Masthead

Click on our Calendar to see events.

 

A GREAT LOSS

You may have noticed the Castle flag at half-mast last week. It was to honour the funeral of Margaret McKee. The FOPC Board would like to convey our deepest sympathy to Margaret’s family and all her friends. Margaret was one of the founders and long-term supporters of Friends of Portencross Castle. She passed away peacefully in the early hours of 20th December at Crosshouse Hospital. Her husband, Bobby, was also a very active supporter and FOPC Board member. Margaret and Bobby had three sons and eight grandchildren. They bought, renovated and lived in Farland House in Portencross. Margaret will be remembered as a graceful, intelligent and joyful woman who was eternally curious. She will be much missed.

 

2023 Christmas Card now available.

The popular image 'Portencross Castle in the Snow' has been reprinted and is on sale in packs of 8 for £5.

You can find it at West Kilbride Library (opning hours 10am - 1pm, and 2pm -5pm Monday Tuesday Thursday Friday; 10am - 12pm Saturday; closed Wednesday and Sunday). Also at the Barony Centre. Or contact Ann at 01294 823799 for local delivery or collection from Portencross.

(You can see the image on the Portencross Castle facebook page)

Dance Band Night Fundraiser: Fencbay: Saturday 16th September: 7.00pm

Fencebay 2023

'Craft in the Garden' Fundraiser: 12th/13th August: 11.00am-4.00pm

Craft in the Garden will be back in the marquee this year in the garden of South Bank House.

As usual a selection of quality original craftwork will be on sale along with teas and baking to be enjoyed in Audrey's beautiful garden.

Combine with a visit to the Castle for a perfect morning or afternoon out.

Proceeds help to run, maintain and develop Portencross Castle as a visitors centre.

Come see exibits and displays, 

meet friends,

buy some craftwork, 

enjoy tea, coffee and cakes, 

try for some great raffle prizes. 

Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th August, 11.00-4.00.

South Bank House, Portencross (just before the car park).


Portencross Castle Annual Art Sale 2023 - a look back

The art sale this year took place on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th June. Saturday was a fine day but, like last year, Sunday turned into a very wet afternoon. The sun came out around 4pm, just as the artists were collecting their work! However, 279 visitors came through over the two days, 107 exhibits were displayed.  The tea tent was also affected by the weather but, with the marquee shelter, was a much appreciated treat for the visitors. Altogether £1671, including £444 from the teas, was raised for Castle funds.

Many thanks are due to the large number of volunteers who helped to make this labour-intensive event possible. It takes a gang of strong backs to erect and then remove back to storage the marquee and the hanging system in the Great Hall. Many regular, and some new, helpers were needed to take in the paintings and oversee the exhibition. We even press-ganged a couple of passing strangers to help move the art works, human chain style, up the stairs in the Castle. And then the bakers and servers of the refreshments. It’s a real community effort and greatly appreciated.

Art show raffle prizeThis year’s raffle prize was a fine watercolour painting of Portencross Castle by the late Derek McLean, donated by Lesley Glen. 314 tickets were sold. The winning number was chosen by early visitors to the Castle when it opened on 1st July. Jane, Molly and Emily came from Clacton-on-Sea and were enjoying a holiday at Sandylands Holiday Park. Ticket 574 was the winner and belonged to Timothy Purdon from Kilmarnock (left), seen here with FOPC chairman Sinclair M olloy (right)and director Jim Craik.

Portencross Castle Annual Art Sale: 2023

Art Show Poster 2023The art sale this year will take place on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th June, 11.00am – 4.00pm both days, in Portencross Castle.

 

he main hall of the Castle will have a wide variety of art work on show, which you can purchase. The first prize in this year's raffle is a Derek McLean painting of Portencross Castle.

Te tea tent will be available also at Southbanks House.

Please feel free to share with your friends. You can download the picture opposite as an A4 poster.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Information for artists can be seen by clicking here.

 

 

West Kilbride Lottery Draw at the Castle

WK lottery draw at the CastleOn Sunday 16th April, Nigel Wanless and Adam Lennox supervised the latest draw of winning numbers for the West Kilbride Lottery. Graham Campbell, who is Portencross Castle’s senior steward, drew the numbers. The local organisers hold the prize draw at a different local venue every month to publicise the lottery and remind community groups about the availability of grants.

The first prize is £200 at the moment. One half of the lottery proceeds goes towards prizes. The other half is awarded in grants to support local community projects.

In the photo are Nigel and Graham (centre). On the right of the photo is Sinclair Molloy, who is the chairperson of Friends of Portencross Castle.

You can see a video on the West Kilbride Lottery Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/reel/174547098860652/?mibextid=rS40aB7S9Ucbxw6v). The page also gives information about the winners and details on how to enrol for the lottery. You can email for more details on informationwkb@gmx.com or ask to enrol by email on numberswkb@gmx.com.

Easter/Summer Opening 2023

CASTLE TIMES

The Castle will be open on the following dates for the 2023 season.

April/May/June: During the Easter Holidays, we will be open daily from Saturday 1st - Sunday 16th April. AFter that we will open every weekend until the end of June. We will also open on Mondays over the long weekend holidays in May.

July/August: Daily from Saturday 1st July until Thursday 31st August.

September: Weekends until Sunday 1st October.

CALENDAR CHECK

Please check the Castle Calendar (see link above) in case we are closed for weddings or other private events.

EASTER BUNNIES

Our stewards will be giving away mini Easter chocolate bunnies to the first 50 children who visit the Castle on Easter Sunday. For safety reasons, children visiting the Castle must be accompanied by an adult.

 

Vacancies at the Castle

CASTLE STEWARD

Thank you to all who applied. The posts have now been filled for 2023.

We are looking for a part-time steward at the Castle for the season April to September 2023 to join our team of four stewards. Each steward works around 25 days in total for the season.

The Castle is open daily in the first two weeks of April and during the months of July and August, and at weekends and public holidays. Daily times of the Castle are 11.00am until 4.00pm. Stewards work an extra 15 minutes at each end to undertake opening and closing procedures. The steward works in conjunction with a volunteer.

A fixed term contract is available for the above period for between 5 and 15 hours per week, including weekends. Pay in 2022 was £10.40 per hour and an uplift in line with the national wage will be put in place for 2023.

You can send an application with cv and relevant experience, or ask for further information, via email, fopc@portencross.org.uk, or the postal address on our website. Click here to see steward job description.

 

Closed for the winter 2022-23

We are now closed for the winter season, other than for private events. Christmas Cards are on sale in West Kilbride Library. Opening times for the Library are: Monday 10.00am - 1.00pm; Tuesday 10.00am - 1.00pm; Thursday 2.00pm - 6.00pm; and Friday 10.00am - 1.00pm and 2.00pm - 4.00pm. Cards are also available from the Barony Centre. In addition, they will be available in the Studio 44 pop-up gallery in Largs - look out for that.

The FOPC Board is pleased to let you know that the 2022 season was a success. We achieved almost pre-pandemic numbers of visitors and held our popular fund-raising events once more, including the Annual Art Show and Music Evening at Finns. We continue to raise funds for work on the main roof which is fundamentally important to the fabric of the Castle. The lane leading to the Castle has been resurfaced with help from the Arnold Clark Community Fund: our grateful thanks goes to the Fund for their support.

Already we are planning ahead for the 2023 season to provide the right materials for visitors including helpful information about the Castle, and we are investigating broadband connectivity and wifi inside the Castle.

 

Ayrshire Open Doors Days

The Castle is taking part in the Ayrshire Open Doors Days this weekend 10th/11th September.

Click on Open Doors.

Usual opening hours of 11.00am till 4.00pm apply. The Castle is open every weekend in September then it closes for the winter until Easter 2023.

 

Portencross Castle 'Art in the Garden' Fundraiser

Come see exibits and displays,

meet friends, buy some art,

enjoy tea, coffee and cakes,

try for some great raffle prizes.

Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th August

Southbanks House, Portencross (just after the car park).

 

Portencross Castle Fundraiser

Fencebay Farm, Fairlie

starring the world famous ..........

.... Fencebay Band

Tickets £10

Bring your own booze & nibbles. Burgers will be available to purchase.

RAFFLE - DANCE - EXCELENT MUSIC

Saturday, 20th August: 7.00 - 10.30 pm

All proceeds to Portencross Castle Funds

Tickets available from stewards at the Castle from 11.00am-4.00pm daily

 

 

A sad news week

Friends of Portencross Castle are sad to let you know that Alastair Glen, our former Chairperson, died this week. Alastair was a driving force in preserving and developing the Castle as a visitor centre for the public. He was a constant encouragement to us all in enabling such a successful project to come to fruition. We are grateful to have had Alastair as a friend. He was a man of great integrity and intelligence; a gentle, humble, diplomatic but determined giant. Alastair was formerly a consultant at Glasgow’s Victoria Infirmary. Our thoughts and condolences are with his wife Lesley and family.

Please note that our Saltire will remain at half mast. This will be out of respect for the death of the late Queen Elizabeth II, and also for our friend Alastair Glen.

 

Summer opening period

The Castle will be open on the following dates for the 2022 season.

July/August: Daily from Friday 1st July until Wednesday 31st August.

September: Weekends until Sunday 27th September.

Please check the Castle Calendar (see link above) in case of other closures for events.

Reflections: Portencross Castle Art Show 2022

The Portencross Castle Art Show took place on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June.

The FOPC Board would like to send a grateful thanks to all our visitors, artists, volunteers, and directors who worked so hard to revive the annual ‘Art Show at the Castle’. Despite ongoing Covid worries and dreadful weather on Sunday, the show was a success.

Holding an art show requires members of our local community to contribute in many ways. Volunteers, stewards and directors: assembled display scaffolding, background and lighting; erected a marquee and gazebos with seating; provided tea and coffee facilities; made lots of home baking and sandwiches; advertised the event online and by word-of-mouth; 'crewed' the facilities over two full days; received and displayed the artworks; accepted payments and entry fees; and disassembled everything once the show was over. Among other things.

All concerned rose to the occasion with good humour and magnificent teamwork. A huge well done to all concerned and thanks again to everyone who visited. We hope those who bought items experience joy and pleasure from their purchases for a long time to come.

Coming soon: Portencross Castle Art Show 2022

The Portencross Castle Art Show this year will take place on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June, 11.00am – 4.00pm both days.

Castle by Jane

Entry will be £1 for adults. Audrey will be offering garden teas nearby at the marquee.

We look forward to seeing you at Portencross Castle, if you are exhibiting or just visiting, and hope you can encourage friends and family to come along as well.

The support of the artists is essential to the success of the weekend, and we thank them in advance. Instructions for participating in the 2022 Art Show can be seen on this link. We would be delighted if you feel willing to offer an artwork as a raffle prize. And, of course, volunteer helpers are always welcome.

Friends of Portencross Castle volunteers work hard to prepare for this event and the effort is entirely to raise funds to keep the Castle open for visitors and the community at large. The Art Show provides an important share of our income.

Queen's Jubilee Pipers

As part of the celebrations for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, pipers across the Commonwealth have been asked to play a tune composed by Stuart Liddell of Inveraray (click tune). Pipers will play at sunset on June 2nd. We are delighted that one of our local pipers will do so from the roof of Portencross Castle at 9.30pm on June 2nd.

Castle opening dates for 2022

We are delighted that the Castle will be open on the following dates for the 2022 season.

April/May: Daily Saturday 2nd April until Monday 18th April. Then every weekend, plus Monday 2nd May.

June: Weekends only, plus Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd June. (Closed until 1.30 3rd June)

July/August: Daily from Friday 1st July until Wednesday 31st August.

September: Weekends until Sunday 27th September.

Please check the Castle Calendar (see link above) in case of other closures for events.

Wedding at the Castle

Congratulations to Fiona and Scott who were married recently at the Castle. They have given us permission to share these wonderful photographs. We wish them the best of fortune for the future.

Fiona and Scott wedding 2Fiona and Scott wedding 1

Fiona and Scott wedding 3

Friends of Portencross Castle (FOPC) Board: Covid19 Update

Portencross Castle will be open from Saturday 1st May 2021

  • We are delighted to share the news that Portencross Castle will be open to visitors and for events from 1st May.
  • The Castle will be open every weekend, including public holidays at long weekends, for all of May and June. Daily opening will resume on 1st July. Opening hours are 11.00am to 4.00pm.
  • We will keep these times and dates under review and at all times follow government guidance. Our website and Facebook page will be updated to keep you informed.
  • Covid-secure measures will be in place. These measures include the attendance of additional volunteers and stewards, social distancing indicators and hand santisers. We have masks available if you haven’t brought one. We simply ask for a voluntary contribution to cover the cost so that we can keep a stock available.
  • Our tenth anniversary celebrations of the opening the Castle as a public attraction have been postponed until next year. Watch this space.
  • We have kept in touch with those who booked weddings and other events and will deal with each booking individually.
  • The FOPC Board is very grateful for the continuing support of our Guardians. If you would like to become a Castle Guardian by giving regular contributions, no matter how small, please download the Guardian leaflet from our website (http://www.portencrosscastle.org.uk/help.htm). You can also contact Ann on 01294 823799 or by email at fopc@portencrosscastle.org.uk.
  • Friends of Portencross Castle (FOPC) is an entirely voluntary enterprise and is dependent on raising funds to keep the visitor centre open and to pay for maintenance, repairs and development. We are grateful for the Covid-19 government funding that we received via North Ayrshire Council which will go some way to see us through till next year.
  • Once more, the FOPC Board would like to thank our supporters and benefactors including our stewards, volunteers, Guardians, visitors and all those who help at or attend our fund-raising events. Thank you.

Some links to enjoy

The following links are about Portencross Castle. We hope you enjoy them in lockdown. Thanks to the wonderful people who created these online works.

FLOWER OF PORTENCROSS

By the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra featuring Drew Seville

VIEW FROM A DRONE

By Andy Johnston

PORTENCROSS AND ARDNEIL BAY BY DRONE

By the Outdoor Adventurer

THE CASTLE AND OLD RAILWAY PIER

The railway was never built - abandoned before the First World War.

By Something Different - Drone Videos

SOME STILLS

By Peter Ribbeck - browse for pics of Portencross and the Castle

See also Portencross Castle's Facebook page for stills

A QUICK LOOK INSIDE

By A Scottish Odyssey

OLD PHOTOGRAPHS

By tourscotland

THE NATURAL FLORA

By Roger Griffith

WHAT'S IT LIKE UNDER THE WATER?

By itstommysWorld

THE CASTLE ON A STORMY DAY

By clydefilm

THE ORIGINAL RESTORATION PROJECT Part 1and Part 2

Fast forward to see Portencross Castle pre-restoration.

By the BBC

FRIENDS OF PROTENCROSS CASTLE CHAT ABOUT THE PROJECT

Thanks to Ann and Alastair

Portencross Castle Christmas Card 2020

This year's Portencross Castle Christmas card features a reproduction of a beautiful watercolour, dated Christmas Card 20201874, by Alice Fanshawe. Alice was the daughter of Admiral Edward Gennys Fanshawe who was prominent in the British Navy and at one time Commander-in-Chief, North American Station based in Bermuda. The National Museum of Bermuda holds a substantial collection of work by both Alice and her father, including an historic album of spectacular watercolour paintings of Bermuda. Alice and her father travelled widely, including along Scotland's West Coast where they had relatives. Look out for an expanded version of their fascinating story or check out Wikipedia for yourself.

In the meantime, the cards are available for sale at the Barony Centre in West Kilbride. They can also be delivered locally or posted further afield by contacting Ann by email or telephone (port_n_x@hotmail.com or 01294 823799. A pack of ten cards cost £5.00. As usual, all proceeds go to maintaining the Castle.

The Castle is closed for winter 2020-2021

The Castle is now closed for the winter. Despite Covid-19 restrictions (see below), we had many visitors after we re-opened in a Covid-safe manner. The FOPC Board and its stewards, volunteers and guardians are grateful to those who managed to visit - while following Scottish government guidelines.

Please stay safe.

Friends of Portencross Castle (FOPC) Board Coronavirus Update

Portencross Castle has re-opened

  • Our supporters and all our volunteers and staff are delighted to share the news that Portencross Castle has now reopened.
  • We will be open every day from 11.00am to 4.00pm until the end of August and then weekends until the end of September, including holiday Mondays when these occur. We will keep these times and dates under review in case government guidance imposes future restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • We have put in place Covid-secure measures including additional volunteers and stewards in attendance, social distancing indicators and hand santisers. We have masks available if you haven’t brought one and simply ask for a voluntary contribution to cover the cost so that we can keep a stock available for our visitors.
  • We have postponed our tenth anniversary of the opening the Castle as a public attraction and community educational resource until 2021. Watch this space.
  • We have kept in touch with those who booked weddings and other events in advance and will be dealing with each booking individually.
  • The FOPC Board is very grateful for the continuing support of our Guardians. If you would like to become a Castle Guardian by giving regular contributions, no matter how small, please download the Guardian leaflet from our website (http://www.portencrosscastle.org.uk/help.htm). You can also contact Ann on 01294 823799 or by email at fopc@portencrosscastle.org.uk.
  • Friends of Portencross Castle (FOPC) is an entirely voluntary enterprise and is dependent on raising funds to keep the visitor centre open and to pay for maintenance, repairs and development. We are grateful for the Covid-19 government funding that we received via North Ayrshire Council which will go some way to see us through till next year.
  • Once more, the FOPC Board would like to thank our supporters and benefactors including our stewards, volunteers, Guardians, visitors and all those who help at or attend our fund-raising events. Thank you.

Portencross Castle Christmas Cards 2019

Morag Quilliam ‘Blue Day at Portencross’.Our 2019 Christmas cards will go on sale this Saturday 26th October in West Kilbride Village Hall from 10.00am at the annual community groups’ Christmas sale.

After Saturday, you can buy our Christmas cards at West Kilbride library or direct from Ann on 01294 823799.


Our thanks to Morag Quilliam for allowing us to use the lovely photograph, ‘Blue Day at Portencross’.

The Castle is closed for winter 2019-2020

The Castle closed for the winter on Sunday 29th September.

The summer raffle, for a fine framed painting of the Castle by the late Derek McLean was won by Lily Wallace, a visitor from Glasgow. See the section on the annual art sale below.

More than 8,000 visitors have been counted in this season already. A huge thank you to all our visitors, stewards, volunteers and directors.

September opening

Please note that Castle is open weekends only in September (includes holiday Monday23rd September). Closed for the winter from Sunday 29th.

Annual Portencross Castle Art Exhibition and SaleArt sale 2019

Our Annual Art Exibition and Sale will take place in the Castle on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th June, 11.00am - 4.00pm. This popular event is an opportunity to see the work of local artists and have the opportunity to purchase original artwork at very reasonable prices.

Entry is £1 (no charge for children). Teas and snacks will be available in the garden of nearby South Banks House.

The raffle prize this year is an original, framed painting of the Castle by the late Derek McLean. Raffle tickets cost £1 each and will be available at the Art Show, and in the Castle until the end of July McLean Painting of Castlewhen the winning ticket will be drawn.

Detailed information for artists can be seen by clicking here or by phoning Ann on 01294 823799.

The Castle will be open weekends only until the end of June, and then daily throughout July and August.

New brief guides in French and Spanish

Despite the Brexit debate, we continue to welcome our European visitors and, responding to requests, have developed short leaflets on the history of the Castle. These can be seen on the education page.

Mention in the Guardian online

You can see a comment on the Guardian online from a fan of Portencross and a lovely Getty Image of the Castle. Click here to see.

Castle Steward Post

Expressions of interest for castle stewards has now been closed down. We would like to thank all those who expressed an interest in the post.

Castle Steward Post available

We wish to recruit a Castle Steward. This is a seasonal, fixed term, part-time appointment, currently paying £8.87 per hour. The Castle is open from 11.00 to 4.00 every day during the summer and from 30th March to 15th April. It is also open for school holidays, weekends and public holidays to the end of September.

You will share a rota with three other Stewards. Stewards are responsible for welcoming visitors and for ensuring the highest standards of health and safety. They also explain the castle layout and history to visitors, count visitor numbers, undertake occasional visitor surveys, assist with tidying/ cleaning, and carry out routine set-up and close-down procedures. Stewards also occasionally assist at special events. Stewards work alongside Castle Volunteers to ensure a good visitor experience and encourage donations and sales towards the Castle’s upkeep. Training will be provided.

For further information and job description, or to arrange an informal visit, please contact Sinclair on 01294 829711 or Ann on 01294 823799.

Christmas cards 2018: Update 2Christmas Card 2018

Cards are now available at West Kilbride Library or the Barony. You can also contact An on, 01294 823799 or by email at port_n_x@hotmail.com. The cards cost £5 for a pack of 10 or 60p individually.

Christmas cards 2018: update

For the moment, limited numbers only of our Christmas card, 'The Milky Way over Portencross Castle', are available at West Kilbride Library. Unfortunately, our local printing firm suffered serious damage in recent bad weather and has to install a new press.

We apologise if this causes any inconvenience. The printer hopes to be up and running again very soon and we shall keep you posted on progress with printing further stock.

Christmas cards 2018

You can support the Castle again this year by buying our latest Christmas card, 'The Milky Way over Portencross Castle', from a photo by Chris Wright. Your first chance to buy cards will be at the Combined Charities Christmas sale in West Kilbride Village Hall on the morning of Saturday 27th October. Following that, they will be available at West Kilbride Library, or contact Ann, 01294 823799 or on port_n_x@hotmail.com. The cards cost £5 for a pack of 10 or 60p individually. Many thanks to Chris for allowing the use of his wonderful photograph.

Castle winter closure 2018/19

The Castle has now closed for the winter following a successful 2018 season. We had more than 8,000 visitors across the 2018 summer season. It is now time to seal up the windows and cover up the furniture to protect against the worst of the winter weather.

Our heartfelt thanks to all who helped in every capacity - welcoming visitors, assisting at fund-raisers, housekeeping, maintaining things in good order, and all the other jobs needed to run a medieval building as a visitor attraction! Apart from the wonderful stewards, who are paid for their good services, all of this work is done on a voluntary basis. It is a true community effort. Thanks also to the enthusiastic visitors who, as usual, came from far and wide as well as up the road.

Castle weekend closure

The Castle will be open to visitors at weekends during September 2018. It will also be open Monday 24th September. All 11am until 4pm, with last entry 3.45.

The Castle will be closed on Saturday 1st September 2018 for a private event.

On Sunday 30th September, it will close down for the winter.

Thanks to all who supported the recent 'Craft in the Garden' event, which raised a remarkable £1,415 for the funds.

Annual Craft in the Garden event 2018

Craft in the Garden 2018The annual Craft in the Garden event will take place on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th August 2018 from 11.00am till 5.00pm on both days. Entry costs £1.

A wide range of crafts will be on display and available for purchase. Demonstrations of Raku pottery techniques will take place on both days at 2.00pm. Tea, snacks and home baking will be available throughout.

Free parking is available at Portencross car park. The event will be held in South Banks House garden which is situated 50 metres before the car park.

You can, of course, visit Portencross Castle as well.

Result of the 2018 Annual Art Sale at the Castle

Our Annual Art Sale passed off successfully, raising just under £2,000 for the Castle funds. Over 140 paintings and other artworks were exhibited, and 21 of those were sold. This event is very labour intensive, so huge thanks go to the many volunteers who: erected the hanging framework - in a difficult, but impressive, space; recorded the exhibits then carried them up the castle stairs; hung them to best advantage; and dealt with visitors and purchasers during the show. Further thanks are due to all those who contributed to the success of the tea tent by serving, baking, and erecting the marquee. The castle project is very fortunate to be supported by so many willing volunteers.


A successful raffle featured four donated artworks as prizes: two paintings of the Castle by Jane Molloy and Helen Fairclough; a stormy seascape by Chris Thomson; and a framed print by Pam Glennie titled 'Coastal Colour, towards Arran'. Many thanks to Jane, Helen, Chris and Pam for their donations. First prize went to Henry Kennedy-Skipton, with no 309.
Finally, thanks to all the visitors who supported the event, and particular thanks to the artists, without whom there would be no show!


The Castle is now open daily, 11.00am - 4.00pm, last entry 3.45pm. Entry is free.

2018 Annual Art Sale at the Castle

On the weekend of Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June, entry to the Castle will be restricted to the annual Art Sale. There will be an admission charge of £1 for adults, while children can enter free of charge. The Art Sale provides opportunities to view the work of local artists and to buy an original work of art at a reasonable price. Teas are available in the nearby garden of South Banks House. Add in a Portencross walk, and you could have a very pleasant few hours while supporting the Castle funds.

Thanks in advance to participating artists, on whom the success of the show depends. All proceeds to Portencross Castle management and maintenance.

Instructions for artists can be seen by clicking here.

2018 Opening Times

The Castle will be open daily from Friday 30th March until Sunday 15th April. It will also be open daily from Saturday 30th June until Sunday 2nd September. Weekend openings will run from 30th March until 30th September when the Castle will close for the winter. It will be open on the holiday Mondays of 7th and 28th May. This year's Art Show will be held at the Castle on the weekend of 23rd and 24th June.

Opening times are 11.00am – 4.00pm with last entry at 3.45pm. Admission is free but donations and fund raising help considerably in keeping the castle open, so all donations by visitors are gratefully accepted!

Buy our 2017 Portencross Castle Christmas Cards

Now that the countdown to Christmas has started please consider helping the castle funds by sending our Christmas card to family and friends this year. Pack of 10 for £5 available from West Kilbride library, the Barony Centre or from Ann McLachlan (01294 823799 or port_n_x@hotmail.com).

Storm CHristmas Card

2017 Portencross Castle Christmas Cards

The multi-charities Christmas card sale takes place in West Kilbride Village Hall on Saturday 28th October from 9.30am till 12.30pm. The museum team will be serving lovely cakes and tea or coffee for £3. Stay to mingle with friends and neighbours! An art show featuring work by local artists will be on display upstairs in the museum area. Entry to the art show is free and well worth the stair climb.

PLEASE NOTE: The Castle is now closed for the winter except for special events and hires.

2017 Opening Times: Last day open - Monday 25th September

Opening times are 11.00am – 4.00pm with last entry at 3.45pm. Admission is free but donations and fund raising help considerably in keeping the castle open, so all donations by visitors are gratefully accepted!

From Saturday 1st July, the castle will be open daily until and including 3rd September. For the rest of September, the castle will open at weekends and on Monday 25th September which will be the last public opening day. Apologies for the previous error in September dates.

Craft in teh garden 2017CRAFT IN THE GARDEN WEEKEND 2017

 

The annual Craft in the Graden exibition and sale will take place on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th August 2017.

There will be stalls displaying, demonstarating and selling craft and art works. All welcome.

Tea, coffee and home baking is available and teh entry charge is £1.00.

Cover will be provided by a marquee and gazebos.

 

 

UPDATE: PORTENCROSS CASTLE ART SALE 2017

The recent exhibition and sale of art on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th June at the Castle was attended by almost 300 adult visitors and many more children. The weather was dry but blustery that weekend. Artists provided us with 112 exhibits, of which 26 were sold. In total £1,346 was Art Sale 2017raised for the Castle funds. All proceeds from the sale will go towards the maintenance and running costs of the castle. The art exhibition and sale is a labour intensive event: we would like to thank all the volunteers who helped to erect the display system, take in and hang the exhibits, and attend to visitors. Thanks also to the artists who brought their work, without whom the event would not be possible. A huge thanks to Chris Thomson and Pam Glennie, who donated the raffle prizes. William Fitch had the first lucky ticket which was selected to win the raffle. He chose the Pam Glennie print. The winning raffle tickets were selected by the first visitors to the Castle when it reopened after the art sale. This year it was the Rev Alec Boyd and his wife Diana from Millport. Winning tickets were no 4 and no 172.

Art sale 1 Art sale 2 Art sale 3

Interesting findArtefact

A visitor to Portencross discovered an interesting artefact at the harbour beside the Castle.

If anyone can identify what this artefact might be, please get in touch with us. The artefact is around 150mm long. FOPC members are continuing to research the 'find', including working with archeologists. We will keep you updated if anything of interest comes to light.

2017 Opening Times

Opening times are 11.00am – 4.00pm with last entry at 3.45pm. Admission is free but donations and fund raising help considerably in keeping the castle open, so all donations by visitors are gratefully accepted!

From Saturday 1st July, the castle will be open daily until and including 3rd September. For the rest of September, the castle will open at weekends and on Monday 18th September. The last public opening day will be Sunday 24th September.

The castle will then close for the winter except for venue hires and pre-arranged group tours.

Occasionally during the summer season, the castle is closed for a private function. Any such events will be posted in advance on this website under News and Events to allow you to check in advance.

Coffee morning

A fund-rasing coffee morning was held from on 18th March 2017 at Southbanks House, Portencross. A modest entry fee covered the price of tea/coffee and home-made goodies. A raffle was held with lovely prizes and Portencross Castle mementos were on sale.

Opening for the 2017 season

A lot goes into opening up the castle after the winter. Apart from the usual dust and sand, some small pieces of debris seem to accumulate throughout the castle, including all the way up the spiral stairway. Gaps in the protective glass, which are covered up for the winter, are opened up again and the sealing material stored until next winter. Leaflets, booklets and other materials are unlocked from sealed containers and got ready for display. The television and video 'kiosk' are unearthed from their dry winter storage and restored to working order. Display panels are refreshed with a good dusting down. The flag and flagpole are checked to be in good condition. Professional electrical safety tests take place. And a good look around the castle fabric is undertaken. This year also involves a five-yearly inspection to make sure everything is safe and in order.

Cannon at the castle

A training session is held for volunteers and stewards to refresh memories and add new insights. Training this year will have an additional focus on the Portencross Cannon which has been moved back to it's old resting place just outside the castle. Our thanks go to the FOPC Board members, volunteers and stewards who come together get the castle ready for the 2017 season. Let's hope it is a record-breaker.

 

Christmas 2016 Cards now available

'Winter Sky'

Christmas Card 2016Our Castle Christmas cards for 2016 are now available for purchase.

They will go on sale at the Combined Charities Christmas Sale in West Kilbride Village Hall on Saturday 29th October, 10am - 12.30pm. The cards are priced at 60p each or £5 for pack of 10.

After the Charities Sale, you can buy the cards in West Kilbride Library, or simply by phoning Ann on 01294 823799 or emailing her at port_n_x@hotmail.com.

Portencross Castle is free to visit and is sustained through the generosity of charitable contributions. The sale of our Christmas cards are part of our fund-raising activities to maintain and develop the Castle as a local historical attraction and visitors' centre.

Our chairperson has retired!

FOPC General Meeting and Farewell to Alastair Glen

Alastair's giftFriends of Portencross Castle held a General Meeting in the Castle on Sunday 25th September 2016. Alastair Glen gave his report as chairperson. He stressed the tremendous success of the Castle in its six seasons of opening. Alastair reminded everyone present that this success had been due to the efforts of all those who had contributed. People had given generously of their time, organised fund raising activities, contributed financial support, and provided sound advice. Recent work on the Castle has been helped greatly by funding support from the May Lockhart Trust, the W M Mann Foundation, the Bottomly Family Trust and Historic Environment Scotland.

Pauline Buckley gave her report as FOPC's Treasurer. While FOPC's financial position continued to look strong, all agreed that an appropriate reserve should be held as a contingency given the Castle's history and the potential need for future maintenance and development.

Alastair reminded the meeting of the historical importance of the castle and the many twists and turns, threats and dangers, successes and accomplishments in its recent history. He stressed his pride and privilege in having played a part in this exciting journey. Alastair then announced his intention to retire as chairperson and outlined the process through which the FOPC Board would appoint a new Chairperson at its next meeting.

Ann McLachlan thanked Alastair for his enormous contribution to the success of the Castle project. Over a considerable period and in the face of many hurdles, Alastair had guided the FOPC Board and its supporters to successfully open the Castle as a visitors' centre and historical attraction. It was in no small part, Ann reminded the meeting, due to Alastair's enthusiasm, determination and resilience. In gratitude for his contribution, Ann presented Alastair with a personal gift donated by FOPC Board members. Alastair and his wife Lesley were then presented with a celebratory cake which took the form of a replica of Portencross Castle. The general meeting was followed by a celebratory round of drinks.

Alastair and Lesley

 

Alastair's cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: At its subsequent Board meeting, Mr Sinclair Molloy was appointed as the new chairperson of the Board of Friends of Portencross Castle.

Please Note: The Castle is now closed for the winter and will be opening in Spring 2017

Summer opening 2016

The Castle was open daily, 11.00am until 4.00pm, until the end of August, then weekends only (including Monday 19th September) which was the last weekend opening of the season.

Occasionally it was closed for a private event: visitors are always asked to check the website before coming.

Visitors did not worry about the weather! They enjoyed the shelter on a wild day and looked down on the waves or basked in the sunshine on the roof on a good day and enjoyed the fantastic views.

Cannon from the Spanish Armada returns to its resting place

The Portencross Cannon was moved some years ago to a village garden. It has now been returned to its original site outside the Castle. Thanks to all who helped in moving the cannon.

The story goes that a ship from the Spanish Armada (1588) sank just off the coast at Cannon returnedPortencross. A dive in 1740 resulted in the recovery of a number of cannon, one of which apparently was given to the village as a thank you for assisting. A Spanish crown insignia was visible at one time, but has now been lost to corrosion. The cannon is of Spanish design. In 1982 the Portencross cannon was moved to Hunterston Power station. In 1990, specialists attempted to conserve the cannon. They removed layers of tar, but their efforts failed. The power company returned the cannon to Portencross village in 2003. Some maintenance work will now be carried out to try to reduce further corrosion.

For more information, click here.

Castle Scarecrows win coveted prize

Congratulations to the scarecrows of Portencross Caste who jointly were awarded first prize in the annual Scarecrow Festival. Well done to Audrey Kolon and all who helped.

Scarecrow 1 Scarecrow 2 Scarecrow3

Raffle winnerRaffle winner 2016

Congratulations to Ken Jarrett who won the raffle at the Art Sale. He chose the framed Pam Glennie print as you can see in the picture. No doubt the print will give Ken many years of pleasure and the usual headache of how best to place it in his home. Also wishing Pam all the best in her new home in Portencross.

 

2016 Art Sale

The Art Exhibition and Sale passed off successfully with 120 paintings hung and 21 sold. The weather was poor on the Sunday which was reflected in a bit of a drop in visitor numbers and sales at the tea tent. However altogether £1,639.40 was raised for the Castle fund, which is very welcome. Thanks to all who came along and to the large number of wonderful volunteer helpers. Special thanks to the artists, who make it all possible.

Winning raffle numbers, in order, 1, 57, 129, 257, 72. These were selected by a group of Castle visitors from Indonesia. The winners have been notified.

 

Andy's Boat

Andys boat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

European Archaeologists Association and Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra

Fiddle orcestra 2015

 

european archaeologists aug 15

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portencross Castle Art Sale

Art sale 2015 prize winner

 

 

 

 

Largs Rainbows 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

Castle stewards and visit by the Brownies

New stewards 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aurora Borealis

A model Castle and The Aurora Borealis

model castle Aug 2014