Kelburn Castle, Ayrshire – Earl of Glasgow bids to keep graffiti-covered castle


Three years ago the Earl of Glasgow, Patrick Boyle, agreed to have his 13th Century Castle in Ayshire, temporarily covered in graffiti by a collection of Brazilian graffiti artists known as the São Paolo Crew. North Ayrshire council permitted the work under a three-year temporary contract and, although the graffiti should have been removed four months ago it has remained on the castle walls as the Earl bids to make the colourful mural a more permanent feature.


Last month, the graffiti was declared one of the world’s top 10 examples of street art by author and designer Tristan Manco. Consisting of a series of cartoons and images, depicting surreal urban life, the colourful mural has made the castle more of a landmark than ever, drawing in visitors from across the globe.

The Earl claimed: “what we now call historic buildings have always been drivers of fashion, architecture and design. Features that we now take for granted would have seemed radical in their day…if it provokes interest and makes people smile why shouldn’t it stay?”


Historic Scotland is said to be demanding the removal of the graffiti, as the artwork does not fit into guidance colours that are appropriate for a historic building. The principal inspector of the organisation, Ranald Macinnes, claimed:“ in heritage terms, this is a building of great local and national importance, the three year limit was put on the artwork for a reason”.