Ayrshire: About 1 mile north of Brodick on Isle of Arran, on minor road west of A841, on north side of Brodick Bay, at Brodick Castle.
NTS NS 016378 OS: 69 KA27 8HY
OPEN: Castle open Apr, daily 11.00-15.00; May-Sep, daily 11.00-16.00; Oct, daily for guided tours only 11.00-15.00; last entry 30 mins before closing; shop and tearoom same days; walled garden
same days but also Nov-late Dec only open Sat & Sun, 10.00-15.30; country park open all year, daily 9.00-sunset. Weddings and events.
Tel: 01770 302202 Web: www.nts.org.uk
CalMac runs ferries to Brodick on Arran from Ardrossan on the mainland and from Cloanaig in Kintyre to Lochranza at the north of the island.
Occupying a magnificent site overlooking Brodick Bay, Brodick Castle incorporates a 15th-century tower at one end, the lower part of which may date from the 13th century. To this has been added
extensive 19th-century additions of three storeys with a large four storey tower with a corbelled-out parapet, garret and bartizans with conical roofs.
The old part rises to three storeys and an attic within a corbelled-out crenellated parapet. There are two stair towers, one with the parapet continuing around it, and the other crowned by a caphouse. An adjacent artillery battery was built in the 1650s.
The basement of the old part is vaulted, and contained the original kitchen. The tower much has been altered inside, but turnpike stairs lead to the upper storeys.
‘Brod-wick’ is shown on Blaeu’s map of Arran, and is depicted as a castle in an enclosed park.
Arran was held by the Norsemen until they were driven out by Somerled in the 12th century, although the property only passed to the Scottish Crown in 1266. The Stewarts of Menteith built the original castle, but Brodick was held by the English during the Wars of Independence until 1307 when recaptured by the Scots. It was damaged by English ships in 1406, and by the MacDonald Lord of the Isles about 1455. Arran passed to the Boyds in 1467, then to the Hamiltons in 1503. James, 1st Hamilton Earl of Arran, rebuilt the castle about 1510, but it was damaged in a raid in 1528 between feuding Campbells and MacLeans, and again in 1544 by the Earl of Lennox for Henry VIII of England.
The building was extended and remodelled by the Regent Arran in the 1550s, but was captured by the Campbells in 1639 to be retaken by the Hamiltons. In the 1650s the castle was occupied by
Extensive additions were made in 1844 by James Gillespie Graham for the marriage of Princess Marie of Baden to William, 11th Duke of Hamilton, and in 1958 Brodick was taken over by The National Trust for Scotland. There are fine gardens and grounds, along with a nature trail, and there is access to Goatfell, the highest hill of Arran. The Dukes of Hamilton now live at Lennoxlove in East Lothian.
A ‘Grey Lady’ is said to haunt the older part of the castle, her spirit possibly that of one of three women starved to death in the dungeons because they had plague. Two other ghosts associated
with the castle are that of a sitting man, which has reportedly been seen in the library, and that of a White Deer, apparently only seen when one of the chiefs of the Hamiltons is near death.
A passageway from the castle is reputed to have run down to the beach at Brodick Bay.
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