Photos by The Castle Man.

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This week I swapped the landscape of West Wales for that of West Kilbride as I met up with Roger Masterton, aka The Castle Man and we headed off to Law Castle for an incredibly fun and creative photo shoot.

With my suitcase packed with a medieval style dress and my boot filled with props, gold leaf, mead, ale,wine and a frozen mallard, I named Malcolm I couldn’t help pondering over what to expect both from the magazine shoot and indeed the castle.

When I first saw the castle I was delighted with its unspoilt façade, but nothing could compare to the awe inspiring interior. Yes, there was no doubt that the Castle Man had done it again and found the perfect location for a medieval inspired photo-shoot. If only the walls could talk…for this castle would have a lot to say.

 

Law Castle was built to celebrate the marriage of James II   of Scotland’s daughter Princess Mary and Thomas Boyd, the first Earl of Arran. A true fairytale building, Law Castle is a Grade A listed keep, or tower house, steeped in history that stretches back further than its construction by Boyd for his wife-to-be. As a groom with a romantic vision, ( or at least of keeping his spouse sweet), he simply replaced an existing pile, circa 1468, with an elegantly styled new-build. Later, Major Hugh Bontine, Oliver Cromwell’s appointed Master of Horse in Scotland, bought Law Castle in 1670, but it was later abandoned and fell into a state of disrepair.

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Today, this imposing mid-15th-Century tower is once again a grand residence fit for a Princess after a careful restoration process which has seen the castle transformed into one of Scotland’s most luxurious and exclusive holiday homes, boasting modern additions such as a helicopter-landing pad and under-floor heating and stately four-poster beds.

On the ground floor, there are two vaulted rooms; one a bedroom with a distinctive en-suite bathroom constructed out of stone, and the other a utility room. The first floor houses the kitchen and The Great Hall, a space which was once used to host court trials – such as that of Lord Kilmarnock who was accused of kidnapping King James – before guilty parties were dispatched to the prison behind the castle’s flagstone trap door.

A throne-like chair, embroidered in Latin with the inscription, “Nothing great is achieved without effort” bears testimony to the hard work that the owners David and Kate Hutton have invested into the renovation and continued upkeep of Law Castle and they have done a wonderful job of successfully renovating without detracting from the history of this unique property.

When the day of the photo-shoot arrived Roger and I were up bright and early to prep before the team from Hot Rum Cow Magazine arrived. As Roger lit the candles in the Grand Hall I prepared everything from buttered beer sauce to quails eggs. When the team arrived the fun began and we spent the next hours talking about the history of the castle, Medieval food and indeed getting lots of photographs. I can’t wait to see the article next month and as I drove home through the night I knew it was a job well done and well worth the effort.

If you want to find out more information or book Law Castle for an overnight stay, weekend or a week, visit www.celticcastles.com

 

 

 

 

About Seren Charrington-Hollins

ABOUT SEREN-CHARRINGTON-HOLLINS Describing my work through just one job title is difficult; because my professional life sees me wear a few hats: Food Historian, period cook, broadcaster, writer and consultant. I have a great passion for social and food history and in addition to researching food history and trends I have also acted as a consultant on domestic life and changes throughout history for a number of International Companies. In addition to being regularly aired on radio stations; I have made a number of television appearances on everything from Sky News through to ITV’s Country House Sunday, Holiday of a Lifetime with Len Goodman , BBC4’s Castle’s Under Siege, BBC South Ration Book Britain; Pubs that Built Britain with Hairy Bikers and BBC 2’s Inside the Factory. Amongst other publications my work has been featured in Period Living Magazine, Telegraph, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Great British Food Magazine and I write regularly for a variety of print and online publications. I am very fortunate to be able to undertake work that is also my passion and never tire of researching; recreating historical recipes and researching changing domestic patterns. Feel free to visit my blog, www.serenitykitchen.com