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Thomaston Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland

This is my country,
The land that begat me,
These windy spaces
Are surely my own.
And those who toil here
In the sweat of their faces
Are flesh of my flesh
And bone of my bone.
--Sir Alexander Gray

JOHN MCILVANE succeeded his father, Patrick, as Laird of Grimmet in 1613. By marrying Jane Anne Corry (also spelled Corrie), he brought Thomaston Castle and estate into the family. Thomaston was originally built by a nephew of Robert the Bruce.

Thomas Corry de Kelwood, had a charter from James IV dated 12, January 1507, for the lands of Thomaston and several others. He had a charter from James V in 1517 for the lands of Newly and Clonlothry .Thomas Corry , along with David Crawford of Keirs, was fined 100 pounds for not entering Bargany for the slaughter of the young Laird of Attiquin in 1512. The lands of Thomaston passed eventually to George Corry of Kelwood, who was served heir to his father, John, on 30 March, 1610. In George's will, it states that his son having died, his daughter Ann was heiress. The heads of the family retained the title of Laird of Grimmet but always thereafter lived at Thomaston.

Thomaston is located close to Maybole and Culzean Castle in Ayrshire. Originally built in the 13th century probably by Thomas Bruce, a nephew of Robert the Bruce, it was later extended with a tower house in the 16th century when it was then owned by the Corries of Kelwood. It later passed by marriage to the MacIlvaines of Grimmet who held the castle for a century.

Around 1800 it was abandoned and today its shell is remarkably intact except for some of the upper features. The tower would have had 3 storeys and a garret. The basement contained 4 chambers including a kitchen and wine cellar from where access could be gained to the hall above. Thomaston Castle as it exists today is located west of Maybole on A719 just south of the entrance to Culzean Castle. Thomaston was originally built by a nephew of Robert the Bruce.

From the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (NS 2399 0953) Thomaston Castle (NR) (remains of) OS 1:10000 map (1972)
Thomaston Castle is L-shaped on plan with a lengthy main block and short wing, having a square stair-tower in the re-entrant angle. The rubble walls rise three storeys to a corbelled parapet; the garret storey above has disappeared. An arched pend through the wing basement gave access to a former courtyard to the S. Although it is traditionally said to have been built by Thomas Bruce, nephew of Robert I, the present structure is clearly of 16th century date, probably being erected after the Corry family of Kelwood obtained the property in 1507. D MacGibbon and T Ross 1889; N Tranter 1965

The remains of Thomaston Castle are in fair condition, several large holes being knocked through the walls and the interior covered with trees and debris; a modern hay loft has been erected adjoining its N wall. The castle stands on a large mound and to the W and S a wide, slight ditch or hollow is visible. There is no trace of a courtyard or any buildings to the S of the castle. Visited by OS (JD) 3 December 1955

Thomaston Castle is generally as described in the previous field report. The mound on which it stands is a natural rise, and the ditch, which is very slight, may also be natural. Visited by OS (RD) 7 March 1967

No change to the previous reports. Revised at 25". Visited by OS (JRL) 31 May 1977.

NS 239 096 Installation of a services pipeline exposed parts of the outer works of a castle of c 1500 (NMRS NS 20 NW 1), including two revetted former burn courses, a probable barmkin wall and remains of one or more substantial structures within. A report will be lodged with the NMRS. Sponsor: National Trust for Scotland T Addyman 1998 Sits on a farm, on the edge of Culzean Country Park in Ayrshire. (NS236096)

Thomaston is a 16th century L-plan, with a square stair tower in the angle. It rises to three storeys and once had a garret and corbelled parapet. The ground floor has four vaulted chambers, one of which was the kitchen, a private stair links another with the hall above. The courtyard was entered through an arched pend in the wing.

It was probably built by the Corry family after they obtained the property in 1507. It passed through marriage to the MacIlvanes of Grimmet in 1632, who remained in possession until the middle of the 18th century. Thomaston is not open to the public but can be seen from the road (A719).

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