Monday, October 19, 2015

Braidstane Castle, Ayrshire, home of the Ulster Montgomeries

Braidstane Castle (detailed Wikipedia entry here), nowadays Anglicised in neighbouring farms as 'Broadstone', is long-gone. Dismantled in the 1700s, all that remains now is a stone boundary wall. It's just a short drive from Gateside near Beith in north Ayrshire, along Reek Street, to a bend in the road that normally wouldnt cause a second glance unless you knew what was once there. For here, Con O'Neill and Hugh Montgomery lived it up for three days in 1604, celebrating Con's escape and impending Royal pardon from Montgomery's friend King James VI & I, and also celebrating vast amounts of County Down land which Montgomery was going to receive in return.

Here it is, named as 'Braidstam' in Blaeu's map of 1665, not quite as big as the neighbouring Montgomery castles of Hessilhead and Giffen.

Braidstam v1 1665 Braidstam v2 1665


Here it is again, on Andrew Armstrong's map of Ayrshire, circa 1775 (See here for full res version)

Broadstone 640 1775

Somebody has recently marked the site on Google Maps (link here)

Broadstone Farms Big Broadstone Farms 640

More to follow...