Turnberry Castle

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Turnberry Castle is in Ayrshire southwest Scotland, at Turnberry village, 16 miles south of Ayr.

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The ruins of Turnberry Castle are in Turnberry Golf Course where a Lighthouse now stands. There is a good path out to the Castle from a few hundred yards along the main road from Turnberry, right in the image top, with roadside parking at the start of the path.

The Castle ruins are popular with photographers and the Lighthouse has a cafe / restaurant that serves golfers at the 9th hole, and visitors to the Castle. There are amazing views from the patio. The Cafe is fairly expensive, about 2 or 3 times normal for the area.

There is also an Aviation Memorial popular for visits by the Castle. The Memorial is for Pilots that lost their lives at the RAF base here during WWI & WWII.

It is unclear when the earliest parts of Turnberry Castle were built. Records show it was in the hands of the Earls of Carrick in the early 1200s.

1271 - Marjorie Countess of Carrick lost her husband on the 8th Crusade.

Marjorie married Robert Bruce soon after, with Bruce holding lands in south Scotland. His main Castle was at Lochmaben, 8 miles east of Dumfries.

The marriage of Robert and Marjorie led to Bruce moving to Turnberry Castle where they had five sons and five daughters, one being Robert the Bruce, future king of Scotland.

Robert Bruce is thought to have had Loch Doon Castle built around that time. Loch Doon is high in the hills 28 miles east.

1286 - a number of Scottish Barons met at Turnberry Castle to discuss the possibility of Robert the Bruce becoming King of Scotland. The Bruce was 12 years old at the time.

1296 – 1328 - the First War of Scottish Independence begins after the death of King Alexander III in 1296 without leaving an heir. This leads to Turnberry Castle, along with most other castles in Scotland, being taken over by English forces.

1306 Feb - Robert The Bruce stabbed and killed John Comyn in the Chapel of Greyfriars Monastery in Dumfries. Comyn and The Bruce were disputing who should be King of Scotland. This led to the Pope excommunicated The Bruce.

1306 March - The Bruce was crowned king of Scotland at Scone, near Perth.

1307 April - Robert the Bruce begins his campaign to remove English forces from Scotland. He is involved in a number of small battles in southwest Scotland at that time, including at Turnberry and Glen Trool.

1307 October - the Pope and King of France begin persecuting the Knight Templar. Many flee in ships, thought to be to Scotland, thought to be carrying the Holy Grail - Cup of Life, and many more treasures.

Treasure hunters are still looking for the Knights Templar treasure with Kilwinning Abbey, 32 miles north of Turnberry, thought to be where the Templar's visited soon after fleeing France.

1310 - The Bruce ordered the destruction of Turnberry Castle to stop the English using the Castle when he was leading his campaign in the north of Scotland.

1314 - Victory at the Battle of Bannockburn by Stirling in Scotland leads to The Bruce removing all English forces from Scotland.

1873 - Turnberry Lighthouse is built on top of the castle ruins. The lighthouse is 79 ft high with 75 steps to the top.

1902 - Turnberry Golf Course is laid out for the the Marquess of Ailsa. The par 4 ninth hole by the Lighthouse becomes one of the top holes in golf, with the tee shot over the sea and rocks.

1906 - Turnberry Hotel is built overlooking the golf course.

1914 - 1918 & 1939 - 1945 - aircraft runways were built around the Golf Course for training Pilots during WWI & WWII. The Hotel served as a Hospital during the wars.

There is a Memorial close to the Lighthouse for Airmen that died in accidents at Turnberry. The Runways can still be seen, they are used as car parks during major Golf events.

1986 - Turnberry Lighthouse was automated with the Buildings sold to the Golf Course.

2014 - Donald Trump bought Turnberry Hotel and Golf Course.

2016 - Trump had the ninth hole changed to a par 3 with the green next to the Lighthouse. This is now probably the top hole in the world, with a long carry over the sea and rocks.

The par 5 tenth tee is also placed next to the Lighthouse, with a long carry over the ruins of the Castle and a Cave to the fairway.

The par 3 eleventh was also changed at that time with the Tee and Green on rocks by the sea, making the 9th, 10th and 11th an incredible experience for the many golfers that visit from around the world, also for photographers and artists.

The Lighthouse was converted at that time to a cafe / restaurant for golfers at the 9th hole. An apartment was also added on the first floor for holidays.

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