#173 Baltersan Castle
Near Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland

This is NOT an official Lego site

It appears that the castle (and it's owners) were never involved in any sort of national or international conflicts...BUT the local intrigue is well...intriguing!  Much of the land in the Maybole area was apparently in the possession of the Roman Catholic Church, specifically the Crossraguel Abbey.  When the Protestant Reformation swept through Scotland about 1560, the Abbey was partially destroyed by order of the Scottish Privy Council.  The Abbot, Quintin Kennedy, son of the noble 2nd Earl of Cassillis, remained in office, challenging John Knox to a public disputation, which lasted three days and was inconclusive.  When Kennedy died in 1564, the Abbot was replaced by a Commendator named Alan Stewart.  Stewart was soon seized by Gilbert Kennedy, the 4th Earl of Cassillis, and a "werry griedy manne and cairitt nocht how he gatt land".  Kennedy was, of course, the nephew of the recently deceased Abbot.  Stewart was imprisoned and either "roasted alive over fire" or boiled in sop, depending on the source you read, and thus forced to sign over the Abbey's lands to Earl Gilbert.  The Commendator was eventually rescued, resulting in a feud between the Earls of Cassillis and the Lairds of Bargany which lasted at least 50 years.
The castle was built by David Kennedy of Pennyglen, a farm about 6 miles from Baltersan.  While the Earls of Cassillis often named their sons David, none appears to have been living when Baltersan was built, so David Kennedy of Pennyglen was presumably a cousin or similar relative to the Earls.  The castle is an L-plan of four storys, an attic and a garret.  The entrance is in the re-entrant angle, in the stair wing.  The basement is vaulted, and the turnpike stair reaches both the first and second stories.  The upper floors are reached by a smaller turnpike stair corbelled out in the re-entrant angle.  The kitchen and cellars were in the basement, with the Hall on the main floor.  A second mural turnpike stair, in the southwest corner, connects the Hall with second and third floor bedrooms.  The castle originally featured gardens and orchards.  The castle passed to the Kennedys of Culzean in 1656, and then into the hands of Captain Hugh Arbuthnot in 1721.  However, by the middle of the 18th century, the castle was said to be in ruins, becoming slightly more precarious with each passing decade.  A plan by Peter Sturrock, ex-provost of Kilmarnock, to restore the castle in the 19th century fell through.  Hopefully the current owner, James Brown, will eventually succeed in restoring the castle.  He has owned it for almost 30 years, and has withstood numerous governmental roadblocks including archeological and local traffic concerns.  He has done extensive removal and archiving of reusable stone and artifacts.
This is an old dated picture
of the ruin.  Very little has
changed since then...
This etching looks like it should
have come from Coventry's
'Castles of Scotland', but it


Ground Floor Plan First Floor Plan Second Floor Plan Third Floor Plan Fourth Floor Plan
North Elevation
(courtesy of Morris &
Steedman Architects,
West Elevation, with
cross-section of the
main block
This is a painting by the current
owner, James Brown.  I do not know
if it depicts the castle in 1590, or
his vision for its future (or both).


Photos of the Lego Model
Under construction in late August - early September, 2019
Construction of the model
begins on the morning of
August 30.
Within the first couple of hours
the tower is not only laid out...
...but the doorway and ground
level windows and gun-ports
are all in place!
At the end of day 1, the First
Floor has not only been designed
but laid out in Lego.
Here's another angle on
August 30 - perhaps the
only view tof the main stair.
On August 31, building has
progressed through the
main floor.
Here is the view of the
Hall, before the floor beams
are added.
As August ends, the wood
beams are in place, ready
for the second floor.
On September 1 the Hall
ceiling is added, and the
second floor is begun.
Wait.  There's a light in the
Hall.  Could someone be home?
The next day (Labor Day
2019 in the USA), the
corbelled turnpike stair has
a window,...
...And the second story
is complete.
Soon the corner bartizans will
appear, along with the
third floor.
Well, soon turned out to be later the same
day.  It took some substitution of round
white plates to find the right combination.
Here is a close-up of the
base of one of the pair of
corner bartizans.
On Tuesday, September
3, several more layers
were added...
...along with appropriate
windows.  Next: The Roof!
On Here


Photos of the Lego Model
Built August 30 - September 8, 2019
Here is the completed
model of Baltersan.
The WNW view gives
a really nice view of
the classic L-plan.
The west view. The windows of the
secondary spiral stair
are noteworthy.
The south view.
I hope this nice tower
is eventually restored!
The view from the
The east view highlights
several intriguing features
of this tower!
The northeast angle
emphasizes the cap-
house room.
This and the next picture
are looks at the roofline...
...often one of the most
challenging parts of a
Scottish castle build!


Build Your Own
Lego Roof Plan
West Elevation
North Elevation
East Elevation
South Elevation

Other Baltersan Castle pages:

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Castles created by Robert Carney
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Robert Carney