How the Boyds Came to Dean Castle

After the defeat and execution of William Wallace in 1305, Sir Robert Boyd (d. 1296) became on of the first supporters of Robert the Bruce. He distringuished himself at the Battle of Bannockburn, where the King placed him to support his brother, Sir Edward Bruce, in directing the crucial right wing of the Scots army. Bruce rewarded Boyd with lands in West Kilbride (Portencross) and Kilmarnock, which was likely confiscated from the Balliols. At Kilmarnock, Boyd began building the Keep of Kilmarnock Castle, now known as Dean Castle.  

With the death of the Bruce in 1329, Boyd was called on once more when hostilities with England were reignited. However, against his advice, the Scots attacked the invading English at Halidon Hill in 1333 and were defeated. This defeat spelled the beginning of the end for Sir Robert: he was captured during the battle, and died shortly after.


Nevertheless, thanks to the efforts of Boyd and others like him, the English were never able to gain a strong foothold in Scotland again, and the Boyds lived at Dean Castle for the next 400 years.



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