Kelburn is thought to be the oldest castle in Scotland to have been continuously inhabited by the same family.
Orginally the family name was de Boyville but this changed over the years to Boyle. The de Boyvilles from Caen in Normandy came over to Britain with William the Conqueror in 1066 and the present branch of the family settled in Kelburn in 1140.
Nobody knows for certain when a stone building was first constructed on the site, but the original Norman Keep, designed for defence rather than comfort, was probably built by 1200.
The original Norman Keep is now enclosed within a grander castle, completed in 1581 by the then Laird, David Boyle, at a time when the family was emerging from relative obscurity and beginning to wield some influence within the local community. The 1581 castle can be clearly distinguished from the more recent parts of the building by its two impressive towers on opposite corners.
The present tenth Earl of Glasgow and his wife, Isabel, started Kelburn Country Centre in 1977, opening most of Kelburn's grounds and gardens to the public and introducing new attractions. The castle too has recently been open for guided tours at specific times of the year and it is available for functions and private parties at all times.