Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Fairlie Castle

Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Fairlie Castle

Classification Tower House (Medieval)

Canmore ID 41207

Site Number NS25SW 1

NGR NS 21283 54890

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council North Ayrshire
  • Parish Largs
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Cunninghame
  • Former County Ayrshire

Archaeology Notes

NS25SW 1 21247 54888

(NS 21247 54888) Fairlie Castle (NR)

(remains of)

OS 1:10000 map (1980)

Fairlie Castle, now roofless, it is a simple rectangular tower of 15th century date (c/f Law Castle: NS24NW 1). It measures 45ft 5ins by 29ft. The kitchen and hall are on the first floor, they are reached by a wheel stair from the entrance on the ground floor. The corbelling round the top of the walls is chequered and there is a round angle turret at each corner.

D MacGibbon and T Ross 1889; J Lamb 1896

Fairlie Castle is as described by MacGibbon and Ross. The ruins are in a good state of preservation.

Visited by OS (DS) 21 September 1956

No change. No access to the interior is possible; the entrance on the S is blocked up.

Visited by OS (JRL) 2 December 1982


Standing Building Recording (April 2017 - June 2017)

NS 2128 5488 A programme of work was undertaken, April–June 2017. A standing building survey identified only minor alterations to the castle exterior since its original late 15th/ early 16th-century construction. These include the blocking up of four windows, denoting a change in use of the interior space, and modern blocking, which was probably carried out to seal the castle as it fell out of use.

The majority of the visible alterations to the castle are located at the interior first floor level, where the layout was changed to open up the whole floor and use the NE fireplace as a focal point. It is uncertain when these alterations took place, but they may date from the late 1600s following a change in ownership of the castle.

The layout of the second and third floors was consistent with that of living quarters, with the higher quality stone finishing on the third floor suggesting that this floor was the laird’s quarters, with the second floor used for servants’ quarters and storage.

A watching brief was then undertaken as collapsed rubble and debris was removed from the interior and a number of sherds or medieval pottery were recovered.

Archive: NRHE (intended)

Funder: Private individual

Dave McNicol – GUARD Archaeology Ltd

(Source: DES, Volume 18)


MyCanmore Image Contributions

Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions