Scheduled Monument

Dunure Castle and dovecotSM6105

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (


Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Secular: castle; doocote, dovecote, pigeon loft
Local Authority
South Ayrshire
NS 25239 15822
225239, 615822


The monument comprises the substantial remains of a medieval castle spanning the 14th-17th centuries, and an associated 16th-century dovecot to the E.

The castle occupies a rocky coastal promontory. Its remains consist essentially of two elements: an upper ward of irregular shape at the seaward end of the promontory, containing a once-tall tower and associated buildings, and a lower ward on the landward side, containing ranges of buildings on two or more storeys. The structures in the upper ward are very ruinous; the buildings in the lower ward, whilst dilapidated, are more entire with several stone vaults intact. The dovecot to the E is of the circular beehive type.

The area to be scheduled includes all the upstanding castle walls, the associated archaeological levels, and the dovecot, but excludes all railings and fences. The area to be scheduled also includes an area around, in which traces of activities associated with the monuments' construction and use may survive. The area measures a maximum of 120m NE-SW by 100m, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it represents the substantial ruins of a significant medieval castle belonging to one of the most powerful of Ayrshire families, the Kennedys. The upstanding castle remains, dating probably to the 14th ' 17th centuries, present a good example of the changes in noble residential accommodation through the Middle Ages. The archaeological potential of the monument is also particularly high. The monument is also a very powerful architectural element in the open landscape of this part of the Ayrshire coastline.



RCAHMS records the monument as NS 21 NE 8.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.

Scheduling is the way that a monument or archaeological site of national importance is recognised by law through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments of national importance using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The additional information in the scheduled monument record gives an indication of the national importance of the monument(s). It is not a definitive account or a complete description of the monument(s). The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief and some information will not have been recorded. Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 26/04/2019 08:55