Knockdolian Castle, Ayrshire
Knockdolian Castle is a 16th century rectangular tower house, which despite having lost its roof, is in a very good state of repair.
The castle is on private land within the grounds of a large gothic mansion. It overlooks the winding River Stinchar set in manicured lawns and ancient woodland. Please respect the privacy of its owners and seek permission to gain access to the castle grounds.
~ History ~
1570 ~ Robert Graham is recorded as the first owner of Knockdolian Castle.
1660's ~ The castle and estates pass to the MacCubbin's who later under Fergus MacCubbin make extensive repairs.
1715 ~ The castle is sold to the Cathcart family.
1872 ~ The castle is again sold, to the MacConnel's.
~ Legends ~
It is told a mermaid once sang all night from a rock near the castle which so irritated the lady of the house that he has the rock broken up.
The mermaid only returned once to sing;
'Ye may think on your cradle,
I'll think on my stane,
And there'll ne'er be an heir,
To Knockdolian again.'
The heir to the lands dies in his cradle and the family line dies out.
A tale is told of the Covenanting preacher Alexander Peden when, in the district, has need to be hidden from the troops of MacCubbin, Laird of Knockdolian — unfortunately the Laird is fined for harbouring him.
On again seeking sanctuary at Knockdolian, the Laird refuses to help him and the prophet, in a moment of irritation, predicted that the estate would not be heired by his sons — and indeed both met their fate in accidental death.