Drone Survey: Greenan Castle, Ayr – Article and Video

The remains of Greenan Castle can be found on the western coastline of Ayrshire in the south west of Scotland. The ruins lay on the edge of a cliff face. I have created a short video looking at this castle, going through the structure and estimating what it may have looked like before its current dilapidated state.

Greenan castle was constructed on a much older fortification. The exact date is not clear, but some time in the fifteenth century the Tower House that can be seen today was constructed. In 1603 the castle was remodelled, adding various elements to the structure including a new entrance at ground level. Engravings can be found on the lintel of the new entrance suggesting the owners and date of completion of these renovations.

Below you can see an overhead shot of the building with the stairwell to the bottom right of the photograph. This turnpike stairwell would have allowed access to all levels. The building took the traditional form. The basement was a vaulted storage area, the Great Hall was on the first floor with accommodation above.

You can see the bricked up repairs which have been carried out to make safe the walls. The south-west gable end, stands to its original height, which can be seen here. The original access to the tower was via an external wooden stair to the first floor, with the ground level entrance being created at a later date.


From this picture you can see mechanical restraint has been utilised as a structural repair to restrain the decaying masonry walls. The tie bar providing this restraint has since snapped.


Below is my rough sketch of what the tower house may have looked like given what we know already about the building. The wall beside it would have been an enclosure which would have housed all the ancillary buildings associated with such a settlement. Such a settlement could have included the likes of a brewhouse, bakehouse, kitchen and stables.


The north-east section of the upper storeys are missing, but the castle still has the remains of round turrets at each corner so we can infer what it may have looked like originally. The walls of the structure are showing signs of decay with the inappropriate us of cement mortars.


The castle was great to visit but it must be stressed this is a dangerous location with a recent accident in 2012 ending in a fatality with someone falling from the cliff edge.


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