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#1 User is offline   Gordon 

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 04:19 AM

From AH Millar 'The Castles and Mansions of Ayrshire' 1885

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AS early as the year 1080 there was a Norman Hunter settled on the coast of Ayrshire opposite the Cumbraes, one of the Anglo-Normans who had come northward in the train of David I, and who doubtless gave his name to the lands which his descendants have continued to hold down to the present hour. Deriving his surname from his office, "Praefectus Venatorum Regiorum," he must have been one of the first residents in Scotland who bore an appellation continued to his descendants. His office of royal forester became hereditary, the last mention of it being made in a charter granted by James V, dated 3 1 st May 1527, by which the Little Cumbrae was conferred on Robert Hunter of Hunterston and his heirs, in respect that his ancestors had been the hereditary keepers of the island. As early as 1116 the name of William Hunter occurs as witness on an inquisition by David, Prince of Cumbria, regarding lands pertaining to the Church of Glasgow. Aylmer de la Hunter appears in the Ragman Roll, 1296. In the family archives, in excellent preservation, is a charter that was granted by Robert II to William Hunter in 1374. From a younger son of the house in the seventeenth century were descended the Hunters of Long Calderwood - a branch of the family which produced Dr John Hunter the anatomist, his brother William, the founder of the Hunterian Museum at Glasgow, and Joanna Baillie, the poetess.

The ancient seat of the Hunters was originally in the form of a parallelogram, having its entrance to the westward, its eastern front resting upon the borders of a morass. The greater part of this fortalice has entirely disappeared, a farm-steading now occupying a portion of its site - the only remains of the old stronghold being the massive square tower, in perfect preservation, which formed its north-eastern extremity; to the southward, and attached to it, is the former dwellinghouse, the cottage shewn in the illustration being on the northern side. The new manor-house, a plain building of four stories, erected about eighty years ago, has an elegant interior, and is now being considerably altered and enlarged. Amongst many fine trees which surround the castle, a giant ash, known as the "Resting Tree," is specially worthy of mention.

By his marriage with Christian Macknight, eldest daughter of William Macknight Crawfurd of Cartsburn, County of Renfrew, Mr Hunter, dying in 1880, left two daughters - Jane and Eleanora. He was succeeded by his elder daughter, Jane, who in 1863 married Lieut.Colonel Gould Weston, a direct descendant of the ancient Staffordshire family of that name, seated at Weston- under- Lyzard in the reign of Henry II. This officer distinguished himself in the Indian service by extirpating the Thugs and Decoits who infested the kingdom of Oudh, and earned the praises of Outram. for his skill and bravery during the siege and at the capture of Lucknow. In conformity with the provisions of the Hunterston entail, Lieut. - Colonel Weston assumed in 1880, under Royal Licence, the additional surname and arms of Hunter of Hunterston. Lieut. -Colonel Hunter-Weston has two sons - Aylmer Gould, born in 1864, a lieutenant in the Royal Engineers; and Reginald Hugh, born in 1869. The late Mrs Cochran-Patrick, wife of R. W Cochran-Patrick of Woodside and Ladyland, county Ayr, the eminent archaeologist and M.P. for North Ayrshire, was the younger daughter of the late Mr Hunter.

The famous "Hunterston Brooch was discovered in 1826 on this estate at the foot of the Hawking Craig. It is undoubtedly the finest fibula ever found in Scotland, and is the only one known to exist in this country bearing runes. The possessions of this family were formerly far more considerable, including Holy Isle near Arran, the little Cumbrae, and lands in the counties of Ayr, Bute, Lanark, and Forfar, now of very considerable value. Hunterston is beautifully wooded, and the garden near the old Castle, notable alike for its size and antiquity, contains some evergreens and shrubs of great size and beauty.



From Canmore

Quote

NS15SE 1 19285 51471

(NS 19285 51471) Hunterston Castle (NR)
OS 6" map (1970).

NMRS REFERENCE
Early 19th Century.

EXTERNAL REFERENCE
Mitchell Library: Graham, Wm, Volume I, c.1870. Photographs P.73

(Undated) information in NMRS.

Hunterston Castle was originally situated in an area of marsh, and was defended by a moat and rampart, all of which have now disappeared. It now consists of a rectangular, 16th century, keep, three storeys aand a garret high. A 17th century addition extends to the S, with modern work to the W, the whole forming three sides of a courtyard. The early addition is two storeys and an attic in height, part of it is still occupied.
The building is in excellent preservation, having been renovoated by the late laird General Sir Aylmer Hunter-Weston. The Hunters of Hunterston claim to have been settled here for almost 800 years.
D MacGibbon and T Ross 1889; N Tranter 1965

Hunterston Castle is generally as described. The ground floor of the keep has been converted into a garage by the building of double doors in the N wall.
Visited by OS (DS) 10 September 1956

No change. There is no ground evidence of former earthworks in the vicinity of the castle.
Visited by OS (JRL) 13 December 1982.

NS 1929 5148 In May 2001 an archaeological watching brief was undertaken during site works around Hunterston Castle (NMRS NS15SE 1). The ground was to be reduced by 0.3m and covered with bark chips. On the E side of the castle little was noted as the topsoil was not fully removed in most places. On the N side a demolition layer from the destruction of a modern cottage was noted. On the W side a wall, approximately 1.35-1.40m thick, was noted. It was constructed from large irregularly shaped sandstone blocks and rocks, with a central rubble core. The wall was mortared and set in a shallow foundation trench approximately 0.2m deep. The western extreme of the wall was not located. The archaeological investigation was limited as the wall was remaining in situ, however it appeared that it was later than the castle tower. (GUARD 1016).
Sponsor: John Wetten Brown (Architect) for Madam Pauline Hunter of Hunterston.
L H Johnstone 2001.


Architecture Notes


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
References
Close, R (1992 )
Ayrshire and Arran: an illustrated architectural guide,
R I A S / Landmark Trust series, {s.l.} (Edinburgh), 80-1,
Johnstone, L H (2001 )
'Hunterston Castle, North Ayrshire (West Kilbride parish), watching brief',
Discovery Excav Scot, 2, 2001, 70,
Lamb, J (1896 )
Annals of an Ayrshire parish: West Kilbride,
Glasgow,
MacGibbon and Ross, D and T (1887-92 )
The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries,
5v, Edinburgh, Vol.3, 194-6,
Tranter, N (1962-70 )
'The fortified house in Scotland',
Edinburgh, Vol.3, 37-8,


From Macgibbon & Ross

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Attached File  hunterston3.JPG (166.5K)
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Attached File  hunterston4.JPG (411.23K)
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The Castle's History @ Clan Hunter
A Photo Tour
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#2 User is offline   AJR 

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 07:34 AM

Thanks Gordon for another interesting topic. One of these days I really must settle down and do a few more pieces for the English castles forum.
A Library is Thought in Cold Storage
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#3 User is offline   AJR 

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 07:17 AM

Found this old postcard during my foray to Canterbury. It is postmarked 1914.

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