Kerelaw House

Kerelaw House was part of the former Kerelaw Estate situated on the west coast of Ayrshire, Scotland near the town of Stevenston.


The house was built in the neo-Palladian style in 1787 by Lieut.-Col. Alexander Hamilton (a relative of the American statesman of the same name). Hamilton died in 1837 without issue and left considerable debts. Captain John Brown inherited and was forced to sell the mansion house to Gavin Fullarton, Esq., a retired West Indies merchant, in 1838 along with the rest of the Kerelaw Estate including Kerelaw Castle. The Fullarton family were a cadet branch of the ancient family of the Fullartons of Kirkmichael, in Arran, who held their charter from the days of Robert the Bruce. The family were hereditary Crowners (Coroners) in the island of Arran. Their family motto was Lux in tenebris., The light shineth in darkness.

In 1919 the house was bought by James Campbell, WS. Campbell and his family (including his son Kenneth Campbell VC) were the last family to live at Kerelaw; in 1969 the house was bought by Glasgow Corporation Education Department and Kerelaw Residential School was opened in its grounds in 1970. The house was intended to be used as offices for the school, but was instead demolished.


Built in the Adam style, Kerelaw House was a tall, three storey ashlar building of five bays with a wide, slightly projecting central bay; its Doric entrance porch has above it the typical Adam feature of a Serlian window set within a lightly recessed blind arch. A long driveway lead up to the house from the nearby road, and is still in existence having latterly been used as an entrance to Kerelaw Residential School. There is however no other trace of the house.



  • Clements, James Stevenston (Stivenstoune Stinstin). The Kernel of Cunninghame.. Glasgow: Gilmour and Lawrence.
  • Davis, Michael The Castles and Mansions of Ayrshire. Ardrishaig, Argyll M.C. Davis, 1991.
  • McSherry, R & M Old Stevenston. Catrine: Stenlake Publishing.
  • Paterson, James History of the counties of Ayr and Wigton, Vol. 3. Edinburgh: James Stillie.
  • Robertson, George A genealogical account of the principal families in Ayrshire .... Irvine: Cunninghame P. sold by A. Constable, Edinburgh.
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