Featured image for Loudoun Castle

A Ruined Country House – Loudoun Castle

Loudoun Castle is an impressive yet ruined 19th-century country house not far from Glaston in the Loudon area of Ayrshire, Scotland. These romantic yet eery ruins are protected as a category A listed building. Once a grand building, it was not long ago destroyed by fire leaving it roofless with only its walls still standing.

The history of Loudoun Castle

Loudon Castle was once situated right in the centre of a theme park. However, the theme park has since been abandoned and left to ruin, just like the castle. This impressive ruinous castle was long held by the Campbells of Loudoun who occupied the castle for a long while.

Even though Loudoun Castle only has a short history, this castle is certainly interesting.

The early history

Part of the castle was built back in the 15th century with more being added in the 17th century. Loudoun Castle is the former home of the Mure-Campbell family who held the castle for a long time. It was in 1804, upon the marriage of Flora Mure-Campbell, 6th Countess of Loudoun, to Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 2nd Earl of Moira (later Marquess of Hastings) that it became the home of the Rawdon-Hastings family.

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Loudoun Castle in 1890. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The Hastings family

Loudoun Castle was in the ownership of Edith Rawdon-Hastings. However, the ownership encountered a change once more on the death of Sir Charles Abney-Hastings, 2nd Baronet. In Edith’s inheritance, there was a stated condition from Sir Charles, a natural grandson of the 10th Earl of Huntingdon, also brother of Lady Edith’s grandmother that by Royal Licence and Act of Parliament, whoever inherited the estate of the Abney family would have to take on the surname of Abney-Hastings.

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Edith Rawdon-Hastings. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The present castle

The present castle, which we still see parts of today, was built for Flora. The plans of Loudoun Castle were drawn up in the year 1805 by the architect known as Archibald Elliot. Some say that the estimate suggests that improvements to the castle between 1805 and 1811 cost well over £100,000. This would be over £3,500,000 in today’s money.

The plantations

Around the castle, there are beautiful plantations comprised of a large variety of trees. Many of the trees were bought in from America by John, fourth earl of Loudoun, who was governor of Virginia in 1756 and who during his military services, in various parts of the world sent home every kind of valuable tree he met with.

The present day

In 1942, Loudoun Castle was burned down leaving it only a roofless ruin with walls. Then, in 1995, a theme park opened around the castle. However, in 2010, the theme park was permanently closed. With the castle in the middle of it all, you cannot get to it either. Nowadays, it has all been left to ruin.

Some people still try to access the grounds to see the castle. However, the owners ask that people stop this and respect their privacy. Due to the ruinous nature, it is dangerous to enter.

You may like other Scottish castles such as Drum Castle.

black and white image of Loudoun Castle
The entrance of the castle in 1890. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Loudoun Castle Timeline

  • 15th century- Part of the castle is built
  • 17th century- Extensions are added to the castle
  • 1804- Upon the marriage of Flora Mure-Campbell, 6th Countess of Loudoun, to Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 2nd Earl of Moira (later Marquess of Hastings) the castle becomes the home of the Rawdon-Hastings family
  • 1805- The castle’s plans are drawn up by the architect known as Archibald Elliot
  • 1811- The castle’s renovations are complete
  • 1942- Loudoun Castle is burned down
  • 1995- A theme park opens around the castle
  • 2010- The theme park and castle permanently closes

Loudoun Castle facts

  • Improvements to the castle between 1805 and 1811 cost well over £100,000 which would be over £3,500,000 in today’s money
  • The library at the front of the castle was 100 feet in length
  • The castle had over 90 apartments
  • The trees surrounding the castle were bought in from America by John, fourth earl of Loudoun, who during his military services in various parts of the world sent home every kind of valuable tree he met with
  • The castle fell victim to fire in 1942 and became a roofless ruin

Who owns Loudoun Castle?

In 1995, the land the castle is situated on was purchased by a company based in London. Now, it is owned by Henk Bembom’s Parkware Ltd. Bembom purchased the park in 2002 and invested around £5m during his first year there, followed by an additional £2m in the second.

It is unknown what he wants to do with the theme park and castle now.

Tourism

Since the castle and theme park closed in 2010, there has been no way to visit the castle. Due to all the trees, it is also very hard to see in. However, nearby you can see Culzean Castle, Goatfell, Great Cumbrae, and Dean Castle Country Park.

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