Bob Marshall

Illustration & Multimedia

A reconstruction illustration of Ardrossan Castle (1520)

Ardrossan Castle

Illustrated reconstruction (c.1520)

A reconstruction illustration of Ardrossan Castle (1520)

Ardrossan Castle

Illustrated cutaway reconstruction (c.1520)

A reconstruction illustration of Ardrossan Castle (1520)

Ardrossan Castle

Illustrated cutaway reconstruction (c.1520)

Ardrossan Castle

Reconstruction illustrations

A series of illustrations depicting Ardrossan Castle on the west coast of Scotland. This is how the castle possibly looked around 1520 after it had undergone significant structural alteration. The castle, which has been ruinous since the seventeenth century, is sited on a raised headland overlooking the Firth of Clyde. The original shoreline came very close the base of the castle providing useful access by boat. Over the centuries the waterline receded and formed a series of inches or scares. These created a natural harbour on which the modern town of Ardrossan and its railway station and ferry port is built on.

In 1520 the castle essentially comprised of two, two storey towers with a small courtyard in the centre enclosed by fairly substantial curtain walls. The original keep and gatehouse to the north was heavily modified - its main gateway was blocked in and a gunloop added. The entrance was probably moved around to the east to a postern gate.

Ardrossan Castle postern gate
Postern gate
A postern on the east side of the castle likely replaced the original, and much larger gate on the North side of the castle which was later blocked in. The smaller entrance would have been less obvious to attackers and a bit easier to defend since the ground slopes away steeply on this side. The postern gate was probably protected by an iron yett mounted on large pintels behind a solid wooden door. The parapet walk immediately above this would have provided additional security.

A mezzanine floor was possibly added between the ground and first floors of the original keep. To the south is a second tower (built later) with kitchens in a vaulted room on the ground floor of which there is visible evidence left in the ruin. A hall probably occupied the first floor with a second floor garret above this. To the north west are the remains of steep subterranean steps leading down to a well - the castle's water supply.

Ardrossan Castle well
The castle's well
A subterranean well at the North West corner of the castle protected the castle's water supply. Steps led down to the well from the west range. The cutaway illustration above shows roughly how this might have looked.
The remains of Ardrossan Castle
Remains of Ardrossan Castle
Image courtsey of Ardrossan Castle Heritage Society.

I wish to acknowledge Rathmell Archaeology, Dr. David Caldwell, Historic Scotland and ACHS for their assistance and guidance with this project.

Artist: Bob Marshall
Client: Ardrossan Castle Heritage Society
Image Copyright © Ardrossan Castle Heritage Society / Charles Ross 2014/2015

Location:

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