The ruins of a building that was once a small fortified tower house dating from the fourteenth century. There are also some remains of a second building the purpose of which is unknown. Newark Castle is nearby and found on the coastal walk towards St Monans (heading east from Ardross).
2. In 1661 the then owner of Ardross Castle, Sir William Scott II, was a witness at the trial of Archibald Campbell, Marquis of Argyll. Sir William was recorded as having given an account of Argyll’s attack on Menstrie Castle.
Parking Option (St Monans)
Parking Option (Elie)
Notes: Located on the Fife Coastal Path half way between St Monans and Elie it can be accessed via that walk from either east or west. There are no sign-posts or interpretation boards.
Situated on sandstone cliffs, Ardross Castle was built in the latter half of the fourteenth century replacing an earlier Manor House that had existed there since at least the time of William the Lion. Owned by the Dishington family, one of whom was married to the sister of Robert the Bruce, it was occupied for two hundred years.
HISTORY OF ARDROSS CASTLE
The first mention of Ardross is in a charter issued in the late twelfth century by William the Lion of Scotland to Merleswain, a Fife landowner. It is possible he established the first manor at Ardross at this time and the estate subsequently passed to his son, Waldef, and grandson before passing through marriage to Sir John de Soules. When he died it was granted to John Burnard and in 1368 it passed to Sir William Dishington, Sheriff of Fife. Sir William was married to Elizabeth Bruce, sister to King Robert I (the Bruce) and it was probably he who built Ardross Castle or at least extensive modified the existing structure probably concurrently with his funding for the construction of nearby St Monans Church. His castle consisted of a small fortified tower house with a vault at ground level and, presumably, a hall and accommodation on the upper floors.
In 1607 the Dishington family sold the castle to his father-in-law, Sir William Scott. His son and grandson inherited the castle in turn but in 1690 the castle was sold to Sir William Anstruther. Rather than occupy the elderly fortification, he built a new manor house nearby with Ardross Castle itself being partially demolished in order to re-use its building materials.