The 13th Century Kelburn Castle Covered With Colorful Graffiti

Nov 25, 2015 7 comments

Who said castles need to be somber colored stone buildings with grey and brown exterior? Ask the Earl of Glasgow, who had his transformed into the brightest in all of Scotland.

The Kelburn Castle, near Fairlie, 35 miles west of Glasgow, has been the family home of the Boyles since its construction in the 13th century, making the castle the oldest in Scotland to have been continuously inhabited by the same family. In 1703, the Parliament of Scotland created the title of “Earl of Glasgow” for the then owner David Boyle, who was one of the commissioners who negotiated the Treaty of Union uniting England and Scotland into Great Britain. Since then the Kelburn Castle has been the home of a long line of Earls the family has produced.


Photo credit: Tim Kirman/Flickr

In 2007, the 10th and current Earl of Glasgow, Patrick Robin Archibald Boyle, was told that he needed to remove a cement render, that had been added to the building in the 1950s, to avoid further damage to the stonework. At the suggestion of his children, Patrick Boyle, agreed to have the cement painted before it was removed. So he invited a group of four Brazilian street artists to adorn the castle’s turret and walls with their unique style of graffiti art.

The work of the Brazilian artists received huge media attention, drawing many tourists from around the world. Historic Scotland, the government agency responsible for preserving the country's historic monuments, had agreed to the project on the understanding that the graffiti was temporary. The artwork was meant to be removed after three years, but seeing the public response, the Earl appealed to Historic Scotland to make the artwork permanent. The agency allowed some leeway allowing the artwork to exist a few more years.

In 2012 the agency made an inspection of the castle and discovered that the cement was severely damaging the original castle walls, and urged the Earl to remove the graffiti. The graffiti was supposed to go by summer 2015, but there are no more updates either from the media or from the castle owners. The current status of the graffiti is unknown.


Photo credit: Tim Kirman/Flickr


Photo credit: Anne/Flickr


Photo credit: Anne/Flickr


Photo credit: eltpics/Flickr


Photo credit: Tim Kirman/Flickr


Photo credit: Paul Macrae/Flickr


Photo credit: Tim Kirman/Flickr


Photo credit: Tim Kirman/Flickr


Photo credit: Anne/Flickr

Sources: BBC /


  1. WTF ??? Painting a castle like that is a sin. Farking street art socks and it's bad enough as graffiti in the street but to deface a beautiful building like that with Afro Centric Ingenuity is bloody stupid.

    1. "Afro Centric".... Go back to stormfront, please. You do not own the castle... so go back to your mother's basement. No one likes you.

    2. I'm not with your Stormfront. However I do recognize the intellectually lacking when I see it. I know you want to believe anyone who can recognize your deficiencies is disqualified from having an opinion but I'll say it again this is shist thing to do to an heirloom like this.

      On other topic: See the book "The Bell Curve" for reality.

  2. Paint is paint. Afro Centric and/or graffiti in this case is just inexcusable. A building this old is to be held UNMOLESTED. Upkeep and restored as needed. To deface it in such a manner is a crime. Owning an item from the distant past is not ownership in the common sense of use/discard. Ownership in this case is "Stewardship" . The owners are charged with preservation on their watch and a duty to pass it on to some future custodian ................. If they can't (and in this case have shown they are unable) then they should be relived of the responsibility.

  3. A dispicable act of cultural and historical vandalism.. Utterly shameful.


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