Culzean Castle, designed by Robert Adam, was built as a "bachelor pad" for David Kennedy, 10th Earl of Cassillis. Construction took place over a number of years between 1777 and 1792. However, the site was previously inhabited during medieval times, when a network of fortified caves were established below the present castle's clifftop location. During the 18th century the Firth of Clyde was a notorious centre of smuggling. Alcohol, tobacco and silks were brought over from Ireland and the Isle Of Man and the caves proved an ideal place for hiding the contraband from the Revenue. We cannot be sure whether the Kennedy family knew what was going on under their noses, but it seems likely that they did know, and that they were willing to turn a blind eye in return for a share of the profits. In 1945 General Dwight D. Eisenhower was gifted a suite of rooms at the top of the castle in a show of gratitute for his services during the Second World War. Eisenhower gratefully accepted, and visited the castle several times, including once after he became President of the USA. These apartments are now available for rent from the National Trust of Scotland. Culzean Castle has an intriguing collection of ghosts and paranormal phenomena, and once featured in the Most Haunted TV series. Spooky occurrences at the castle have included: the sound of bagpipes at a tree-lined walk called Piper's Brae, but no sign of anyone playing them; a misty shape moving up the oval staircase; the ghost of a woman in a ballgown; and the White Lady, thought to be the ghost of an ill-treated maid.
Map of the area.
Culzean and Mochrum Hill. Photo by Mary and Angus Hogg, via Wikimedia Commons