North Ayrshire Heritage Trails
North Ayrshire Heritage Trails

North Ayrshire Heritage Trails

Irvine Cross

North Ayrshire Heritage Trails

North Ayrshire Heritage Trails

Cunninghame House from the Low Green.

North Ayrshire Heritage Trails

North Ayrshire Heritage Trails

Low Green, Irvine, birthplace of George Henry.

Irvine - Explore a medieval New Town

Seagate Castle, Town House of the Earls of Eglinton, 16th Century

This is the third version of Seagate Castle on this site. The first would have been constructed of wood and is mentioned in 1184 as "castello de Hirun".

The second castle was built in the second half of the 13th century in the form of a stone tower, to protect the harbour next to it at the time. This was part of Alexander III's fortification plan for Scotland.

This final castle, really a fortified mansion house, was built in 1565 by Hugh Montgomerie, 3rd Earl of Eglinton. This was the town house for Hugh and his wife Agnes Drummond. Their family arms can be seen on the ceiling bosses inside the front doorway.

Hugh and Agnes had married in 1562 and had their son the following year. 1563 was a meaningful year for them as they were visited by Mary Queen of Scots when she spent the night of 1 August at Eglinton Castle. We can only imagine if there was baby talk between the Queen and Agnes as Mary was unmarried and without children at that time.

Anyway, Seagate was abandoned as a residence in the 1740s and became a haunt of smugglers and thieves. It was gifted to Irvine Burgh in 1945 by its then owner Mrs Jessie Walker and is now owned by North Ayrshire Council.

Useful websites

Rear view of Seagate Castle.
Seagate Castle as it is today.
Seagate Castle in the 1960s.

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