Rent A Cottage In Scotland

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tour Culzean Castle Scotland

Tour Culzean Castle, Scotland. Culzean castle on the Ayrshire coast is a masterpiece of the Scottish Gothic Revival. Sir Thomas Kennedy who inherited the title of Earl of Cassilis in 1762 had been on the Grand Tour and had been impressed not only by the classical grandeur of Rome but by the many fine medieval buildings throughout the continent. Thomas had already inherited the Kennedy castle of Culzean about ten miles south of Ayr and felt that its dramatic cliff-top location, with views across the Firth of Clyde to Arran and the Mull of Kintyre, was the perfect site for a new family seat. Between 1762 and 1775, Sir Thomas repaired the old castle and added a new wing. His successor, David 10th Earl Cassilis also decided to live at Culzean Castle but planned far greater changes. He commissioned Robert Adam to build one of the finest and grandest mansions in the kingdom, bankrupting himself in the process. The result was an unparalleled romantic fantasy on the outside and a perfect neo-classical Adam Georgian home within. Its design and execution rank with the finest Enlightenment architecture anywhere in Europe. The strain of this massive undertaking affected both the artist and patron however. Adam wore himself out travelling between London and Ayrshire and died of an ignored stomach haemorrhage in 1795. The penniless Earl of Cassilis died of worry later the same year.

The first Cuizean castle had been a humble keep built to protect the lands of the local Kennedy family. Although close to Central Scotland, parts of Ayrshire had a reputation for independence and lawlessness. The old Culzean castle sat above a coast honeycombed with caverns. It was a natural landscape for smuggling and the medieval Kennedys probably both connived at, and participated in, that ancient trade.

Castles have been the homes of warlords since the early Middle Ages so the lifetime gift of the top apartments at Culzean Castle to General Dwight Eisenhower in 1945 was an appropriate gesture. Returning to Culzean as President of the USA in the 1950s, the castle was converted into the Scottish White House complete with all the Cold War trappings.

As befits a mansion on this scale, Culzean has a retinue of ghosts. A spectral piper announces forthcoming marriages within the Kennedy clan while a female ghost has the good sense to dress appropriately in a ball gown. A third apparition is that of a knight who abducted an heiress and carried her to Culzean, only to be stabbed to death by the woman who used his own dirk for the deed. Tour Culzean Castle on the Best Scottish Tours.

Culzean castle on the Ayrshire coast is the most visited property of the National Trust for Scotland. Built in the late 16th century above a network of caves, the castle became a centre for smuggling during the 18th century. Sir Thomas Kennedy, 9th Earl of Cassillis, went on an extended grand tour in the 1750s and returned full of ideas as to how to improve his vast estates and home. His brother and heir commissioned Robert Adam to create his masterpiece and became bankrupt as a result. The estate was rescued when wealthy American cousins inherited it in 1792. Archibald Kennedy, 1st Marquess of Ailsa, completed the house and lavished money on the property. Produced in association with the National Trust for Scotland, this volume tells the whole history of the castle. Michael Moss has carried out extensive research, drawing on estate records, original plans and family correspondence to create a major history of the castle and an account of the running of a Scottish country estate. The Magnificent Castle of Culzean and the Kennedy Family.

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