Story of Kames
Kames - The History
The story of Kames began in the 14th century when the King of Scots, Robert the Bruce, granted the land to the powerful Bannatyne family in thanks for their services at the Battle of Bannockburn (1314).
At the centre of the estate is the impressive Kames Castle, built in the late 14th century. It is clear that this impressive building was constructed with refuge and safety in mind: thick, impenetrable stone walls (five feet thick in places), a battlemented parapet, arrow-slits, 360-degree views over land and sea, gun loops and a studded, fortified door. The tower even has its own well which is, unusually, located in the heart of the castle itself. Legend has it there is also a secret tunnel running from the castle to neighbouring land, should all else fail. Remarkably, despite being some 700 years old, many original features of the castle remain intact.
More recent additions to Kames Estate include a wonderful Victorian walled garden and glasshouse, both constructed in the 18th Century by Lord Bannatyne. Again, many of the original features remain in place - the bell to warn staff of approaching visitors, the boiler and heated pipes to support exotic plants from faraway lands, the dipping pond (now with a fountain) and the imposing red brick walls to encourage the growth of many fruit trees. These walls were once a subtle boast of wealth in an era when a brick tax pervaded
Kames - The Future
Since purchasing the estate at the end of 2015 the current owners have been drawing up a programme of work to carry out repairs and renovations to the properties, historic glasshouse and the Keep.
All cottages have now been refurbished, including the replacement of all sash windows.
In October 2018, the renovations to the exterior of the Keep were completed. In the first instance work was primarily focused on preserving the integrity of the structure of the building beginning with the removal of the concrete render. This render was used to cover the original stonework in the 1970s. It is now known that this retains moisture preventing the masonry from breathing thus encouraging dampness. Thus the first works removed this render allowing the building to 'breath' and dry out before interior works begin. Unfortunately, this does mean that the Keep is not currently accessible to visitors but we look forward to a time in the future when this will be possible.
Ultimately it is hoped that the Keep will be transformed into a spectacular dwelling offering wonderful views of the surrounding sea views and countryside. Once completed the proposed accommodation will be arranged over four floors and will include: a large kitchen on the ground floor, a drawing room on the first floor and two en-suite bedrooms on each of the second and third floors.