The CSG’s 34th Annual Conference 2020

Castles of Ayrshire

April 23 -26th

After a seven-year absence from the northern kingdom, CSG will be making a welcome return to Scotland for its annual conference in April 2020. The theme will be the ‘Castles of Ayrshire’, a large castle-rich but relatively unknown region in west-south-west Scotland whose heritage and tourist assets go well beyond the poetry of its most famous son, Robert Burns. Our conference base will be the Riverside Lodge Hotel, 46 Annick Road, Irvine, KA11 4LD, a town which has good connections with the rest of Britain and Ireland and is well placed for exploring the three historical divisions of medieval Ayrshire: Cunninghame, Kyle and Carrick.   

The main conference will run from the afternoon of Thursday, 23th April, to lunchtime Sunday, 26th April, with the offer of an extra night to allow for a supplementary excursion to Rothesay Castle on Bute on the Sunday afternoon. Delegate numbers will be restricted to a maximum of 51 for the main conference and 22 for the half-day supplement, on a first-come, first-served basis, following the priority placing of committee and the two organisers, Geoffrey Stell and David Caldwell. Conference facilities will be available each evening in a lecture room which will provide seating for 75-80, allowing us to invite local guests for everything except the AGM. A rough preliminary assessment indicates that single room occupancy for three nights may be around £260 and for four nights, including the Rothesay trip, about £330. The corresponding figures for those sharing rooms currently stand at about £200 and £250.

At this early stage these figures remain provisional, but every effort will be made to retain a measure of what promises to be exceptionally good value for money. The conference programme, which is still in gestation, will follow the usual format of daytime excursions and evening lectures. The talks will be designed to provide both context and outreach to important sites where access or distance will prohibit their inclusion in the itineraries, Rowallan, Loch Doon and Turnberry Castles being likely cases in point. There is much that is accessible to select from, and the organisers will do their best to provide a representative range of earthwork and masonry castles that will cater to, if not satisfy, CSG’s tastes. A full programme will be issued in a forthcoming Bulletin.  

Dunure Castle ©undiscoveredscotland

Dinvin Motte © Phillip Gamble, cc-by-sa/2.0

Castle Studies Group Bulletin, January 2019

Dunure Castle ©undiscoveredscotland