Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Portencross Castle to reopen in October

It's nice to have news about a major heritage attraction soon to be opening just minutes away from my house! Portencross Castle in North Ayrshire is to reopen to the public after 650 years, following final renovation work carried out last week by Stone Engineering. The building has just undergone a 15 month restoration, and will be open for public access from October 3rd-13th. It is then hoped to be fully open in summer 2011.

The castle was one of the contenders for the BBC's "Restoration" series in 2004, in a programme produced by a friend of mine, Andrew Thompson, in which it came second. Following the programme the site was able to attract funding from various bodies including Historic Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

One of a pair of stone towers (the other is on the island of Little Cumbrae) designed to guard the Clyde waterway, and frequently visited by Robert II amongst others, for the last few years it has provided my family and myself with a quiet wee picnic spot. I can't believe they went to the bother of actually renovating the place for us, that's just awfully nice of them!

Just to add - Portencross is self-financing, and could really do with your cash! From its website:

Friends of Portencross Castle is very grateful for the vital support of the public by way of donations and attendance at fundraising events. If you would be willing to give more regular support, then please consider becoming a Guardian of Portencross Castle. Most of the Guardians pay small monthly amounts, as little as £2.50, by Bankers Standing Order. You could pay more if you wish. The income from small tegular payments is very valuable to the long term FOPC Business Plan and helps to safeguard the future of the castle as a high quality visitor attraction and cultural resource. Or you might prefer to make a one-off payment (currently £200), to become a Guardian for Life. Some people give this as an interesting and unusual gift for a special occasion.

In return you will receive:

* A Certificate of Guardianship.
* Entry in the Book of Guardians, to be kept in Portencross Castle, arranged according to birthday (year optional). In honour of your support, the flag will be flown above the castle each year on your birthday.
* Invitation to occasional special events, and priority
booking for other events.
* Regular informal newsletters.

To become a guardian visit and for more on the castle itself, visit

(With thanks to the Largs and Millport Weekly News)

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