Brodick Castle

Brodick Castle

Brodick Castle Details

  • Access: National Trust for Scotland
  • Condition: occupied
  • First build century: 13th
  • Closest To: Brodick
  • Grid Ref: NS016379
  • Last use century: 21st

Brodick Castle is built on an outcropping of land overlooking Brodick Bay on the east coast of the Isle of Arran, and has good views across the Firth of Clyde towards Ayrshire. It is a large multi-phase castle and mansion dating from the 15th to the 19th centuries, with substantial parts being built for the Earls of Arran in the 16th century.

The Isle of Arran was held by the Norse and then the Lords of the Isles until the mid 13th century, when it was annexed to the Crown of Scotland by Alexander III. With the expanding power of the Stewarts in the area, the King was happy for them to extend his realm, and it was a member of the Stewart family, Walter Balloch, who erected the first castle at Brodick. The form of this castle was rectangular, with a simple entrance facing east protected by a round tower to the north, and domestic buildings to the south. It can be assumed that further round towers existed at the corners. The castle was severely damaged in the 15th century, and the castle required significant rebuilding once it was granted to the Boyds and then Hamiltons. Part of this rebuilding involved the erection of a substantial tower house.

The castle was damaged in 1528, by the Campbells and Macleans, and in 1544 by the Earl of Lennox on behalf of King Henry VIII of England. It was extended and remodelled in the 1550s, only to be taken again in 1639 by the Campbells, and occupied by Cromwells troops in 1650, who built an artillery battery here. After the restoration, Brodick became a hunting retreat for the Hamiltons and saw no more military action. In 1958 it was given over to the National Trust for Scotland in lieu of death duties, and is open to the public for a fee, although the castle itself is only open in the summer months.

Official National Trust for Scotland page

HES Canmore database entry