystery, the dungeon pit – which may have inspired Poe’s famous ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’ – is one of the few places where European Cave Spiders can be seen in the UK.

However, there is still such a lot that isn’t known.  If only the stones could talk…well maybe they can!


A New Chapter

2017 is the ‘Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology’ in Scotland, and there is a unique opportunity to access substantial funds to uncover and document the real secrets of Dundonald Castle.

In doing so, there is also a chance to create something wonderful, for international visitors and for our community.

Through gathering as much archaeological evidence as possible, with documented local history to back it up – the Castle, the Visitor Centre and the existing woodland trails, can be used to create a new Heritage Centre to illustrate and celebrate our fascinating shared heritage.


A Message From The Project Team

We are at the stage where we need to apply for substantial funding and are also looking for corporate sponsorship. If you can help in any way, please get in touch.

For more information, you can contact Kirsteen Croll, Lauren Welsh or Marcia Cook at info@dundonaldcastle.org.uk, or on 01563 851489.

Our sincere thanks to the wonderful people and organisations who have contributed with time and donations, so far :

Professional volunteers

Andy Sokell, Photographer

Michelle & Alan Campbell, Barefoot Photography

 Local Businesses