Dan Castle

Dean Road


NGR - NS 437394


Dean Castle is now the property of East Ayrshire Council, having been
presented to Kilmarnock Town Council by the late Lord Howard de Walden. It sits in a country park. The castle is open to the public. Please check council website for opening times - Dean Castle webpage

Dean Castle


In the seventeenth century Dean Castle was used as a garrison for soldiers who
were employed in hunting down Covenanters. In 1667, after the Battle of Rullion
Green and the Pentland Rising, General Tam Dalziel was stationed here, his Ayrshire
headquarters. He is known to have fined locals considerably, it being calculated
that he took around 50,000 merks in fines. Dalziel was something of a despot in
the district, and tortured Covenanters in a prison cell in the town which was
known locally as the ‘Thieves’ Hole’. One who was held there was so seriously ill
that his relatives pleaded with Dalziel to allow him to return home to die. This was
granted, on the understanding that the corpse should be returned. However, Dalziel
had the body placed in the cell where it was visible to locals who keeked
through the little window in the door.
At a later date, certainly by 1682, the castle was used as a garrison under
Captain John Inglis. His soldiers were known to have searched around Lochgoin,
home at the time of the Covenanting Howie family.