Kilmahew Castle
Kilmahew Castle
4.5
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles3 reviews
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macedonboy
Glasgow, UK185,732 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
Kilmahew Castle is a ruined castle located just to the Cardross village. Once home of the Clan Napiers of Kilmahew, progenitors include engineers such as Robert Napier, and mathematicians such as John Napier.

The house is a conventional tower house with some gothic elements. Only the shell of the tower remains. Although there’s not a massive amount to see, I found it great fun as an urban explorer. As other reviewers have mentioned, the ruin can be difficult to find and get to. I got there by driving on Carmen Road until I got to a metal gate on the left, which is opposite a farm road. The gate itself is locked for some reason, but about 10 metres further up is a path. It’s fine to leave the car at the gate and from there it’s about 15 minutes of walking through a trail and woodlands. There are several trails, so the one to follow is between the golf course and the stream.

While the ruin isn’t much to look at, it’s a great hike on an unmarked trail, through unspoilt woodlands and the whole thing is a fun piece of urban exploration.
Written August 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MimiandPapa2862
Milford, MI463 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Family
We were on a cruise and took cabs to Cardross (there were 8 of us so we needed two cabs) specifically to look for Kilmahew Castle. Six of the 8 were Napiers and were very interested in the castle once owned by the Napier clan. Luckily, a very nice man named Hamish saw us wandering the streets of Cardross and offered to help us find the castle. He even enlisted the help of neighbors! After giving us directions, we walked to an old church and were busy checking out the cemetery there, when Hamish arrived to tell us he'd looked up Kilmahew in a Cardross history book he had. He volunteered to guide us to the castle since it wasn't exactly easy to find. This wonderful man spent two hours with us and refused all our efforts to buy him lunch as a thank-you. He wouldn't even give us his last name or address so that we could send him a proper thank-you once we got home. He insisted that he had visited America and found helpful people there, so he was paying it forward. We loved the ruins but it was made even more special by the kindness of Hamish.
Written August 17, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AlandSueGlasgow
Cardross, UK227 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2014 • Family
Access from Golf course

History[edit]
Kilmahew castle was built upon the lands granted to the Napiers by Malcolm, the Earl of Lennox around the year 1290. The castle itself was built sometime in the 16th century by the Napier family, who owned it for 18 generations. The Napiers who owned Kilmahew are notable for being the progenitors of most of the Napiers in North America, as well as some of their members who had notable contributions in the field of engineering, such as Robert Napier, the "Father of Clyde Shipbuilding," and David, James and Montague Napier, who owned the engineering company of Napier & Son.

The estate was inherited by George Maxwell of Newark and Tealing (1678–1744) in 1694, when he assumed the name of his maternal grandfather, John Napier of Kilmahew, but having no legitimate children he was the last of the name, although the Napier of Kilmahew coat of arms survives as a quartering of those of Noble of Ardmore, who therefore now represent the family in heraldry.[1] Following his death the estate was successfully claimed by an illegitimate daughter, Jean Smith, who married David Brydie, and was finally sold to Alexander Sharp in 1820 in repayment of gambling debts. In 1839, the estate was acquired by James Burns of Bloomhill (a neighbouring estate), the son of Rev. Dr. John Burns,[2] eventually dying in the Castle in 1871.

The ruins were acquired by the Archdiocese of Glasgow, along with the surrounding estate, in 1948.[3]
Written April 4, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Kilmahew Castle, Cardross

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