Categorized | Largs History

Famous Ayrshire Clans

A total of 14 notable and famous clans call Ayrshire home, or their origins were founded there. Clan Boyd, whose origins stem back to the Battle of Largs against the Viking invasion, find base here. Sir Robert, a notable progenitor, was a commander in Robert the Bruce’s army against the English. He was rewarded with lands that later evolved to include many castles in the area of Kilmarok, Girvan, the areas of Portencross, and other parts of the county.

Then there are the Boyles, whose primary residence was the Kelburn Castle. They were descendants of Anglo Norman soldiers and knights who migrated in after the Norman conquest of England. The Bruces originated in Normandy, and were host to some of the most notable kings of Scotland. Robert The Bruce, the most famous one, was Annandales 7th lord and led the army against the English after the death of William Wallace. This line died out in 1371 with the death of his son David, who was 11. A clan who backed Robert the Bruce in his conquests, the Campbells, were gaining much wealth and notoriety, much land in Argyle, and the marriage to one of Bruce’s sisters.

The Cathcarts, originally supported the first King Edward, under Williams rule. His son Alan later became a supporter of the Bruces and their battles. Another clan of Norman origin were the Craufurds. Sir Reginald was placed in the position of Ayr Sheriff. His sister and a man from Elderlisle by the name of Wallace, mated and produced one of the most legendary heroes of all time, William Wallace. Cunninghams were also Bruce supporters, and built Kerlaw Castle. They stem back to the battle of Largs, as well.

Clan Hamilton built Cadzow Castle after switching sides from the English to support Robert the Bruce at the battle of Sterling. The Hunters, who currently own a castle open to the public a day out of each year, were a part of the Largs viking Battle, and were anti-English when the uprisings started around 1300. A clan with origins in the Fergus family, the Kennedys, were connectioned to the Irish dating as far back as 1014, when battles against vikings were happening. Originally Norman, the Lockharts moved into the area after losing their lands during William the Conquerors conquests. Ayrshire and Lanarkshire became their home, and Symon, son of Stephen, was knighted for his support of Robert the Bruce.

Having come from Liseux, the Montgomerys were thought to be Norman. They were Bruce supporters, and were also notable for having a blood feud with the Cunningham’s over the mutual deaths of family members. The Muirs existed alongside the Bruces, and Roberts Grandchild, Robert the 2nd, married into the Muir family through Elizabeth, Sir Adams daughter, in 1346. Then, of course, come the Wallaces. House to the most famous patriot of the country, they exist in about every historical text mentionable of the time.

Take a look deeper into the history, especially if you share Scottish blood. You may be surprised, and most definitely proud of what you find if you do.

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