Rich in history, and with a magnificent scenic outlook, Portencross Castle is reputed to have been the last mainland resting place for the bodies of former Scottish kings from the times of Kenneth MacAlpine until the reign of Malcolm Canmore.
Situated overlooking the Firth of Clyde near West Kilbride town centre, it is a scheduled ancient monument, a recognition of its national importance. Portencross has been inhabited for thousands of years. An archaeological dig found evidence of an Iron Age settlement on Auldhill, just behind Portencross Castle.
Portencross Castle was constructed in three phases starting around 1360. The lands around Portencross were given to the Boyds of Kilmarnock by King Robert I as a reward for their help at the Battle of Bannockburn. A number of Royal Charters were signed at the castle and it had close links with King Robert II during that period.
After the 1600s, it was occupied by local fishermen. The roof was destroyed in a gale in January 1739. By the 20th century, the Adams of Auchenames owned the castle. It became a scheduled ancient monument in 1955.
Portencross Castle underwent major building conservation works during 2009 and 2010 all thanks to the fund-raising efforts of the local community of Portencross and through generous donations from various organisations and the public.
Only a short distance from the castle, visitors can access West Kilbride shore. For wildlife enthusiasts, sea viewing can be rewarding with seals often seen swimming or resting on rocks. Black Guillemot, Oystercatchers and Cormorants are just some of the seabirds which can be seen. Stonechat, Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler inhabit the scrub and the escarpment has breeding Fulmar and Buzzard.