NS 364-345 Ayrshire Scotland
Dundonald Castle was originally a late Iron Age hill fort, which had a series of timber structures and a vitrified rampart. In the early to mid 12th century Walter fitz Allan, 1st Steward of Scotland founded an earthwork motte and bailey fortress on the hill. In the mid 13th century, Alexander Stewart founded a stone enclosure castle, which crowned the hill with a high curtain wall, flanked by two apposing twin-towered gatehouses and four round towers. In the early 14th century, the castle was slight during the Wars of Independence with England, only to be rebuilt by King Robert II in the 1370s, to mark his succession to the throne of Scotland. Incorporating the remains of the west gatehouse, he built a large rectangular three storey tower house, with halls on the first and second floors, both with huge pointed barrel-vaulted ceilings. In the early 15th century, King James I added an accommodation wing to the south wall of the tower house and encased the inner and outer courts with a barmkin wall. In the mid 16th century, William Wallace had materials removed from this royal castle, to the build Auchans House. 4 miles south-east is Craigie Castle and 8 miles north is Chapel Hill.
Dundonald Castle is located in the village centre, off Winehouse Yett. 13 miles north of Ayr, on the A77-A730.
The site is owned by Historic Scotland and is freely accessible in daylight hours. The visitor centre and castle tours are open daily, April to October 10:00-5:00pm, group visits can be booked outside these times.
There is a car park.