An article from

'The Topographical, Statistical, and Historical Gazetteer of Scotland'

Published by A.Fullarton and Co. - 1848

Turnberry Castle

TURNBERRY-CASTLE, a celebrated ruin on the coast of the parish of Kirkoswald, 6 miles north of the town of Girvan, Ayrshire. When or by whom it was built, is altogether uncertain. It seems to have been one of the castles of the old Gaelic Lords of Galloway: and, when the Gallowegian dominions became divided into the part which continues to bear their name, and the part which has been integrated with Ayrshire, it appears to have been adopted as the principal seat of the Earls of Carrick. In 1274 Martha, Countess of Carrick, resided here at the epoch of her marriage with Robert Bruce of Annandale. On the 20th of September, 1286, it was the scene of the first recorded association or assembly of Scottish nobles, —one which had for its object to support the title of the competitor Bruce to the Crown. In 1300 it was held by an English garrison under Earl Percy; and some years after, while it still continued in the possession of the English, King Robert Bruce stormed it, drove out the garrison, and obliged them to retire to Ayr. It received such damage in the storming as to be virtually destroyed; and it does not appear to have ever afterwards been inhabited. A kiln-fire lighted in the neighbourhood was once mistaken by Bruce for a preconcerted signal, and brought him prematurely over from Arran to attempt the deliverance of his country and the rescue of his Crown. The castle has suffered so severely from the action of sea and weather, and the ruthlessness of dilapidators, as to have little remaining but its lower vaults and cellars; but from indications which are furnished by these, by some vestiges of a drawbridge, and by the extent of rock which seems to have been included in the site, it appears to have been a fortress of great capaciousness and strength. It occupies a small promontory, so as to be washed on three sides by the sea; and, on the land side, it overlooks a rich plain of upwards of 600 acres. Its site commands a full prospect of all the lower frith of the Clyde. Grose has preserved a view of the ruins as they existed when he wrote.  





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