Culzean Castle
Culzean Castle (pronounced /kʌˈleɪn/ kul- layn : see yogh) is a castle near Maybole, Carrick, on the Ayrshire coast of Scotland. It is the former home of the Marquess of Ailsa but is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland. The clifftop castle lies within the Culzean Castle Country Park and is opened to the public. Since 1987, an illustration of the castle has featured on the reverse side of five pound notes issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Culzean castle was the constructed as an L-plan castle by order of David Kennedy, 10th Earl of Cassilis. He instructed the architect Robert Adam to rebuild a previous, but more basic, stately house into a fine castle to be the seat of his earldom. The castle was built in stages between 1777 and 1792. It incorporates a large drum tower with a circular saloon inside (which overlooks the sea), a grand oval staircase and a suite of well-appointed apartments. In 1945, the Kennedy family gave the castle and its grounds to the National Trust for Scotland (thus avoiding inheritance tax). In doing so, they stipulated that the apartment at the top of the castle be given to General Dwight Eisenhower in recognition of his role as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during the Second World War. The General first visited Culzean Castle in 1946 and stayed there four times, including once while President of the United States. An Eisenhower exhibition occupies one of the rooms, with mementoes of his lifetime. The Ayrshire (Earl of Carrick's Own) Yeomanry, a British Yeomanry Cavalry Regiment, was formed by The Earl of Cassillis at Culzean Castle in about 1794. On 24 June 1961, the regiment returned to the castle to be presented with its first guidon by General Sir Horatius Murray KBE CB DSO.

To the north of the castle is a bay containing the Gas House, which provided town gas for the castle up until 1940. This group of buildings consists of the Gas Manager's house (now containing an exhibition on William Murdoch), the Retort House and the remains of the gasometer. There are sea caves beneath the castle which are currently not open to visitors, although there are plans to turn them into a museum.

The castle is available for accommodation and wedding ceremonies. The castle was used as the ancestral home of Lord Summerisle (played by Christopher Lee) in the 1973 film The Wicker Man . The Most Haunted team lead by Yvette Fielding, Karl Beattie and medium Derek Acorah explored Culzean Castle's paranormal stories and reported sightings of ghosts for an episode of the first series, broadcast on Living TV in 2002.

Building Activity

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