Loudoun Castle - Changing Roles
Loudoun Castle in Ayrshire, south-west of Glasgow, stands about a mile from Galston. It was the ancestral home of the Campbell family of Loudoun. The earliest four storey square tower with a battlement, probably built by the Craufurds, incorporated into the present ruins dates to either the 12th or 13th century. In 1601, the First Earl of Loudoun, Sir John Campbell, Chancellor of Scotland, erected additional buildings to the south of the old keep which were included in the later rebuilding.
Around 1811 the castle was rebuilt as a baronial palace for Flora Mure-Campbell, Countess of Loudoun and her husband the Second Earl of Moira. James and Robert Adam and Archibald Elliot were responsible for the architecture. It was one of the grandest mansions in the West of Scotland at the time. The castle with its ninety rooms was known as the "Windsor of Scotland". It was dominated by the main tower of which now, one solitary corner remains dramatically in place. The entrance hall was 70 feet by 30 feet and the Wallace Sword had place of honor on the east wall. The 10,000 volume library on the south front measured 100 feet in length and incorporated much of the 17th century extension. A Yew tree near the south front of Loudoun castle is reputed to be over 800 years old.
In 1941 a fire destroyed Loudoun Castle beyond repair and it was left as a ruin. It is still owned by the Campbell family and is not open to the public. A popular theme park is currently situated in the grounds surrounding the castle with rides and attractions, to suit all ages. The Park mascot Rory the Lion greets you as you enjoy ‘The Plough’, the biggest chairoplane on the planet, a classic ‘Old Timers’ car ride and ‘Twist and Shout’ rollercoaster. Other attractions include Jammy Dodgems, Pirate Swing Boats and Log Flumes. Admire some unusual and friendly animals up on ‘McDougals’ Rare Breeds Farm and exciting ‘Birds of Prey’ demonstrations. New to the park are 'Tubs' Water raft and an animal free Big Top.