Kelburn Castle – Largs, Scotland - Atlas Obscura
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Largs, Scotland

Kelburn Castle

A 13th-century castle covered in a gigantic graffiti mural. 

Kelburn Castle in Scotland is a stately home whose original structure likely dates from before the 13th century. It’s thought to be one of the oldest castles in the country to have been continuously occupied by the same family—the other being Dunvegan Castle. Is original Norman Keep, which was built primarily for defense rather than comfort,is now enclosed within a larger home that was completed around 1581.

But its history isn’t what makes this castle stand out. In June 2007, after learning the entire concrete facing would need to be replaced, the building’s open-minded owners invited Brazilian graffiti artists to paint the large section of the castle that will eventually be replaced.

Painted by artists Nina, Nunca, and the duo Os Gemeos (“Twins”—which the two artists, in fact, are), the contrast between the 16th-century building in the woods of Scotland and the 21st-century urban Brazilian graffiti creates an eccentric and delightful visual landscape. In 2009 the building suffered from a fire, but suffered only minor damage.

Know Before You Go

The estate runs seasonal tours of the castle. You can find information about dates and costs on the castle website.

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